It can be a daunting task when selecting a provider to work on your home, especially when there is a lot of money involved. So, here we provide a guide on how to choose an installer for HardiePlank cladding or fascias.
Assess Your Needs
A good installer should first assess your needs and requirements, and then propose a suitable solution. This can be done with a site survey, which is usually free. This is where the installer will visit you at your property, to meet you, discuss your requirements and assess the property and scope of the work. The installer will discuss the options with you before providing a formal quote.
Accreditations and Qualifications
Check that your installer is approved by a manufacturer such as Swish and is qualified to perform the work. Swish is a manufacturer and supplier, recognised as the highest quality fascia products in the UK market. Swish is known nationally and trusted by consumers for roofline work.
A Swish approved installer is required to complete installations to a high standard of workmanship, take enough time on each job to achieve this, whilst also focusing on quality of customer service. An approved installer is able to offer Extended Guarantees and products are guaranteed for specified periods, so you can be assured of quality and longevity. Swish installers are vetted for quality of the installation as well as financial stability and are required to renew their membership annually.
The UK Working at Height regulations help to ensure safety whilst an installer is carrying out work. Safe and proper access equipment should be used by your installer, for example by using scaffolding. It is illegal to use ladders to access the property above a certain height.
How Long has the Installer been Trading?
Ensure that the installer you choose has been in business for a number of years, ensuring they are experienced and have built up a track record. Also this enables you to use Google to research the company for any reviews and other information, to check that their history is sound. For example in Google you can search for ‘company name reviews’.
What do Other Customers Think?
Customers leave reviews for installation companies and you should use these reviews to assess the installer. Is their workmanship up to standard? Are they reliable, punctual and polite? Are they tidy? Do they keep their appointments? Do they invoice in line with their quote? These are all things that can be discovered with reviews systems.
In the UK, Checkatrade is well known and respected by customers. Providers are vetted, interviewed, they check insurance, address, VAT registration, accreditations and qualifications, ID and references.
Other reviews services include Reviews.co.uk and customers give a rating out of 5 and leave feedback on the provider, giving more information for you to assess their suitability.
Communication is key to a successful installation. Does the provider answer the phone or reply to voicemails promptly? Are emails responded to in a timely manner? What is the tone of their communication, are they polite and customer-focused? Do they do what they say they will do, and on time? Is the quote well written, clear and understandable? Does the quote break down the work and define the products to be used? These are all questions to think about when choosing a supplier.
Costs vary depending on a number of factors, including your property type and size. Some providers may be more expensive, but may offer more value and complete a higher quality installation. Again, look at accredited providers and a little more expense initially may save you money in the future.
Providers should be transparent about their guarantees. You should ensure that your installer guarantees the products and installation for your peace of mind.
Swish has based the guarantees of its products on real time evidence. There is a 20 year Standard White Cellular PVC guarantee, and Swish Approved Installers can offer a 50 year guarantee for White Cellular PVC, although there are conditions. For more on this please see their Guarantees page here: http://www.swishbp.co.uk/library/guarantees
For Hardieplank there is a warranty on the colour fastness for 10 years.
You should also find out if there is a guarantee on the actual installation, for example there may be insurance-backed guarantees on a Swish fascia installation from 10 to 50 years, depending on the product used.
Your installer should be realistic with you on the timescale of completion of the installation. Typically, an installation will take anything from 1 day to 2 weeks, depending on the size of the property and the weather, which can slow down work. Generally, timescales are a rough guide.
If there is a problem with your installation, ensure that your installer will be contactable and willing to fix the problem.
So, to conclude, use these tips and ask your installer the right questions to help to ensure that they are suitable to carry out work on your property. A little bit of time and research up front could save you time and money later.