Issued By
Cumbria County Council



Today, Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards Officer’s warned against the use of `Doorstep Builders’.  Phil Ashcroft, Head of Cumbria Trading Standards says,

“If you've had builders knock on your door and offer to do building work, think very carefully before agreeing.  Doorstep builders are responsible for a high number of complaints to us.  They frequently target the elderly.  They offer to do work, such as replace roof slates, when there is nothing wrong with the roof.  The work is often shoddy.  They will give a 10 year "guarantee" - which is useless if you can't find them when things go wrong.  `Doorstep Builders’ insist on cash payment.  I would like to encourage everyone to be very careful, especially as Spring approaches and casual workers look for cash employment.”

Here is a list of handy "do's" and "don'ts" for dealing with doorstep builders:


*        Check the identity of the caller.

*        Ask to see other work done by the builder.

*        Ask yourself: "Do I know or trust the builder"?

*        Ask how long and where they've been in business.

*        Ask if the builder is a member of a trade association.

*        Ask for advice from a family member/neighbour before deciding.

*        Deal with builders that you know or have been recommended to you.

*        If in doubt, just say "No thank you" and close the door.


*        Let a caller into your home if you are at all suspicious of them.

*        Agree to having work done without getting a second opinion.

*        Listen to scare stories, they are usually rubbish.

*        Pay any deposit, unless you are certain you want the work done.

*        Pay cash.

*        Let the builder push you into making a snap decision.

Note for Editors

For more information about `Doorstep Builders’ contact Pat Thomas (01539-773591) or Ian Johnson (01229-894525) at Cumbria County Council Trading Standards.

All other Press / Media enquiries should be made to Lorraine Hunter, Media Officer, Cumbria County Council on 01228 606337 or by e-mail