There are groups of vulnerable people that are constantly being harassed and who have their life savings taken by unscrupulous members of the building sector. These so-called tradesmen have no morals, are only intent on robbing you and are rightly called ‘cowboys’.
There have been numerous television programmes about people who get into your house on false pretences, perhaps claiming that, just as they were passing, they noticed your roof was in disrepair, the chimney stack was crumbling, there was evidence of dampness in your walls or that the driveway could be re-surfaced with tarmac for a very reasonable fee.
There are others who might appear to trade legitimately, but have no real knowledge or the desire to work professionally. They often require an initial down payment and are then never seen again; this is probably the cheapest way of getting rid of them. Alternatively, they continue with the job, which gets bigger and more expensive and then, when you complain about the total cost become extremely unpleasant and threatening until you pay up.
Don’t get involved with anybody that tries to sell you their services by knocking on the door or by ringing you just as you are about to start your evening meal. A cowboy doesn’t deserve your time or politeness. Get rid of them, quickly.
If you need building work undertaken, speak to friends, neighbours and the local Trade Associations. Ask to see work that the builder has completed, obtain at least three proper estimates and above all, seek out references.