NaCSBA Sets New Code of Practice

by Mike Hardwick
10th August 2016

It’s been a busy couple of months, with two major self-build and renovation exhibitions completed, including the inaugural Build It Live show in Bicester. Based just five minutes away from the Graven Hill custom development project, the show saw all of the Build It experts – including myself – assembled under the biggest steel-framed ‘tent’ I’ve seen this side of a Munich Oktoberfest to offer our advice. The event was a great success, attracting thousands of visitors across the two days, and just goes to demonstrate that if you create an inspirational, advice-led event, people will come.

The second exhibition was at the National Self-Build and Renovation Centre (NSBRC) in Swindon. A small but dedicated team keeps the venue running, and the quality of their shows belies how few of them there are to put it all together.

We also held the National Custom & Self-Build Association (NaCSBA) AGM at the NSBRC. It marked my last event as CEO of NaCSBA as well as the point where I handed the reigns over to the new incumbent. I hope to continue with the organisation and will stand for the freshly-created post of consumer representative on the executive committee. As I spend so much of my time dealing with aspiring and active self-builders, it makes sense to represent their voice in the industry forum.

Michael Holmes, the chairman of NaCSBA, also announced a new development. With the UK’s self and custom build industry taking off and a government target to double the number of project completions to 20,000 by 2020, many businesses will be keen to get their share of the action. Alongside well-established companies, there will be new players. Some will become the household names of the future while others will be less successful – but how will you know who to trust?

The danger of so much choice is the increased risk of picking the wrong firm. With this in mind, NaCSBA is introducing a new code of practice for its membership. It’s proposed that any company joining the organisation will agree to the following:

  • running truthful adverts
  • providing comprehensive and helpful pre-contractual information
  • offering clear, fair contracts
  • employing staff who know about the guidelines, as well as their legal responsibilities
  • running an effective complaints handling system, or alternative third party dispute resolution service for when problems can’t be resolved in-house

There has been a positive response from NaCSBA members, so we can expect the code to be adopted soon. This means that when you see the organisation’s logo on a supplier’s website or literature, you can be assured that you’re dealing with a reputable company that has your best interests at heart. I think it’s a great step forward and the result should provide benefits for suppliers and customers alike. It certainly gets my support.

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