New NaCSBA Code of Practice will help Self Builders make decisions with confidence

by Mike Hardwick
7th May 2019

One of the worst situations we can face as self builders and renovators is a dispute with construction workers or suppliers.

Both sides will claim they are right, while doing their utmost to pass responsibility to the other side – especially as significant sums of money are involved – and everyone will be losing sleep as a result of the stress.

These situations are relatively rare, but they can happen and when they do, you can feel pretty helpless.

Some of the larger companies will be part of the wider trade organisations, such as the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), which offers an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service if there are serious disagreements between a client and one of its members.

Under this process, a third party looks at the issues and acts as a mediator to negotiate a way forward. This breaks the deadlock and offers a mutually acceptable solution.

This is fine for those trade bodies that offer such a service, but many of the suppliers and builders you employ will not be large enough to be part of such an organisation, or will be providing a solution that is not covered by a larger body with ADR provision.

While all firms dealing with consumers need to signpost an ADR facility, not all make this clear and it can be confusing.

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NaCSBA has identified a need for such an amenity in the self build industry for the benefit of its members and customers looking for trustworthy companies.  Welcome, then, to the NaCSBA Code of Practice, which is now live.

In 2019 you will see more adverts from NaCSBA members displaying the NaCSBA logo alongside their own.

Companies showing this logo are the ones that are happy to engage with you and undertake to treat you fairly. They should understand that a novice self builder might need a little more help, a little less jargon and more of a steer towards the right products for their requirements and budget.

These firms have also demonstrated their commitment to the concept of custom and self building by investing in the industry through NaCSBA membership.

The hope is that the presence of their logo will offer reassurance that you are dealing with a business that is on your side.

Realistically, the Code of Practice is not going to eradicate all customer complaints overnight and there will still be issues that need to be resolved through ADR.

Read more: How to deal with poor workmanship on site

NaCSBA has therefore teamed up with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) who will be the organisation’s external ADR provider. NaCSBA has already proved the process with the satisfactory resolution of a seemingly intractable grievance, and hopefully any future disputes will have the same positive outcome.

You can find out the full details on the NaCSBA website by following the Code of Practice links.

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