Bad builders do a great job when taking your money, but when it comes to building, things don’t go according to plan. You can always rely on them to make a project worse. Read these 5 easy steps to hire cowboy builders or risk getting scammed by professional con artists. A little reverse psychology on a subject never hurts!

Step 1: Don’t ask for qualifications.

Cowboy builders don’t train or get the necessary certification in important areas like Health & Safety. They wake up one day and decide to be a builder. That’s it.

In the UK, Quality builders join associations like the Federation of Master Builders, showing they’ve met strict guidelines like passing credit checks and a minimum of twelve months trading. These builders gladly show their certificates, no questions asked.

Step 2: Don’t ask for experience.

Cowboys don’t have good experience. Why not? Because their past jobs are bad. Really bad. If you saw them, there’s no way on earth you’d even think of hiring them.

Quality builders show proof of past projects including pictures, testimonials with contact details, references from reputable, unbiased sources, and even a high rating on review websites.

Step 3: Get an estimate, not a quote.

Cowboy builders offer estimates. This means the cost can rise and rise. You can complain, but it’s too late. It was a flexible estimate, not a fixed quote.

Quality builders give quotes with no hidden extras. They don’t have tiny small print or charge for what you’d expect for free. What you see is what you pay.

Step 4: Fall for the hard sell.

Cowboys are tough. They push and push and push until you sign on the dotted line. They won’t come back tomorrow because you’ll have time to change your mind. They must sell today. They’ll push all your buttons to get your cash, even if it means escorting you to the cashpoint.

Quality builders are under your control. You ask them to call back, and they do. You ask for time to think, and they give it. You say no, and they leave. You stay in control at all times.

Step 5: Pay everything now.

Cowboy builders demand 100% payment upfront. They don’t do instalments or deposits. They get paid everything now because they won’t show up again. When you finally realise what’s going on, they’ll be long gone with your money.

Quality builders have no problem with a deposit and instalments as the project is completed. It’s the fairest option to all. They get paid for the work they’ve done and you won’t pay a lump sum you can’t afford.

Those are the 5 easy steps to hire cowboy builders. Follow these tips and you’re almost guaranteed to lose thousands with no hope of being repaid. As a bonus, most cowboys won’t even start the work, let alone do a bad job. Without quotes and contracts, not even the police and courts can help you against bad builders. It’ll just be you versus them.