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We’re looking for a new conservatory, windows and doors for our home. It’s a considerable investment – how do we find a home improvements company that we can trust?

The very first thing you should do is:

Your homework

Have any of your friends or family recently had work done on their property? Or a neighbour, perhaps? Ask them what they thought of the company that carried out the work and whether they’d recommend them.

Don’t just ask for their thoughts on the final product, either. Ask them what they thought of the whole process. What were the sales team like? Were the installers professional? Did the aftercare meet their expectations? And what impact has the work had on their property? Have they noticed a decrease in energy bills?

A series of positive responses means there’s a good chance you’re dealing with a reputable company that cares about the product and service it provides. More importantly, you’re getting this information from someone you know and can trust.

Here at Stormclad, an independent survey found that 90% of our customers would happily recommend us to family and friends. It’s this level of approval that you should be looking for in any business – especially one that’s going to be making changes to your home.

Check accreditations

The second thing you should do is check which – if any – consumer trade bodies the company is accredited by.

The Which logo

Which? Trusted Trader Scheme is one of the best known. To be endorsed by Which? companies must go through a vigorous vetting process. This includes checks of the company’s business procedures, financial health and customer satisfaction. The business owners will even be interviewed by a Which? assessor, who will ask questions designed to help them understand the finer details of how the business is run.

A company is only awarded Trusted Trader status once all relevant checks are complete and Which? is confident that the company is reputable and solvent with an excellent track record.

Other relevant accreditations worth looking for before hiring a home improvements company include:

And if they offer finance:

Accreditation from the GGF is especially important if you’re looking for a company to install products such as windows, doors and conservatories. As with the Trusted Trader Scheme this is achieved through an independent vetting procedure that ensures customers benefit from guarantees, transferable warranties and dispute resolution as standard.

Once this research is complete you should have a pretty good idea as to whether the business in question is one you would want to work with.