Why Choose A Regional Home Improvement Company?
There’s a significant number of home improvement companies to choose from and deciding on the best one for your new single storey lifestyle extension, orangery, conservatory or brand new energy efficient windows and doors can be difficult and even sometimes overwhelming.
The key points to consider when choosing the right company for you and your home are; product and installation quality, price, reputation and even locality.
Typically, you have 3 types of company or installer to consider:
- A regional company
- A national company or
- An independent “man in a van” type company
We always advocate choosing a regional company and here’s some important reasons why:
Advantages of a Regional company
• Expert local knowledge
A local company will have an in depth understanding of local planning laws and building regulations and can therefore advise you when and how these will apply to your home and the proposed improvement. As importantly, they will also be able to take care of these processes for you, giving you greater peace of mind.
• Nearby customer service
A regional installer close to home will have a team of locally dedicated service engineers that can quickly and easily be called out should you require any guarantee work or experience any problems with your installation. A reputable regional company like Clearview also provides you with local showrooms which are there not only to help you with ideas and inspiration, they’re also there if you want to talk to someone.
• Get a first-hand recommendation
Friends and family may have had home improvements of their own done by a regional company, so you can always ask those close to you for an evaluation of how they rate them. You can also visit local projects.
What are the disadvantages of dealing with a national company or a one-man-band?
Disadvantages of a National company
• Impersonal service
Following the point of sale, your project becomes part of a nationally managed service which removes the focus on those requirements that are important to you. Generally, you will have contact numbers to phone but no idea on who will be managing your project from start to finish.
Again, if there are issues following the installation, your project becomes a ‘small tooth on a large cog’ and an appointment will be made when it geographically suits the company and not the customer.
A reputable regional company like Clearview has a dedicated team of local Service Engineers managed by our Customer Services team. Not only will we agree the appointment to suit you, we’ll even tell you who’s coming and how we intend to resolve the situation.
• No showroom
National companies generally do not have a local showroom which means you are limited to the product knowledge and design insight of the sales person in your home. Equally, it is virtually impossible to see the ‘installation quality’ first hand when you are limited to a window sample on the floor or even just photos on a laptop. National companies argue that by not investing in showrooms they keep their prices down. When quoting against them we have not found this to be the case. If you claimed to have the ‘best’ wouldn’t you want to show it off?
A reputable regional company like Clearview recognises the importance of showrooms with local staff and installation teams. You will feel at ease in the knowledge you are dealing with staff who genuinely care about you and your home improvement project. Clearview’s staff can also advise you on similar installations near you which we can arrange for you to see as well as giving you the opportunity to meet the team behind the brand. In our experience, an impressive showroom display fills in the gaps in the buying journey for many of our customers.
• No local presence
If a national company has a showroom or Head Office it may be miles away from where you live, so you are limited to contact by phone calls alone. It provides greater peace of mind when you choose a regional company whose customer base is locally focussed.
• Uncompetitive finance
There are some national companies whose finance options come with expensive rates of interest, they may even try and tempt you to a further discount by using their finance. Please take caution here; this is in direct breach of the FCA’s ‘Treating customers fairly’ and ‘Misusing credit to induce or misappropriate a sale’.
Disadvantages of a one-man-band
• Failure to honour warranties
When a product unexpectedly fails you are usually covered by the warranty issued at the time of purchase.
It is not uncommon for some independent suppliers of windows, doors and conservatories to refuse to acknowledge any such claims.
This may force you to refer the dispute to the Financial Ombudsman Service and it can be a very time consumingand stressful process.
• No Insurance Backed Guarantee
An Insurance Backed Guarantee (IBG) gives you peace of mind should your chosen home improvement company cease trading. The IBG honours your original guarantees so you can rest assured that any necessary replacement products or service is provided free of charge by the provider. Generally speaking, small independents simply cannot offer you this peace of mind.
• No access to home improvement loans
It is unlikely that small independent home improvement companies will have any kind of credit facility. A credit facility gives the homeowner the option to fund their home improvement using a lender’s money via the home improvement company’s credit licence. In principle this is very useful if a customer doesn’t have the required funds immediately available or if they simply do not wish to use their own money to finance the improvement. In and of themselves, credit facilities can be useful to facilitate a much needed improvement whilst providing an affordable and convenient way to pay for it. In addition to this, you get the ‘double indemnity guarantee’ under consumer credit law.
A small independent company will unfortunately not be able to offer you this facility nor the advantages it comes with.
Make your house a home with Clearview, your regional home improvement specialist.