© Copyright Jeff Howell –all rights reserved
Buying and maintaining a home is the greatest single item of expenditure in most peoples' lives, but the average person embarks upon home ownership with surprisingly little idea about how to look after their prize investment.
In an ideal world, homeowners would engage the professionals - Chartered Surveyors - to advise them, and to arrange and supervise building work. But most people are unwilling to pay the professional fees involved.
Into this breach leap the companies and individuals offering 'free' surveys. Homeowners never seem to realize that this might be little more than a crude marketing trick.
People complain about the difficulty of finding a good builder, but there is no shortage of adverts for 'quick-fix' solutions for leaky roofs, draughty windows and damp walls.
The most common question I get asked is, 'How can I find a decent builder?' But this is often the wrong question. What the homeowner should really be asking is, 'What building work does my home need, and what is the best way of getting this done?' This website is for anybody seeking the answers to those questions. To search for my previous Sunday Telegraph pieces please visit www.telegraph.co.uk/property