Our top tips for choosing a reputable Resin contractor

Many industries in Construction have their fair share of ‘cowboys’ and with the increasing popularity of Resins over the last few years, the resin industry is unfortunately no exception to this. As the leaflet below shows, it is now very easy for someone with no knowledge or experience of Resins to enter the market, which in an industry that requires extensive technical knowledge and experience is worrying to say the least.

We’ve put together a few tips to help you to protect yourself from those jumping on the resin ‘bandwagon’ and to give you peace of mind when it comes to choosing a reputable contractor for your project.

CONTRACTOR PIC

Are they a ‘Jack of all trades’?

As the well-known cliché implies, it is unlikely that any contractor can be an expert in everything. If a Contractor is offering other services such as block paving, tarmac, landscaping…. and now Resins, it is likely that they may not have the necessary depth of knowledge required to install something as technical as resins as well. It is therefore more important in these instances to check out the company further to ensure they have the relevant skills and experience. Installing resins is not just a transferrable skill acquired from other practical trades, it requires a certain skill set, which is why it is a trade in its own right.

Technical knowledge of resin systems takes years to acquire, which is why this is all we do.

Are they Approved?

Before enlisting the services of a contractor do your research into the resin systems they propose to use. Very often, a supplier will have an ‘approved installer’ system in place (particularly suppliers of premium quality products) where the contractor will need to be trained and vetted to install their products; a license as such. Suppliers such as these care that their products are being installed by contractors who have reached set standards for quality etc.

When obtaining quotations for your project, ask to see the contractor’s ‘Approved Installer’ certificates and don’t just take the contractors word for it. A quick call to the manufacturer of the systems they are proposing to use will verify if they are approved to install their products.

Are they trained?

When we say trained, we don’t mean, have they done a quick ‘2-day course’, we mean have the site team undertaken any formal resin qualifications and have the management team undertaken any formal management qualifications for project managing the work?

A qualification in Resin Flooring can take around 2 years to complete and having a qualified team responsible for your project ensures the installation is carried out by people which have the right skills and also the experience.

Again, don’t just take the contractors word for it. Check out their credentials by asking to see certificates or contacting the awarding body or FeRFA; the Resin Flooring Association. A credible company will be upfront about providing these.

Are their pictures really their work?

It is very common for any new entrant to the resin market to be offered ‘stock photos’ of projects by resin wholesalers, meaning many contractors are laying claim to the exact same project. We’ve even come across our own project photos being passed off as someone else’s. Take time to investigate and don’t be afraid to ask for project references.

Are they a franchise?

Many Resin franchises have set up in recent year, enabling contractors to ‘buy’ their way into the market through the franchise route, meaning they can enter the market quickly and easily and with little or no prior experience. Franchisees are also often provided with project ‘stock photos’ to help them get established, which are not projects carried out by the company in question. Be cautious when engaging with such a company as they may be very new to the market.

How long have they been trading?

When we undertake projects to rectify another contractor’s work, all too often the reason the company in question isn’t putting the work right themselves is because they have gone out of business. Ultimately this causes the client more expense to have the work put right.

You can protect yourself from the ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ contractors aiming to make a quick buck by checking out the company’s trading history. If they are relatively new to the industry, they may not necessarily have built up the required knowledge and experience yet, so exercise caution.

Do they have the right equipment?

When you have been in the industry as long as we have, we’ve seen it all! A reputable resin company will invest in the correct tools, equipment and plant to carry out all the preparation and installation works. With the resin industry being so specialist, it being, as you would expect the equipment required is specialist also, which comes at a cost. In the UK there are only a handful of manufacturers who supply these. Of course, there will always be contractors that will take shortcuts to save on this expenditure and ignore correct installation methods, which could ultimately compromise the surface.

A cement mixer being used to install resins you say?! Hmmm...

Are they fully insured?

A bona fide contractor will have the relevant public and product liability insurances in place, not to mention Employers liability insurance to ensure their workforce is protected. An appropriate level of cover is £5m public liability, £2m product liability and £10m Employers liability, at least. Don’t be afraid to ask to see a copy of the contractor’s insurances, a bona fide contractor will be used to being asked for these, and it ultimately gives you peace of mind that you are protected if something should go wrong.

Accreditations and Associations

Is the contractors a member of any trade association or accreditation scheme? By being part of a recognised trade body (like FeRFA; The Resin Flooring Association) or having undertaken recognised accreditation schemes gives you peace of mind that the company has been assessed by an independent third party and vetted against their standards for quality, health and safety etc. A company that has gone to the efforts to achieve these will have had to demonstrate their capabilities and competence and using such a contractor minimises your chances of your project being carried out by a rogue trader.

Do:

  • Use recommendations. If you see what appears to be a quality installation, ask for details of the installers
  • Be wary of companies who only have a mobile phone contact number, facebook page, minimal trading history or operate from a residential address
  • Do you research into the installer and the products they propose to use
  • Check if the installer is a member of any recognised body or accreditation scheme, and whether they have the necessary qualifications to undertake the work
  • Check that the installer is an approved Installer of the manufacturer
  • Get a quotation and full details of the work they propose to carry out in writing
  • If possible, visit their premises to discuss the works and to see that they are a legitimate and quality company
  • Get alternative quotations for consideration

Don't

  • Don’t pay for a quotation or general advice; reputable contractors will not charge you for a site visit
  • Don’t pay a deposit up front, many contractors do not comply with legislation and will ask for money in advance of any works being carried out
  • Don’t feel pressurised into making a decision before you are ready and don’t be afraid to ask
  • questions about the works that are proposed or the team that will carry out the project
  • Don’t use a company willing to lay on an unstable or broken sub-base
  • Don’t be misled by offers of discounts and special offers (e.g no VAT to pay)
  • Be wary if you are asked by the contractor to pay for the works in cash
  • And finally, before accepting the cheapest quote, do your homework; it may be cheap for a reason! What you might save now, could end up costing you far more down the line.



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