Archive | February, 2013

The Fit Show

22 Feb

If ever there was a gap in the market, it was for a national window, door and conservatory Trade Show with a focus on new products and services, networking, establishing new business contacts, meeting existing suppliers and attending seminars and presentations.

‘Somewhere, everyone who is passionate about our industry could come together under one roof.’

Well, it seems this gap has been filled, in the form of ‘The Fabricator Installer and Trade Show’ or as it is more commonly known ‘The FIT Show’.

Fit show logo

In the words of show co-organiser and company director Paul Godwin

“The FIT Show is designed to provide information, ideas, inspiration and a powerful forum for fabricators, installers and the trade to come together in a friendly, creative environment that will also be fun.”

“Most markets of this size enjoy their own annual showcase. It continues to be a dynamic, vibrant industry that is constantly changing and demanding new ideas and energies,”

So, what does this inspirational show have to offer?

There will be great competitions, including one sponsored by FENSA namely ‘The Master Fitter Challenge‘. To win this will by no means be an easy achievement, as it is a real examination of commitment and skill, designed to test the professionalism of fitting teams, through a series of rigorous assessments and appraisals, created and carried out by GQA, and ultimately a Live Fitting Competition at The Finals to be held at the FIT Show.

Good Luck to all the finalists!

The Fit Show will run from the 16th to 18th April at the Telford International Centre

How to avoid the cowboy builder

15 Feb

The issue of cowboy builders is an important one and can never be understated.
Although the majority of tradespeople offer a great, professional service, you need to be aware of a small minority who are unskilled and can act in a criminal manner.

If unwittingly, you become involved with a cowboy builder, you could find yourself left with a very poor job. You could also find yourself out of pocket or even threatened in extreme circumstances. This is why it is prudent to take precautions to ensure you are dealing with a bona fide tradesperson.

Schemes such as FENSA, where registered companies are vetted and regularly inspected, ensure when you use them, you can be confident you will receive a competent, professional job.

43866361 window with snow

FENSA proactively protects consumers from the cowboys – not only by withholding the scheme from those unable to pass FENSA’s independent assessments; but also by reporting to Local Authorities and Trading Standards companies who erroneously claim FENSA registration, to enable prosecution. A Builder was recently fined for displaying misleading information on his van. You can read more about this case here http://bit.ly/12nW0MJ

So, let’s see how to avoid a cowboy builder.

Here is a useful check list:

Is his van unmarked?
Wrong: Most reputable builders will have their accreditations registered on their van. They would want to advertise their credentials. For example, a FENSA fitter will have the FENSA logo on his van with his registration number, which you can use to check he is legitimate.

Has he asked for full cash payment up front?
Wrong: A reputable builder will discuss payment with you and get it down in writing so you know exactly where you stand.

Do you know anything about the builder and his previous work?
Wrong: It is far better to get a recommendation from friends or family who have been happy with the service they have received from their builder. Or you could ask to speak to their previous customers and take a look at the work they did for them.

Does he want to get started straightaway?
Wrong: This could be a sign he will start many jobs around your area then just disappear with your money and the work unfinished. Make sure you have the business address and landline number. Although, if he is a cowboy builder, it will more than likely be impossible to track him down.

cowboys

So, try to follow these tips and you can help put an end to the cowboy builder. Take a step back and analyse exactly what you want. Do some research, take advice from friends and colleagues. Don’t rush in to decisions. If possible, get 2 or 3 quotes from recommended builders. Make an informed decision!

Building Blocks Series 4: The Louvre Pyramid

11 Feb

The next iconic building in our Building Blocks series is in the form of a huge glass and metal structure, namely The Louvre Pyramid.

800px-Louvre_Museum_Wikimedia_Commons

Source Wikipedia

It is interesting to note the reason it was built. It was commissioned by President Mitterand in 1985, as a new visitor entrance to the Louvre complex, as the Louvre’s original main entrance was struggling with the huge number of visitors. People now enter through the pyramid, going down into a lobby area and then going up into the main Louvre buildings.

As you can imagine, due to its futuristic look, the thought of this 20m tall, glass edifice caused a great deal of consternation. People worried that it would not be in keeping with the classical architecture of the Louvre.

Designed by Ming Pei, construction went ahead and the pyramid was completed in 1989. The Louvre Pyramid stands 20.6m tall, with sides measuring 35m. It is covered with 673 pieces of lightly tinted glass to match the honey-coloured stone facades of the Louvre itself.

Whether the contrasting styles merge successfully is open to debate but as a glass building in its own right, the Louvre Pyramid stands proud!