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Picking the right property as a First Time Buyer

  • Posted by Louise Cook Monday Jun 12, 2017
If you’re in the powerful position of being a first-time buyer after saving hard, perhaps for many years then you’re now able to move quickly when you spot the right property. But having the luxury of choice is both a blessing and a curse. Knowing when to take the plunge and commit to the biggest financial decision of your life so far might mean you keep putting it off, meanwhile the housing market could be getting stronger and you can no longer afford what you were looking at all those months ago.
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Scales of Justice have been locked away for good?

  • Posted by Steve Playle Wednesday Jun 07, 2017
When I first came into a career in Trading Standards over 30 years ago – in fact, well over 30 years ago – a fair proportion of my work was based around the enforcement of the Weights and Measures Act. In actual fact, the Trading Standards profession was born out of the role of Inspectors of Weights and Measures, originally appointed by Acts of Parliament way back in the 1830s. Their work was mainly concerned with checking the physical weights, measures and scales used by traders.
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Spot a rogue trader from a mile away

  • Posted by Louise Cook Tuesday May 30, 2017
With the internet at our disposal, we have full reign for finding tradespeople at the click of a few buttons. Time is scarce and finding someone quickly and cheaply Is often high on our priority list. But what could save you time and money at first could end up costing you much more of both, taking months or even years to rectify if you become the victim of a cowboy builder. With some simple steps you can save yourself time and money with the reassurance you have found someone fit for the job.
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Have a complaint? Instead of reaching for a metaphorical revolver, try using Resolver!

  • Posted by Steve Playle Friday May 19, 2017
Over the last few years, my blog has provided advice on what to do when things go wrong with a home improvement or repair contract that you may have entered into. The main theme of my advice has always been about communication – being clear with the trader about the nature of the problem, what you would like them to do to put it right and when it should be completed by.
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TrustMark jumps at the chance to sky dive for charity

  • Posted by Louise Cook Tuesday May 16, 2017
On 3rd June, 7 of us will be throwing ourselves out of a plane at 10,000ft in aid of a great cause. We’ll be raising money for our local charity of choice, FareShare. Their efforts are spent redistributing surplus food that is of perfectly good quality but would otherwise go to waste, to those who need it most.
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Getting paid on time

  • Posted by Louise Cook Friday May 12, 2017
TrustMark receives calls day-in day-out from tradespeople with disputes over payments with their customers, and of course, we also get many calls from customers withholding payment because they have cause for concern over the work carried out. Efforts to keep both you and your customers happy and protected has probably up until now been rather fruitless. But there is good news which will stop things getting to this awkward stage, and what’s more there is a low-cost way that you can stabilise your income, which your customers will thank you for!
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Unsolicited phone calls ring any bells?

  • Posted by Steve Playle Monday May 08, 2017
Those of us with mobile phones are now conditioned to the steady stream of speculative calls received from anonymous call centres. Sometimes they say we can claim compensation for a recent car accident and sometimes they say we can get big cash payments after signing up for payment protection insurance on an old loan or credit card.
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Spring gardening for renters

  • Posted by Louise Cook Friday Apr 21, 2017
April has been a scorcher so far and It’s looking hopeful for a long, fantastic British summer. One thing that does need a bit of TLC before the summer arrives however is my garden. I live in a rented property, which means the garden has lacked a lot of care and attention for goodness knows how long before I moved in.
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Think safety first when reaching new heights

  • Posted by Steve Playle Thursday Apr 13, 2017
It’s that time of year again when the sap is rising, the days are getting longer, temperatures are increasing and the prospect of a four day Easter break means that there is time to carry out some DIY. The external paintwork of your home may be looking cracked and flaky and a few days up a ladder may be required.
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Time to sell your home?

  • Posted by Steve Playle Friday Mar 31, 2017
Now that spring has sprung with the daffodils coming through and trees in full blossom, some of us are thinking about moving home. It may be due to a growing family, caused by a new job in a different part of the country or maybe a downsizing exercise after children have finally moved out. Either way, selling your home can be an extremely intimidating and daunting task.

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TrustMark's blog features tips, advice and inspiration for homeowners on all repair and home improvement issues and showcases some of the best projects our registered tradespeople have worked on.

With insight from our expert contributors, including Trading Standards expert Steve Playle, we hope you enjoy our blog and are able to take away helpful information and be inspired to do work on your homes.