Not health question but related

I have more than one illness, am registered disabled plus over 65. Does anyone know how we home owners are supposed to keep our properties maintained ? Don't mention Age UK as all they can do is supply a free quote as can most other tradesmen if you ring. I need quotes to compare and also people who can do the work including extras that I am not able to do.I had a date booked for next week for my bedroom now they have cancelled and offered a date when they know I am on Holiday, it seems we have to fit into the tradesmans schedule these days even though we are the customer. I will definately not be returning to Age UKs system or recommending it as the trading standards do. Just another problem for those who own their own property after years of working to buy it.

27 Replies

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  • just tell them that date does not suit you. and give them the dates that do suit you. xx

  • Thanks Keepers, thats what I will have to do now as I can't keep changing my schedule to suit them then end up sitting around when they cancel.

  • Hi Keeper just an up date, I have got a date for work to be done, cheaper too so fingers crossed all gpoes to plan.x

  • 😊xx

  • Do you have Checkatrade in your area Katie? They list people who generally do a good job and are recommended. You could get 3 people to give you quotes and then choose one. Hope it works out as you don't need the stress. Xxxxxxx

  • I have posted on checkatrade but no replies to date.

  • I'm a recent convert to TrustedTrader & Checkatrade - I post what I want doing, when and how much I'm willing to pay and wait for the traders to quote (via the website so they have no direct contact until I have decided). I used one to remove an old TV aerial and another (last week) to replace an electric towel rail switch with a timer - £75 including a £40 switch!

    I keep thinking I need to do some painting ... then my wife brings me back to reality so I'll most likely use them for the decorating!

    Stay well!

  • just one bit of advice. I had an extension into my garage to make an ensuite and a walk in wardrobe. I also had another new bathroom made. I had non slip floors and wet room type showers which would be suitable for wheelchair use.( but not one of those utilitarian looking disabled bathrooms).My builder was able to get all of the vat off for me because at the time I had a Blue Badge. I have since been given a PIP. He said that not many people or builders know that you can do this. His accountant aporoved it. So I guess it's worth asking. As a lifelong house owner in several different countries I can only commisserate on the vagaries of tradesmen. I have learned to give them one chance to turn up and to tell them what suits me. I also watch over them like a hawk.

  • Having a blue badge is useful proof but I also have an official letter from the DWP confirming my award of indefinite DLA (I am 73 so still have DLA) so proof of PIP would also work. You can get VAToff lots of things which make life easier, so always worth asking.

  • oh yes, I meant to say that I got the vat off the work even though I only had a Blue Badge at the time. Now I have PIP it is even easier. The trouble is that some of us don't realise or forget that we can do it.

  • Thank you for the information I never knew that you could get Vat off. I am a blue badge holder and also receive the lower rate DLA. . 😀

  • Glad to hear you benefited from the info.

  • Yes littlepom, think I will have to get back to giving them one chance, as for VAT exemption I have been claimimg it for around twelve years now, the form is available on line from Vat office. There is also one for the business person. Some small businesses are Vat exempt anyway. I have a blue badge, plus high rate mobility, and have several gadgets supplied by the councils disabilities aids deptment. This as been so for many years. However fortunately I can still manage without a wheelchair but can't hold a paint brush in my hands for long or climb a ladder :) :)

  • that's good katie. I'm pleased that you have been getting your vat exemptions.

  • I was a tradesman and people like you " no offence" we would avoid like the plague. " Watch over them like a hawk" that's when we load up our tools .

  • Hope you are referring to littlepoms comment Crickey225, it is my post and I do not watch over my tradesmen infact I am quite happy to go out while they work even if that is not considered good protocol. Of course if the trust I give them is abused then everyone will know about it as I have a big following so to speak, praise where praise is earned is my motto. If poor results then no recommendation is that not fair ?? :)

  • I was a tradesman and people like you " no offence" we would avoid like the plague. " Watch over them like a hawk" that's when we load up our tools .

  • It's people like me - single, disabled elderly woman who , no offence, have to ensure that some tradesmen ( and I have experienced plenty of them) do not rip me off. Any tradesman who is going to do a good and honest job does not mind the person who is paying the bill making sure that is what they are getting. I have had plenty of those too, including the builder and his lads who spent three months building my extension and installing truly magnificent bathrooms.

  • Well said littlepom, I have had good and bad, in fact my Kitchen had to be refitted , just like something off rogue traders. I am widowed, live alone, disabled and over 65. I am very cautious about tradesmen due to being duped in the past and recently by a decorator . I had my garden paved, the workmen laboured really hard, but their boss was a "charmer" who would con the customer. And I am not joking or moaning it is a fact of life that some tradesmen are out and out rogues and we don't know who they are do we?

  • Very much a health question because it relates directly to our wellbeing but sadly as you intimate and we all know it is not much we will get any help with. Worst of all is the cost. Age Concern or Age UK or really Age Anything have given no help whatsoever. They offered a Company called 50 Plus.

    On phoning them I realise that the term "fifty plus" was the hourly rate as well as the age of people the company offering the service liked to work for. I know Age Concern can afford it, they are a charity but those of us that just need general help around the house and in the garden cannot afford the likes of £65.00 for the first hour reducing to £55 for any subsequent hours.

    All many of us need is someone to pop in for an hour or two every week or two but not have to pay outrageous money, so if someone can advise as to a good way of obtaining regular helpful support in the house or garden or both, do let me know.

    It would be great having the health to do the work, it's good exercise. As I have a habit of saying these days "it gets expensive to be ill once you are over 65".

  • Hi Wullie2009, had to laugh at your second paragraph. But it is true I would not mind paying good money except some companies just want blood with poor outcome. I work in my city as a volunteer for two groups all in the older age group and we all agree the biggest stress and downers to well being is health and the need of other peoples help which reduces the independance feeling and the bank balance . I beleive even Age UK are to put up their help at home prices, but pension rises have been eaten up with general price increases. I could give some one a room in return for help , but it's too risky in this day and age. I have managed to do a bit of gardening today but the weeds are quicker than me :) Our local MP told a 97 yrs old couple that the future looks bleak for them, may as well give up now. Enjoy your evening.

  • Where I live in Northampton I know of someone who has retired and works for a small local charity to help elderly or disabled people who can no longer look after their gardens. He goes in, trims edges, hedges and do pots if required, all free of charge. Have you enquired at the library or neighbors to see if they know or have heard of anyone willing to help. Be very careful who you get to help tho, ask them what they have done etc. Have you got family who could help you find someone and check them out on your behalf. Being on our own makes us vulnerable so don't be afraid to ask family or friends to help you find someone. Good luck 🙂

  • I have no challenge about asking, in act I believe I have run out of people to ask. Having realised that the term "pensioner" or "over 65" does appear to be that target you and others suggest i am canny, maybe too canny.

    Not on my own and believe my wife and I may have found a gardener. Early days because we haven't seen the results so shall keep my eye on things.

    It is just those little things we would like to do ourselves like a couple of pictures sat here on the floor. Maybe a few hooks, fix some castors, tidy some wiring. boring little things that mount up, mostly indoors now if we think the garden may be working out.

    Double the minimum or suggested wage would be a treat it appears. the £30, £40, £50 would be acceptable at a stretch for the rare occasion but for a nice regular little earner of an hour or two a week at a sensible price I thought would be a good little earner for someone and such a great help to me.

    I love the thought of the free and helpful local lass or lad that would be a blessing indeed. But will follow up your other suggestions.

    Here's wishing all a relaxing Sunday, as much as you can.

  • I share your sentiment Wullie2009, these small jobs could be a good earner for neighbours ect. I have a curtain rail needs rehanging, amongst other things in the house. I can't do my windows indoors either, need some rubbish cleared and an old carpet uplifted, plus an old armchair removing from lounge but to name a few jobs. It seems so silly that there are hundreds out there unemployed, I do not expect things for free but small jobs could keep idle hands busy say for a gift in kind. Hope your gardener works out OK. Just another thought maybe some of the isolated pensioners might appreciate helping others in return for company, especially if their income is low. There is no perfect solution but one things for certain pensioners cannot continue to pay these high prices, anymore than low income families can.

  • Thanks for that, I do have some family contacts and my grandaughter did one bedroom for me while on maternity leave. I know a plumber who is good he did some work to finish off my Kitchen. Had some carpenters in to do flat pack were very good but not cheap. Lad in the same street does carpentry too but he charges £75 a day and is only average, and has to do it around working a full time job, but very trustworthy if you don't mind waiting. Those who are highly recommended are usually very busy. I've had odd jobs done on bank holidays if your paying cash. I could do with a regular gardener, window cleaner and the jobs on the house are endless. Get fed up with people who say I can do it when they know they can't fit it in. The longer the jobs are left the harder they are to do . Anyway thanks for your help Jummie, see how I get on with this new decorator, sounds good and was quick to answer. Most of the larger jobs I have insurance cover for , like plumbing , leaks, drains electric, white goods repairs. It cost me £400 for a repair to my security door lock, but apparently that's average and he was out within the hour, clean worker and very pleasant.

  • Ask CAB in your area as we have people whom the council recommend who do things like putting disabled rails, curtain poles & ? that needs done very cheply

  • Know a couple of CAB volunteers so thanks for suggestion I will be looking at alternatives in a couple of weeks.

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