Flintshire company is the first in UK to win backing from TV consumer protection expert

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A North Wales garden room company has become the first in the UK to win the seal of approval from one of the UK’s top expert witnesses, who advises TV shows such as Cowboy Builders and Rogue Traders.

Rubicon Garden Rooms, based in Deeside, is the first company to be accredited by the new Master Garden Room Installers Association, founded by building standards guru Don Waterworth.

Don, an expert witness who advises police forces and councils on rogue trader cases, also advises TV consumer rights programmes, including BBC’s Rogue Traders and Channel 5’s Cowboy Builders with Dom Littlewood.

He has thirty years’ experience vetting traders and advising on trades disputes, and set up the MWCIA accreditation scheme to help consumers choose top quality builders, and protect them from getting ripped off.

Rubicon Garden Rooms is the first garden room company to be accredited by the Master Garden Room Installers Association, a new sub-genre of the Master Window and Conservatory Association, after impressing Don with their excellent track record for high quality work, and services.

The company uses aviation technology to create unique outdoor offices, spas, gyms, hobby and art studios for customers across the UK, and is on track for a record turnover of £1m next year after recently celebrating its 5th anniversary.

Don said: “I was very impressed by Rubicon Garden Rooms.

“All of our members go through a rigorous process to become accredited and we only allow one contractor per post code so it is an elite rating.

“This means if customers choose one of our members, then they will get a first-class service, Rubicon Garden Rooms is the first garden room company we have accredited. and we are delighted to give them our backing.”

“The garden rooms that Rubicon do are beautiful. The set up John has got, the way he does business, his knowledge and the interest he has in his customers is exactly what we are looking for from our members.

When you meet John you know this is someone who has got tremendous passion and experience. He goes to every job on the first day an makes sure the customer is going to get what they have been promised. You can see talking to John it’s a real passion, and the best companies are like this.”

Don said he first started working with TV’s Dom Littlewood over a decade ago and has since supported consumer protection programmes to inspect the quality of work, and provide support in prosecutions arising from investigations.

He said: “Dom Liltlewood is absolutely fabulous to work with, one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. His programmes genuinely help people, and he really wants to sort the bad guys out.

“I see lots of cases where people have been let down, sometimes work has been done and it’s just a mess, but people don’t know what do and where to go for help. Just because someone is advertising their services doesn’t mean they are going o do a good job. I saw one case recently where an elderly man had been charged £118,000 for £10,000 of work, and that will end up in court.

“In another case a conservatory roof was collapsing and dangerous, we got all the money back on that through Cowboy Builders, and we got one of our members to put a new roof, but it took a 12 months and a court case to resolve.

“When jobs go wrong it’s a very long process, to pursue someone on court is a slow slow process and you don’t want to be there.

“You want to choose somebody good in the first place to make sure you choose someone who’s going to do a good job. That’s why people buy from our members, because they get peace of mind.

Don added: “We work very closely with Trading Standards we are very keen that all of our members retain very high standards, and look after the customers, we have a mediation service in case there is a complaint but these are very rare indeed as the companies we accredit know they need to maintain the highest standards.”

“We also have a regular newsletter to educate our members, and we publish a rogues’ gallery for consumers to show the disastrous consequences of what can go wrong if you choose the wrong contractor.

“Your home which should be your castle can become a disaster area. Don’t assume all tradesmen can do what they say they can do. If people pick the wrong company and they end up going to court that can be an absolute nightmare.”

The endorsement comes as Rubicon Garden Rooms has also recently also won a separate Trading Standards award for Most Positive Feedback Received in 2019, as part of the North Wales Buy With Confidence scheme.

Buy With Confidence is a national approval scheme designed to help customers find suppliers which are approved by Trading Standards officers, and the award follows positive comments provided to the scheme by customers.

John Lyon said: “We are delighted to be accredited with the MWICA. Don’s credentials are impeccable and his backing is yet another endorsement of the high quality of the work we do, ensuring our customers receive the best possible product, service and value for money.

All of our garden rooms are designed bespoke to suit the individual customers’ needs, including space available and budget. We pride ourselves on the excellent quality of our garden rooms, which are all zero maintenance and built to last in excess of 30 years.

“The Buy With Confidence award is a further testament to the excellent work by our staff to ensure the nest possible quality product and service for our customers.”

Rubicon Garden Rooms was set up by former Airbus engineer John after he spotted a demand for people who wanted to expand their living space for office or leisure use, without moving home, going through lengthy a applications for planning permission.

The company now builds around 40-50 garden rooms a year for clients across the UK including in Cheshire, Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and further afield in London, Halifax, Leicester and Bristol.

The bespoke, top of the range modular buildings have helped several businesses to expand by creating outdoor office space and meeting rooms which are fully insulated for year-round use, and plumbed in with kitchens and toilets, cutting overheads for company rent.

The rooms are popular with home workers keen to improve their work-life balance, as well as those seeing to expand leisure and exercise space at home with a dedicated area for art, music, crafts, a gym, yoga space or spa.

The Buy With Confidence award for Most Positive Feedback Received in 2019 was presented to Rubicon Richard Powell, Team Leader at Flintshire TraDding Standards department, and Councillor Christopher Bithell, Flintshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Community and Business Protection.

Cllr Bithell said: “It is very pleasing to see businesses sign up to the Trading Standards Buy With Confidence scheme, a scheme that makes it easier for consumers to find good reliable local trades people to carry out work or buy goods from. It is also especially pleasing to see a Flintshire company get this award for so much positive feedback from their customers”