With heightened awareness of external shading, particularly because of the extended heat wave of 2018, many consumers are now opting to purchase ready for the Summer of 2019. However, following the recent demise of another so called reputable outdoor living company, it highlights the importance of doing extensive background checks before investing in an external shading system as quality products cost in the thousands of pounds and are not a decision to take lightly. Not only do you want a quality product, you want to ensure the company you are purchasing from is legitimate, installs the product correctly and will be there down the line should something go wrong.
Firstly, and most importantly check the company out on companies house. This will confirm as a minimum the length of time the company has been established in its current format and the company directors. A more extensive check (for which a small fee may apply) will further tell you how many other companies the directors are involved in, whether these are active or have gone into liquidation / closed down. This is a really good insight into the companies ethos, values and honesty.
When receiving a quotation, make sure everything you have been advised verbally is confirmed in writing and that the full goods specification, installation and electrical details are provided along with guarantee terms, quality standards the products are certified to, use of the product and what insurances they have should anything go wrong. Furthermore make sure at survey you have been shown physical samples of the system, fabrics, controls etc so you can see first hand exactly what you are being quoted for and would be receiving if you do progress. Be sure to ask to see photos of actual installations this company has undertaken (not their suppliers stock photos) and if you have a tricky or unusual installation photos of similar or technically complex installations they have done.
Installation is paramount, external shading systems are highly technical products that require a perfect fixing and attachment, so installers should be trained by the system manufacturer and have evidence of this. Be sure to find out the type of fixings used for your surface and why along with the mounting height and extended height (in the case of an awning) – this should be detailed in the quotation too. Additionally, are the installers employed by the firm or simply sub contractors who install a number of different products from one day to the next and work on a per job basis, therefore are more focussed on volume than quality and attention to detail.
And last but not least, for added peace of mind, make a payment on credit card, as in the event of a company not delivering what you have ordered you are protected and can reclaim normally all of the monies paid upto that point. Any reputable company will offer card payment as an option.
At Caribbean Blinds we’re proud to be the only company in the UK dedicated solely to the field of external shading, providing sound, honest, expert advice on the right external shading system for your application, requirements and budget. For over 30 years (established 1987 with an unbroken history) we have been providing superior products that deliver genuine benefits, made right here in the UK at our factory in Sudbury, Suffolk to exacting standards, all expertly installed by our own skilled technicians and backed with a fully comprehensive guarantee covering parts, labour and our workmanship.
If you would like to find out more about Caribbean Blinds and our products you can browse the comprehensive information found on this website or contact one of our friendly team on 0344 800 1947 who will be more than happy to assist with your enquiry.