January 15, 2010 13:00 ET

Ratedpeople.com Highlights Importance of Using Professionals for Home Improvements

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Jan. 15, 2010) - Home owners planning to conduct any DIY projects on their property should be aware of the many dangers involved and consider hiring a professional according to Ratedpeople.com, the UK's largest match making service for home improvers and recommended tradesmen.

Following the news recently from Aspect Maintenance that around 70 per cent of home owners in London are planning a DIY project for 2010, Ratedpeople.com has indicated that the combination of inexperience and the potential dangers associated with DIY places home owners at risk.

It is vital that anyone preparing to make alterations to their home ensure that they are clear on how their home is wired, and where wires are located, particularly when it comes to altering walls, ceilings or flooring. Electric shocks are a common injury in DIY projects, and as such Part P of UK Building Regulations stipulates that all electrical work around a house must be carried out by a qualified electrician or "competent person". This will ensure the safety of the home owner whilst helping them to avoid the need for an inspection by Building Control, saving time and money.

Gas and plumbing safety is also of paramount importance. Gas leaks can be lethal, and any work on gas pipes or other parts of central heating systems should be conducted by a Gas Safety registered engineer, as it can also carry the long term risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Andrew Skipwith, CEO of Ratedpeople.com, said: "Electricity and gas can be major DIY hazards, and as such you need to make sure you stay safe. As an example, drilling into walls without proper protection is risky as you can damage gas pipes in the process and be liable for prosecution.

"DIYers must be confident of their abilities and make sure they are qualified to do the work that they are planning for themselves. For electrical alterations the inspections needed from Building Control can be costly, but householders can save on this expense by using contractors that have undertaken a Part P Competent Person Scheme, ensuring that any electrical work is completed to the safest standard without the extra hassle of notifying the work."

Ratedpeople.com helps home improvers find recommended tradesmen quickly and easily. You can choose from 24 different trades and find tradesmen such as local electricians, local builders or recommended plumbers.

Every month, Ratedpeople.com manages over Pounds Sterling 30m in home improvement projects with more than 1,000 tradesmen signing up, making it the UK's largest match making service for home improvers and recommended tradesmen. There are more than 55,000 ratings on Ratedpeople.com to date and its system ensures that tradesmen are only rated by previous customers who find them through the site. This results in one of the fairest and most robust rating systems on the web.

For further information on how to source a recommended tradesman in your area, visit Ratedpeople.com.

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