Where to complain about home building or home improvements
Here you will find information on the various organisations that deal with trades and professions involved in home building or home improvements in Ireland. Many professions are involved in home improvements and the major ones are listed here. Many service suppliers are not members of any trade or professional body and you may not be able to complain to any of these organisations. The best way to ensure that you get the service that you are looking for is to follow the advice given in our document Your rights when you buy a service. Consumer contracts are protected by the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act, 1980. If you have a contract with a service supplier you can expect that:
- The supplier has the necessary skill to provide the service
- The service will be provided with proper care and diligence
- The materials used will be sound and that goods supplied with the service will be of merchantable quality
In a service contract, at the very least, you should ensure that you know the price of the service and the time that it will take to complete the agreed work.
General Craftsmen and Trades
The National Guild of Master Craftsmen is a representative organisation for trades and professions. They run a complaints service and will act as an intermediary in a dispute between a consumer and a member of theirs.
The Construction Industry Register Ireland (CIRI) is an official online register of builders, contractors, specialist sub-contractors and tradespersons who undertake to carry out construction works. You can make a formal complaint if a registered member has failed to adhere to CIRI's Code of Ethics. You can read more about making a complaint on the CIRI website.
HomeBond, the National House Building Guarantee Scheme, is a scheme established by the Construction Industry Federation and the Irish Home Builders Association, in conjunction with the Department of the Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government. It ensures that proper building standards are maintained and protects purchasers by underwriting any major structural defects in new homes. Buyers should check that their particular builder or developer is Homebond registered. Further information is available on the Homebond website. Homebond can be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone 1850 306 300.
The Pyrite Resolution Board has set up a scheme for the remediation of significant damage to dwellings caused by pyritic heave. This damage can occur when there is pyrite in the hardcore material used. You can get more information about the scheme and apply for it online at pyriteboard.ie.
The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland aims to protect the public by insisting on high standards of professional conduct and admitting only properly examined members.
Auctioneers and Valuers
The Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers is the representative body for auctioneers. It is self-governing and operates a code of practice. It has a complaints procedure for members of the public and a compensation fund for cases of misappropriation of clients’ funds. You can also make complaints about auctioneers and estate agents to the Property Services Regulatory Authority.
The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) is the professional body for Chartered Surveyors.
Register of Electrical Contractors of Ireland (RECI) is a voluntary self-regulatory body for the electrical contracting industry. It aims to promote and protect the interests of the public as users of electrical service so that they obtain an acceptable standard of workmanship and technical competence within the electrical contracting industry. RECI investigates complaints about the standard of work of registered contractors.
Electrical Contractors Safety and Standards Association Ltd. (ECSSA) is a voluntary self-regulatory body for the electrical contracting industry. It aims to improve the standards of electrical installation work in Ireland by promoting and protecting the interests of the public relating to electrical services. A complaint about an ECSSA member will be investigated by an ECSSA Inspector.
Institution of Engineers of Ireland is the regulatory organisation for professional engineering in Ireland. One of its aims is to maintain standards of professional ethics and conduct.
Currently there are no representative bodies for plumbers. However, if you are installing or working on a gas heating system or cooker it is important for your safety that you get a competent gas installer. Bord Gáis, as part of a safety assurance programme, maintains a list of competent gas installers. Irish Standards exist (I.S. 813 or I.S. 820) to protect you from sub standard work, which, in the case of gas equipment installation or repair, could be deadly. You can find a Registered Gas Installer in your area here.