Complain about building or home improvements
There are 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 in this document.
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 make sure that you get the service that you are looking for is to follow the advice in our document on 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
- Any 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.
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has more advice about hiring tradespeople.
How do I complain to the trader?
If you are not satisfied with the service provided by the builder or tradesperson, for example, the job was not completed as agreed or the materials used were faulty, you are entitled to request that it is put right.
You should first complain to the builder or tradesperson, explaining what the problem is and how you would like it to be put right.
It is a good idea to put your complaint in writing (for example, email) so that you have a record. If you complain over-the-phone or face-to-face make sure to take note of what was agreed.
You can find more advice in our document about how to make a complaint.
How do I take my complaint further?
If your complaint cannot be resolved by the trader themselves, you can make a formal complaint to the relevant trade or professional body.
Here you will find information on some organisations that deal with trades and professions involved in home building or home improvements in Ireland.
General Craftsmen and Trades
The National Guild of Master Craftsmen
The largest organisation representing skilled and accredited tradespersons and builders is the National Guild of Master Craftsmen. They run a complaints service and can act as an intermediary in a dispute between you and a member.
The Construction Industry Register Ireland (CIRI)
The Construction Industry Register Ireland (CIRI) is an official online register of construction professionals. You can search the register to find builders, contractors, specialist sub-contractors and tradespersons who carry out construction works.
You can make a formal complaint if a registered member has failed to keep 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 set up by the Construction Industry Federation and the Irish Home Builders Association, with the Department of the Housing, Planning and Local Government. It makes sure new homes meet proper building standards and protects buyers by insuring against any major structural defects in new homes. Buyers should check that their builder or developer is Homebond registered. More information is available on the Homebond website. You can contact Homebond by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 1850 306 300.
The Pyrite Resolution Board
The Pyrite Resolution Board, which was set up by the Housing Agency, has a scheme to help you if your home has been significantly damaged by pyritic heave. This happens when building material containing relatively large amounts of pyrite materials expand, crack or crumble over time. You can find out how the pyrite resolution scheme works.
The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland
Architects in Ireland must be registered with the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI). The RIAI aims to protect the public by setting out minimum standards for its members to follow.
If you have a dispute with a registered architect, you can refer your complaint to the RIAI.
Auctioneers and valuers
Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers
The Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers is the representative body for auctioneers. All IPAV members must follow the Code of Conduct. If you believe a member has breached the code, you can complain to IPAV.
Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA)
You can also make complaints about auctioneers and estate agents to the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA).
The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland
If you are not happy with the service provided by a chartered surveyor, you may be able to complain to the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI). Members must follow the SCSI Conduct and Disciplinary Rules.
If you want to complain about the technical and safety standard of work carried out by a registered electrical contractor (REC), you can contact Safe Electric. You can also report illegal electrical works. Find out more about making a complaint to Safe Electric.
The Institution of Engineers of Ireland is the professional body for engineers in Ireland. One of its aims is to set minimum standards for its members to follow.
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, keeps a list of competent gas installers. You can find a Registered Gas Installer in your area here.