The warning before the review
Usually, I don’t include warnings in my articles, but I think it’s really important in this one.
We all have off days, we have days when we’re our average selves and there’ll be times when we’re so amazing that we excel!
You may read my reviews below and think that person x is the one for you. They sound great and you want to hire them. Now you may get them on a day when they’re under pressure, going through something with loved ones, unwell and so on, and they may deliver much less than what you expected.
If this happens, I would suggest that you talk to them and explain what you expected, what the shortfall was and see if it can be fixed.
There will also be people that I wouldn’t touch with a barge-pole and that may have been a rarity. Of course, I wouldn’t know that unless I hear from others who have employed that person.
See where I’m going here? Unfortunately, most of us don’t behave in a consistent way all the time. We fluctuate. Our mood, the way others are with us, the weather and physical sensations are only some of the things that can affect the way we think, how we speak or how we behave.
All of this will have an effect on what we deliver, how it’s experienced by the recipient and the end result. So I guess I’m saying, be open, be prepared but most of all, arrange to meet the people I’ve mentioned below and see what you think of them. If they fill you with genuine confidence and that didn’t come across in my review, maybe it’s worth trying them out. If I praised them and you don’t feel that they’ll deliver what you need when you meet them; set my thoughts aside and go with your gut.
My experience of the following contractors
A couple of years ago I removed all the photos from our family albums, but them in a large shoebox and sent them to Agui to be digitised.
Agui arranged for a courier to collect the parcel, scanned the photos, sent them to me on a CD and returned the box of photos by courier too.
The process was quick and easy and the result was priceless.
I can now share these memories with family members, many of who, don’t have any/many photos, and I can look them up anywhere because I’ve saved them on Dropbox.
You can contact him using this link Scanning Factory
Internet connection issues
Our internet had been poor for a few months. It was so bad that we’ve been thrown off zoom without warning, reconnected automatically and so on.
We troubleshot ourselves by testing the speed of the WiFi in each room, purchased ethernet cables and connectors to bypass the WiFi and connect our laptops to the internet directly, a BT Open Reach Engineer came out etc. but no joy!
Deepesh of Smartify Tech Solutions came over, assessed our setup, and suggested a solution. It didn’t cost us a penny! he took into account our home (a small flat with no stairs), how many devices we have, how we use the internet and how often
He took into account the size and layout of our home, suggested how we could improve the speed and make it constant and how we could avoid experiencing lots of dropped calls.
At a later date and four hours later, we went from 19mb or less to 25mb, the speed no longer fluctuates, we have no use for ethernet cables or connectors, we now have WiFi in the master bedroom and my phone rings instead of going straight to voicemail!
If you want a free assessment and quote, his contact details are +447711571285
Here’s what I wrote about Dhrumal who has helped me improve on my singing.
Dhrumal is a wonderful teacher.
She is calm, easy to talk to, funny, super skilled and more.
Dhrumal is great at explaining what I need to improve on whilst being positive and encouraging.
She is also good at sharing when I’ve succeeded in achieving something and explaining that she is moving on and teaching me something new, which perhaps, I wasn’t ready for, or able to, tackle before.
Taxation and Accountancy services
Navin Rathod has managed my accounts for a number of years now. He and his team make it so easy! One of the things that I love about this company, is that it’s a family business which consists of Navin and his children, Suryakant and Meera. Between them, they have the following covered:
- Limited companies
- Personal Tax Advice including but not limited to Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax
- Accountancy and Corporate Tax Services including VAT and payroll
- Tax Planning for individuals and general tax advisory services
I submit everything online, they download it, put the accounts together, tell me what I need to pay and it’s smooth, easy and painless!
His contact numbers are 0208 861 1676 or 07900902382
I heard about JC Independent Financial Centre in 2020 and I’m so glad that they were recommended to me!
I spoke with Martyn, told him what I needed, why I needed it and how long I had to sort it out. During the phone call, he helped me work out my options, asked me questions to work out my plans so that he could advise accordingly and then sent me some options. Within a short space of time, I was clear about what was available, I discussed my preferences with him, checked that I understood them and we went ahead with the remortgage. It was so easy!
Unlike other mortgage advisers who I’ve spoken with, Martyn wasn’t patronising, he didn’t assume that I needed him to tell me what to do, he truly listened and then made suggestions based on that, he made the information easy to access and he was really approachable.
You can contact Martyn or Shashi on 01727 840 240
If you ever need a plumber Aaron has removed a radiator for us, fitted an upright one in the same room but on a different wall, fitted an InSinkErator and helped us when we had issues with our boiler.
It’s easy to get on with him and he’ll guide you with solutions if you’re not sure about what your options are, or which to choose.
His prices are competitive and based on my experience of him, he won’t let you down.
His number is 07414 770272
I believe that Amit does a lot more than I’m aware of but my experience of working with him as been awesome!
He’s responsive, he explains what needs to be done really well, he has a knack with the elderly, he’s perceptive and patient. In addition to this, his prices are reasonable and he delivers quickly!
My Mum was having lots of issues with the bulbs in her living room blowing frequently and he’s sorted that out without any faff! He’s installed a floodlight for her and is due to install a wired doorbell for her soon.
I’d been trying to get someone else (not my contact) to install an alternative to the doorbell for months, after which I gave up, contacted Amit and within two days, I knew which doorbell to order and we had a date for the installation booked! He’s awesome!
You can contact him on 07974433571 or visit Amitron – Home Audio/Visual Distribution & Electrics
If you need an electrician, I know someone who is happy to do small jobs, as well as, big ones.
He’s done work for us before. He’s good at his job and he’s a nice person too.
His prices are competitive. He isn’t VAT registered but this doesn’t mean that he doesn’t issue receipts or accept bank transfers.
He is busy so you may have to chase him to get a reply but, based on my experience of him, once the job is booked, he won’t let you down.
His name is Jamie and his number is +44 7943 837740
Hemal is also an electrician who is happy to do small jobs, as well as, big ones.
He’s replaced a fuse box for me and issued a NICEIC certificate for it. When he did this work, the property was empty, but other builders were on site, so I didn’t see how much mess he made, if/how he cleared it up etc.
Hemal did some work in our home recently. He changed some sockets and moved our heating and hot water control panel. The latter required him to chase the wall, which created a fair bit of mess. He swept up the rubble that was on the worktop but I found bits of rubble on the handleless unit doors. When he returned to move the unit a little further, I asked him to bring something to protect the worktop. He brought a slab of wood, which was longer than the worktop. That was great because it meant that all the mess was collected on the wood.
He has his own company but he’s under the VAT threshold so does not charge Vat. This makes his prices competitive.
Hemal’s number is +44 7799 661759
We got our kitchen redone a little over a year ago and the one thing that remained was replacing the blinds.
We got a quote from Hilary’s and checked out some other companies online and then we heard about Peartree Blinds. A friend of mine got her blinds from them and she was happy with the result, so we booked an appointment with them and haven’t looked back!
Peartree Blinds is a family-run business that’s based in Dunstable. The owner and his daughter came over and this is what happened?
- they asked us if we had any preferences in terms of design and colour
- they showed us their catalogues of options, which had removable samples
- this was great as we could hold it against the window and stand back to get a better idea of how it would look if we opted for it
- we asked them for their opinion about the blinds we were considering
- they shared their views on the colours, the style, the pros and cons of having blackout blinds or not and the difference between some of the other options
Both of them were patient, honest and open, which made it feel effortless. They left us to think it over without any pressure about making decision.
After a few days, we received a surprise in the post! They were samples of the materials that we were considering. That helped us make our final decision.
We placed our order and Martin came and fitted them soon after the New Year. He worked quietly, showed us how to remove the blinds (to clean them), gave us a few tips, tidied up and left.
It was all very smooth and the blinds finish off the kitchen nicely!
Here’s a link to their website Blinds in Dunstable: Peartree Blinds
We recently used Herts Waste Ltd to fix a drainage issue and redo some pipework.
Kevin and his colleague Tom were awesome.
- Kevin explained what needed to be done without putting down the person who had done the existing work
- He suggested further improvements beyond what we had scheduled
- He was happy to talk to my builder about what needed to be done if I didn’t get Kevin to do the further improvements
They did the work, tidied up, went over what they’d done again and were a pleasure to have in the home.
You can reach Kevin on +44 7500 525677
We needed to get some trees trimmed a few years ago. I had never been involved in this kind of task before.
After receiving a number of quotes and meeting a few contractors, we book the job with for Tree Solutions and we have no regrets!
Eugene is calm, logical, patient, he knows his stuff, he’s respectful, articulate, punctual and more.
Here’s a link to their site Tree Service Experts – North London Tree Surgeons
If you need clothes altered on the spot, whether they’re trousers, vest tops, dresses or suits; whether the clothing os for men, women or children; western clothes or non-western ones, Dhanu is someone I’d recommend.
I’ve been taking clothes to her for years.
The way it works: call her, find out when she’s free, turn up with your clothes and tell her what you need to be done.
She may ask you to try them on so that she can offer different options and also check the measurements. She then alters them there and then and you’ll walk away with better fitting clothes within a short space of time.
Dhanu is based in Kenton. If you want her number, please get in touch with me using this.
All things glass
We first met with Jack because we had a new set of table furniture and we didn’t want to have to keep an eye on where guests put their mugs.
We knew that hot drinks created marks on the wood and the protective cover we got with the furniture was coming to an end.
We started with getting made to measure glass tops for the nest of coffee tables. We opted for transparent ones because we like the look of the tables and didn’t want to hide it under coloured glass.
It was so practical and made things so much easier when we had people over.
After that, we decided to get the dining table done and we’ve not looked back.
Jack measured up carefully and diligently, after which he brought the glass, cleaned the surface, cleaned the bottom side of the glass, put the glass on the furniture and then cleaned the other side of the glass.
I would definitely recommend Jack from Sunray Glass.
You can contact using this link Double glazing repairs Harrow, window repairs, glaziers, glass merchants based in Harrow
We got a quote from Wickes, Magnet Kitchens and a couple of companies that specialise in splashbacks.
We booked the job with Bespoke Glass Design. I spoke with Simon who was awesome. He helped me work out what to consider, which colours might compliment the design, how the splashbacks could be varied and more.
They came to do a rough measurement, so that they could provide a realistic quote and then visited again to measure up more thoroughly and discuss the finer details, like how many sockets there would be, how far the splashback could go and so on.
When the glass was ready, they fitted it quickly, ensuring that they left no mess or waste behind! I would definitely use them again.
Here’s a link to their website Order Quality Bespoke Glass Splashbacks for Kitchens and Bathrooms
A bit of everything
I met Kevin when I needed quotes to get a property refreshed, mould removed, a fire door put in and more.
He visited the site, really thought about the issues that needed fixing, offered alternatives that would save money and also, for example, keep with the style of the internal fixtures and he gave me a quote quickly.
If I recall correctly, I didn’t give him because our timings didn’t align. However, since then, he’s done various jobs for me and he’s been so easy to work with.
He’s down to earth, multi-skilled, good at explaining possible options, takes pride in his work and is happy to liaise with others if needed.
You can contact him using 07974 087555
We had our kitchen refurbished and needed a way to remove the waste without using a skip or a hippo bag.
We stored the waste until the job was done and got quotes to have the rubbish removed.
Harrow Council advised us to get their Waste Carrier License and an invoice. This is because, they will have been certified to transport, sort and dispose of waste, and they would have paid for the license to do so.
Thus they won’t be likely to dump the waste and will also be keen on recycling it or using it if possible.
I got a few quotes and some of them didn’t want to share their license number, seemed offended that I asked for it, some would only do it for cash and wouldn’t provide paperwork, and others offered to come and take some of the waste but not all of it.
In the end, I paid Noel who’s part of Recycle DNC.
He came, explained the procedure, said they were happy that I asked for the license details as it meant I was keen for it not to be dumped somewhere, he loaded everything and left the grounds clear.
You can contact Noel using this number 07895726593
Billy Sala were recommended by my Mum’s friends.
Billy is lovely. He’s easy to talk to, he’s confident about what he can deliver, he has a large team of colleagues and he’s a fair man.
I needed to get a property ‘refreshed’. By ‘refreshed’, I mean, the walls, ceilings and woodwork needed painting and mould needed to be treated.
Going beyond the refresh; in the kitchen, the units, worktop, sink, appliances and floor needed to be removed and replaced.
I met Billy discussed the job with him, he gave me a quote and he got the work done within three weeks.
The result was wonderful. The only thing I found difficult was ensuring that certain specifics were understood and delivered. These were things required by the council and the only obstacle was that Billy was busy and therefore didn’t always retain what we discussed. However, when this happened, he accepted his part in it and was fair about how that affected the cost of the project.
You can contact Billy Noel on 07402677078
Carpet, vinyl, laminate and beds
I have been going to Kenton Warehouse for years! They are awesome! The staff are patient, know their stuff and they have given me clear and fair guidance when I’ve needed it.
Their prices are competitive because they have a lot of stock on the premises, so they don’t have to fork out for bringing materials in.
They’ve supplied and fitted carpet and vinyl for me in my first ‘own’ home. They’ve supplied and fitted carpet for me in another property and done the same for my family too. Most recently, they supplied and fitted laminate throughout most of our flat.
About eight years ago, we purchased our bed from them and we have no regrets. The drawers have been so useful and the mattress, was and is, great!
I have always reached out to Morris or Arun. You can contact the store using 020 8732 2525 or visit Kenton Warehouse Carpets and Beds Superstore
We’ve moved a few times in the last 10 years and we have used a removals company each time.
Moving with Best London Removals was great! The team arrived at 8 a.m. to load up the vans. Then they waited patiently as our new home was vacated.
After we got the keys for our new home, one of the movers was stuck in the lift for 30 minutes but he remained calm, composed and got back to it afterwards.
Another member of the team cut himself, but again, he remained calm, waited for it to stop bleeding and then continued as before.
While the lift was out of order, they brought our things using the stairs without any complaints. They were great!
They wrapped items, dismantled furniture, assembled it again and more.
You can contact them using 0800 080 7476 or visit Best London Removals – Professional moving service
Should you use websites like those listed below?
Rated People and MyBuilder website profiles cause concern- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-42783279
Want to avoid cowboy builders? Here’s how to find a reliable one – https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/jun/04/reliable-builder-websites-traders
My Builder – https://www.mybuilder.com/
Checkatrade – https://www.checkatrade.com/
Rated People – https://www.ratedpeople.com/
Bark – https://www.bark.com/en/gb/how-it-works/sellers/