Donovan says:

Aaargh, I’m trying to fit new lights, and whoever the coyboy (do you mean cowboy – or was he really coy? ;-) I have a fabulous image of a blushing bodger…TGP) was that did the conversion in my flat way back in those crazy 90s wired up the circuit in his own special way. To say I was an amateur would be overstating my understanding of electricals, but I thought that just copying what was there might work. Lo and behold, no it doesn’t. Thusly, and with further ado, I have rendered my flat a dingy cave and am in need of a good local handyman to sort out my foolishness. Any recommendations?

The Phantom commiserates:

Are you really down to candles? If you look at the back pages of The Westcombe News there always seem to be handymen advertised there, though I can’t recommend anyone as the last person I got in was definitely a cowboy (no blushes – he was a brazen bodger…)

Just because they’re advertised in the Westcombe News doesn’t make them good – so do check credentials and make sure you get them to give you references (I speak from bitter experience.) Better still someone here might be able to give you an actual name.

It occurs to me that if you’re doing electrical work you may also have the added headache of having to get a qualified electrician – the law changed last year which means that you either have to get a qualified spark or a certificate from the local authority that says your own work is up to scratch (possibly quite difficult to obtain just at the moment under the circumstances…)It’s a real pain and yet another example of Nanny State.

There is definitely a big call for GOOD handymen/builders etc – and an awful lot of bad ones around. I wish I could be more helpful.

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