I was interested to read the KPMG research into the shortage of qualified contractors (9 March, page 16).

Can any client risk employing a specialist contractor based solely on price? The 12% that do must be confident that come the completion date, their staff won’t be left standing in the street or working in a badly built environment because the contractor cut corners.

You get what you pay for. Materials cost are roughly the same whoever is fitting them. The main saving is in management and staffing.

There isn’t a lack of contractors. It’s qualified contractors that are in demand – specialists that know how to deliver value. That is why the Association of Interior Specialists (AIS) vets all contractors on joining and at regular intervals thereafter.

Our message to clients is simple – insist on membership of a recognised trade association, start the relationship with specialists early and then feel secure the work will be delivered on time and to budget.

Simon Forrester, chief executive, Association of Interior Specialists