Tips For Finding Local Trusted Traders
There are so many local tradesmen out there, vying for your business that it can sometimes be difficult to decide which local tradesman to use.
With so much information, it’s no longer a case of flicking through the yellow pages and jotting down the contact details of tradesmen in your area. Now we have the internet and new technologies that can give you lists of tradesmen at the flick of a switch or the press of a button.
But just because there’s so much information available, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should pick the first tradesman you come across. If you’re going to have building work done to your property, it goes without saying that you want a decent price, good workmanship and a reliable, trustworthy worker.
So what are the rules for finding the right local tradesman for the job? Whether you need a builder, a plumber, roofer, decorator or an electrician, there are a number of steps you should take before you hire someone.
First of all, use a good directory of local tradesmen. When you’re looking for a tradesman, it’s worth asking for recommendations to find someone who’s reliable. If you can go and see the work they’ve done for yourself, so much the better.
When you’ve come up with a list of three or four people who are local to your area, give them the details of the work you want doing and get them to quote a price for the whole job. That way, you’ll be able to budget effectively and you’ll get the most competitive rates.
Any tradesman worth his salt will accept payment in stages. You should never part with large sums of cash up front. If a service provider is asking for this, you’d be well advised to run in the opposite direction! When choosing a local tradesman, you should look for those with membership to a trade association - and be sure to check out exactly what this means. Some trade associations will hand out membership without requiring a minimum standard of work. The good ones will have set standards for members, so the person you pick will be sure to do a good job.
Make sure that you ask plenty of questions. This way there’s less likelihood of anything going wrong after you’ve had your work carried out. The types of questions you’ll need answers to are:
- Is the tradesman qualified and if so, have their skills been independently verified?
- Will the tradesman give you an estimate in writing, and a contract for the work?
- Can your builder answer your questions about relevant building regulations?
If the answer’s ‘yes’, then you’re well on your way to finding a tradesman that will give you the professional service you’re looking for.
Good Feedback From Customers - Past Reviews
Always ask the tradesmen who are quoting for testimonials from past customers of their business. Most good trades and service providers will have many good reviews and feedback from people who they have done building work for before locally.
Check them out individually. Don't just rush into accepting the first quote for your work that you receive from the tradesperson who you like the most.
Tradesman Insurances, Certifications, Qualifications, Building Trades Associations Memberships, Work Guarantees - Check Trades Out
You will need to ask whether the tradesperson has public liability insurance in place to avoid any problems should you find that your home gets damaged whilst the building work is being carried out. What trades associations are they members of? What guarantees on their work do they provide. Do they provide a guarantee that is backed by any type of insurance if the company goes bust? Always check with your local building control or planning portal to ensure that you do not need any specialist trades to carry out building work and that your work will be compliant with the latest regulations.
Again, always, always, check trades out.
Don't Restrict Yourself To Local Tradespeople
You will find that nowadays a good tradesman will travel far and wide to obtain work which is worthwhile and, of course, some organisations provide a UK nationwide service, or have sub-contractors across the UK. Find out what the situation is with regards to this type of arrangement prior to choosing a quote.
If you live in a small or remote area you may need to be prepared to find a tradesman who is from outside your local area. The same caution should always apply, in that you should always ensure that you carry out your own checks.