So you’re looking for a tradesperson (or several) for your renovations or even a near complete rebuild of your home. Bricklayers, tilers, fitters, plumbers, electricians…you name it, chances are you will need one of them at some point even if it’s not for renovations. It might even be for an emergency, after all, the temperatures are dropping and a broken boiler or heating system would constitute just that.
In most cases, searching through an online search engine and randomly picking a company which seems to promise good value with a big smile will not guarantee you the best results. Good value is after all not purely represented by the initial costs he or she might charge, but by the quality of the work and its longevity (of the work, not the person – just to clarify). A tradesperson should offer a good service at an appropriate price, good work at a high standard and relevant qualifications.
Personally, I wouldn’t entrust any work that involves gas or electrics to somebody who isn’t qualified for the job as this could be fatal. Whilst a tiler might not do a job bad enough for it to have consequences that are quite that serious (unless we’re talking roof tiles and a whole lot of bad luck), I still wouldn’t want to come home in the evening to find that half the tiles have fallen off the wall. So, what exactly is the best way to find a tradesperson for he job you need doing? Well, here are a few tips from somebody who has moved more often than she cares to remember and consequently had to find new tradespeople every time. That person is of course me.
- Steer clear of the “‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ type. You know, the one who literally ‘builds stuff’ and potentially leaves half way through the job because he’s at the end of his abilities. Whilst there are some very handy handymen out there (yes, pun totally intended), if you need a specific job doing, it’s always best to employ somebody trained in that specific field.
- Don’t rush into things. Finding the right person might take a while, but it will be worth it in the long run and save you a lot of hassle after (s)he’s left.
- You can search the Trading Standards website by postcode to find reputable and registered tradespeople.
- Take a look at the Trust Mark website where you can find local tradespeople who are operating to government-endorsed standards.
- Don’t employ somebody who cannot provide you with a business (or at least home) address and landline number. Should things go wrong, you will need to be able to track that person down.
- Ask if work is covered by a warranty. A reputable firm will have no objections to that.
- Check that the person has the relevant qualifications and is part of the relevant organisation or body (something like CORGI for gas safety) that covers his trade.
- Ask around. Friends, family, work colleagues, neighbours. The very best way to find a good tradesperson is always by personal recommendation. You will quickly find out who is trustworthy and who isn’t.