Finding the right tradesperson to do work in your house is a scary process initially. You have no idea what quality of work you’re going to get, if the price is reasonable, or even if the tradesperson is qualified and with the correct industry awarding body. We know how nerve racking this can be, so we’ve listed a few steps you should take to choose the right trade professional for your next project.
You need to identify exactly what work you want doing to make sure you’re contacting the correct type of tradesperson – for example you wouldn’t use an industrial plumber on the boiler in your house. Also, another good thing to do here is to list what trades will be needed, for example if you’re using an electrician and they are chasing the cables in the wall will a plasterer be needed? A decorator?
After you know exactly what trades you’ll need, it’s time to start looking. There are multiple ways to look for tradespeople, such as:
- Word of mouth recommendations
- Social media
- Phone books
- Search engines
Word of mouth is still how up to 80% of all tradespeople are found as it’s the easiest option. However, with social media and search engines you can view work and reviews from previous customers to give you a better understanding of each tradesperson. Most reputable tradespeople in this day and age will have some sort of online presence as they want to broadcast their skills, this is great for you as you’ll also be able to view their qualifications and if they’re members of any awarding bodies.
Step 3 is all about ensuring your chosen tradesperson is competent to carry out the work needed. Most tradespeople will broadcast past work as they’re proud of it and want to use the work as an example of the standard that they can provide.
You should find out what qualifications are needed as some trades are required by law to have certain qualification levels and memberships, for example an electrician should be with an awarding body such as the NICEIC, ELECSA and NAPIT and a gas qualified plumber or gas engineer should be a member of Gas Safe. You can check to see if a tradesperson is with these awarding bodies by checking on the NICEIC, ELECSA, NAPIT or Gas Safe websites and searching the tradesperson’s company name. Also, you should find out if the tradesperson has some form of public liability insurance – this is a legal requirement and they should have it but it’s better to be safe than sorry so you should ask them and if you’re still not sure ask for some type of proof.
It’s recommended to find at least two different tradespeople to provide you with a quote for the work, this will give you a better understanding of the pricing involved to ensure you’re not overpaying. At this stage you can contact your desired tradesperson and arrange for them to come and view the work so they can provide you with a quote.
When the tradesperson arrives you should show them in as much detail as possible exactly what work you would like them to do. Be precise so there is no confusion when the work is completed as you and the tradesperson might both have a different idea of what is expected. A good tradesperson should be taking notes, especially for large projects. Use this time to ask the tradesperson questions to better understand how the work will be completed, this will also give you a chance to understand how knowledgeable your tradesperson is in their trade. Often a tradesperson won’t provide a quote there and then but will probably go away for a few days and get back in touch with you, this however is subject to the size of the job. You should use this time to research online the average price to pay for the work to be completed in your area, to give you an understanding of what the quote should be.
If the tradesperson has given you a quote you’re happy with then it’s time to let them start the work. The tradesperson may ask for material costs upfront or even a form of staged payments (where you pay a certain sum of money after certain targets are hit during the projects), this is perfectly normal but you should never pay the full quote upfront before any work has started. You should be involved in the project as it progresses and understand that if you’re not happy with something or the quality of the work then you should tell the tradesperson, after all it is your property. Follow these steps and you’ll have your project completed to a high standard in no time, and if you’d like to find out more about how we can help feel free to get in touch.