At Local pages you’ll find a wealth of plumbers, builders, heating engineers, roofers, window installers and many other trades.
There are so many that choosing the right one for your job could seem like a daunting task.
So to help you avoid the cowboys, below is a list of things to consider when employing people to carry out work around your home.
Check their credentials
- Have they been recommended?
- Are they a member of any trade association?
- Check their website to see if previous customers have left feedback or testimonials.
- How does their website look? If they take care of how they present themselves it’s a good indication that they will offer the same levels of care to you.
- Ask for references regarding similar work to that which you want done. Don’t just phone the references, go and inspect the quality of the work and ask questions.
- Don’t be pressured into employing the first person you speak to.
- Don’t ignore your gut instincts. If something feels wrong, don’t pursue it further.
- Never employ a tradesman that cold calls.
Agree the price
- Make sure you ask for a written quote and not an estimate. A quote is a fixed price. An estimate can be added to with extras later on down the line.
- Get at least three quotes so that you can compare and make a considered choice.
- Before any work takes place, ask for a contract that sets out; start date, finishing date, the price and clearly states the scope of the work that needs carrying out. The clearer this is set out, the less room there will be for arguing should the work not be carried out to your satisfaction. You may wish to draw this up yourself.
- Check they have liability insurance to cover any damage should things go wrong
- Check your own insurance policies to make sure everything is covered
- A legal protection policy may be useful to cover any costs should you be unfortunate enough to be in dispute with a rogue trader.
Agree how you will pay
- A deposit paid before work starts is a reasonable request as there will be upfront costs for materials etc.
- Never pay the whole amount until the work is finished and you are totally satisfied
- Agree with the tradesman a plan for staged payments at different milestones and only pay when you are happy at each stage.
- Even though you will have agreed the price upfront, insist that all labour and material costs are well documented so that you can ensure the work is not going over budget.
- Pay by credit card if possible as this gives you extra protection in the event of the business going bust.
- Before you make the final payment ensure that you are totally satisfied with the quality of the work carried out and that all the terms of your contract have been fulfilled.