I recently had the not so lovely pleasure of hiring a cowboy builder with my en-suite bathroom makeover. This is something that I have learnt a great deal from & really opened my eyes to how sometimes you get what you pay for; it always pays to go with somebody recommended & trusted when it comes to property.
If your read my blog post ‘When NOT to do-it-yourself’ you’ll know that sometimes it’s essential to hire a tradesperson to do work for you.
Seeing as you will be putting your most valuable asset in their hands, it’s important you chose the right person for the job so i’ve compiled a list of things to look out for when searching for a tradesman –
- Finding reputable people –
This is probably the most tricky part. If you can then word of mouth always wins, however if you can’t rely on that then use websites like checkatrade.com, mybuilder.com or ratedpeople.com where previous customers rate the tradesman & make an informed decision. I’ve recently experienced this as our conservatory has been leaking in a big way so found the warranty document which still has 2 years left of it’s 10 year guarantee, only to find out that the business has gone out of business & disappeared off the face of the earth. Shop around to find somebody reputable that’s been around for a long time & isn’t likely to close.
- Always get 3 quotes –
This is a pretty well known one but it does always pay to get as many quotes (& with it opinions) as possible. If it seems too good to be true, the liklihood is that it will be! If somebody comes in much higher then it always pays to ask them about this & find out their reasoning…sometimes people may be overpriced or they may include extra things that others will get you for along the way.
- Make sure they have insurance –
A HUGE factor. All reputable tradespeople will have insurance as if anything goes wrong, it will be on their heads (sometimes quite literally which is why it’s so important!). The handyman I used for my en-suite project didn’t have any insurance so when the water started cascading through my kitchen ceiling, it was a bit of a nightmare.
- Talk through the job –
Always get them to come & view the job so you can talk to them face-to-face about what you want them to do. What can they offer you that the others can’t? Have a list of questions for them. Also ask them if they have any pictures of previous similar jobs they’ve done so you can see the standard of their work.
- ALWAYS put together a contract –
On some websites this comes as standard & if you accept a quote from one of the tradesmen on there, you’ll both automatically be entered into a contract. Don’t ever just go by word of mouth as you’ll have no leg to stand on if things don’t go to plan. Make sure everything is clear as to what you want him/her to do as well as who is providing the materials, how much is to be paid & the starting date.
- Payment –
Make sure you don’t have over any money for labour (some materials may need to be paid for in advanced) until the job has been finished, completely inspected & is satisfactory. Beware of the ‘cash in hand at the end of the day’ type.
Love, Charlotte x