There is no shortage of plumbers, electricians, joiners and general builders out there, but reliable, honest tradesmen can sometimes be difficult to find. You can use the local press to find a tradesman, or you can go with a personal recommendation. Whichever route you take, it is important that you do some research first, or your kitchen renovation could turn into a total nightmare. So what should you look for in a quality tradesman?
There are three main qualities to look for when researching a tradesman. You need to check the quality of his work, deduce how reliable he is, and decide whether the service he offers represents value for money. If a tradesman scores highly in all of these areas, he is worth hiring. Unfortunately, it may not immediately be apparent how reliable a tradesman is, or whether his work product is good. So here are a few things to investigate before you hire anyone to work on your home.
Is he Suitably Qualified?
Plenty of tradesmen are ‘Jack of all trades’, or in other words, they can turn their hand to almost anything. There is nothing wrong with this, but if your job requires a specialist skill, check whether your tradesman is qualified to carry out the job.
If he says he is a member of a professional body, don’t just take his word for it. Call up to verify he is actually registered. If he isn’t registered, walk away, because a tradesman who lies about something so important is blatantly dishonest.
Examples of his Work
It is a good idea to ask to see examples of his work. Even better, ask around your friends, family and acquaintances to see if any of them have used this person, and if they have, take a look at his work product to verify he is capable of doing a good job.
Recommendations and Reviews
Go online and look for any reviews or recommendations. Most tradesmen are active on social media these days, so do some searches to find out if there are any disgruntled ex-customers out there with an axe to grind. Hopefully all you find are glowing reviews and satisfied customers, but if you do come across some negative comments, alarm bells should start ringing.
Ask for a Detailed Quote
Never be satisfied with an estimate for a job. Instead, ask for a final price and ask the tradesman to break it down into parts and labour. This will enable you to compare his quote with quotes from other people. It also allows you to check if he is adding a percentage on to any materials he is buying on your behalf.
Finally, listen to your gut feelings about a tradesman. If you like the person and they seem an amiable sort, as long as they get the bill in every other way, you should be OK. However, if they are a shifty type and you have reservations about leaving them in your house alone, don’t hire them. It’s not worth risking your home life!