We think one of the best ways to find a reliable tradesperson is to get recommendations from people you trust. Think about who has recently had some similar work completed for them. Ask them who they used, how much it cost and what their experience was like? You can also post a status on Facebook asking for recommendations.
Check for reviews online
Once you have found a few potential tradespeople, make sure to look online for ratings and reviews. By searching in Google you can often find star ratings and reviews from their previous customers. Other sites which have reviews include Facebook, Yelp, Yell, and Trust Pilot.
Check if they have relevant qualifications and accreditations
If you are having gas or electrical work completed it is essential you check the person carrying out the work has the relevant qualifications and registrations. Gas engineers can be checked online at www.gassaferegister.co.uk to ensure they have a current Gas Safe Registration. Electricians should also be registered with a relevant body such as NAPIT or NICEIC. You should ask them for a copy of their current qualifications.
Any tradesperson removing waste from your job should have a Waste Carrier’s Licence with the Environment Agency.
Other trades can often be registered with governing bodies and associations for their speciality such as HETAS or FENSA. Although this can show good quality and professionalism it is not essential for all trades.
Some works such as building, window installation and wood burning stove installations require approval by building control. Full details of which work require approval can be found at www.planningportal.co.uk.
Trades such as bricklaying, joinery and plumbing can complete qualifications such as NVQs or City and Guilds. If a tradesperson has no formal qualifications to show you, you should ensure they have time-served experience in the work they are going to carry out. You could also take up references from their previous customers.
All tradespeople should have good health and safety practices. If they employ over 5 people they should have a health and safety policy and it is good practice to be registered with a health and safety body such as Safe Contractor, CHAS or Construction Line.
Obtaining a quote
It is good to have a clear brief of exactly what works you require. You should then obtain three quotes to compare prices. Sometimes a tradesperson will need to add a disclaimer about things that may not become evident until works commence.
Although you are going to want the most cost-effective option you should be wary if one prices is substantially lower than the others, as this may be reflected in the workmanship and materials used.
Instructing the works
Always ensure you have a written quotation detailing all the agreed works to be undertaken and the price agreed before works commence.
If you are instructing larger jobs it can often be the safest option to have a basic contract in place. Sample JCT contacts can be found online which set out the responsibilities of both parties.
The contract should set out the basics of exactly what works are being carried out, who is doing it, when they are doing it and how much for.
Payment schedules may also be agreed, as deposits and staged payments may be required for larger projects.
If you have any questions about this blog or any of our services, please feel free to contact us. We are more than happy to help and provide advice on any issues you might have.