What you need to know to hire a good tradesman


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The Independent Online

To get the most out of your tradesman experience, it’s important that both yourself and the tradesman are happy. For this to happen you’ll need to be 100% comfortable with who you choose to hire. Doing your research before hiring is the best way to achieve this.

Trust your instinct and their reputation

As your tradesman will be spending time in your home, you’ll want to feel at ease in his or her company. Phoning or meeting tradesmen before you hire them will allow you to judge whether this will be the case. You should make sure that he/she is personable and able to explain your potential work in terms that you understand.

Taking advice from other homeowners will help you to make the best decision. RatedPeople.com encourage homeowners to rate their tradesmen in three categories – quality of work, reliability and value for money. 5-stars is the highest rating available in any of the categories. If you wish to investigate further, you can ask them for contact details of their previous employers. Any reputable tradesman should also be willing to show you examples of previous work.

Check qualifications

You should always check a tradesman’s qualifications to make sure they are able to complete your job safely and at a high standard. All tradesmen must be Gas Safe Registered if they are dealing with gas related problems in the home. This is required by law so check their individual ID cards. They carry an expiry date as well as an individual licence number so be sure to discover that the qualification is still valid, you can check this on the Gas Safe register website.

Electrical qualifications such as Part P are essential for most electrical jobs around the home. Legally only qualified electricians can conduct electrical work in bathrooms or kitchens, if an unqualified person has conducted the work a surveyor will highlight this up when you come to sell your property.

Ask to see a copy of the certificate which lists the company that the tradesman studied with and a registration number. You can check qualifications by visiting the awarding bodies’ company websites. Search for the registration number and match the tradesman’s name and details to those that you have been given.

Agree certain payments

To protect yourself from being overcharged, agree payments with your tradesman upfront. Ask for a quote for the work that you are offering and be clear on whether he/she will be charging you VAT. Once the quote has been agreed, he/she cannot increase the price of the work by law. Be careful not to ask for an estimate as this can be changed at a later date.

You should then agree on a payment schedule detailing the tasks that will be carried out, the amount and frequency of the payments. Your tradesman should provide an invoice for each payment. It is common for the tradesman to ask for a deposit which should be a maximum of 20% of the overall quote. This is to secure the job on the tradesman’s behalf and to cover his expenses such as materials and travel.

To find a tradesman to meet your standards, post your home improvement job here.