A Quick Guide to Choosing a Quality Tradesman

Unless you are an experienced DIY enthusiast, there will probably come a time when you need to hire a tradesperson to undertake some work for you. If, like me, you don’t know the first thing about plumbing, electrics or boiler repairs, it can be tricky to find someone who is reliable and honest, and who is available when you need them. So if you have been ripped off in the past by a rogue trader, or are nervous about being ripped off in the future, here are a few tips to help you find the right man or woman for the job.

What Needs Doing?

First and foremost, you need to have a clear idea of what needs doing before you start looking for someone to get the job done. This might be easy if the boiler has broken down, but if you are considering having an extension built, think through the potential options and how much you want to spend before you begin. That way you won’t end up wasting time when tradesman come round to give you quotes.

This is also important if the job requires specialist parts or labour. For example, if you want to install Velux windows in a high ceiling, some kind of automated window control is essential, so you will need a specialist contractor such as tealproducts.com. If you don’t take the time to research what you need, you could end up with an inferior product or service.

Find a Tradesman

There are lots of places to go looking for tradesmen:

  • Business directories are a bit old-fashioned these days, but they do contain fairly comprehensive listings of companies within various categories, so are easy to use
  • Local press – many smaller companies advertise in the local press, so check out the listings
  • Parish Council newsletter – this is a good place to look for local tradesmen operating in rural areas, as many will advertise in these publications
  • Online – often the first place many people look, but not always the best place to find an older, more experienced tradesman, as they might not be listed online. However, there are several popular websites that carry listings of local tradesmen, which are worth checking

Get Several Quotes

Once you have the names of several different tradesmen, give them a call and see if they are available. Depending on when you ring, you might need to leave a message – if they don’t return your call for a few days, cross them off your list, as they are unlikely to be reliable. For those that do answer and seem polite, ask them to pop over and give you a quote.

Personal Recommendations

Asking friends, relatives and colleagues for personal recommendations is always the best way to find good tradesmen, but it isn’t fool proof. Always practice due diligence before you contract someone to carry out work on your behalf. Conduct an internet search of their name online and see if there are any bad reviews or similar. And if there isn’t, you shouldn’t have any problems, but do keep a close eye on their work and never pay for everything up front.

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Pete White Pete White

Love Shrewsbury editor and chief developer at The Web Orchard, find out more on petejwhite.com

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