AdviceHow-to

What to think about before you hire your next tradesman

As a homeowner there are a few things to think about before you hire a tradesman. We’ve listed some check points that can be valuable if you haven’t had experience in hiring help before.

It’s essential that you feel trust when you hire a tradesman. When you’re parting with (potentially) a lot of money you have to feel that you’re employing someone reliable and someone you can communicate with. Tradesmen feel the same way about homeowners as they too invest both time and money when they’re undertaking a job, they don’t want to risk losing valuable business. Managing expectations is therefore key for both parties.

Make sure they’re rated

When posting your job on RatedPeople.com, make sure you thoroughly check the tradesmen’s profiles to review previous customer ratings, qualifications, photos of their previous jobs and information about the type work they do.

At RatedPeople.com it is our homeowner community that decides whether a tradesmen is 5-star worthy or no star worthy.  A vital part of our service is our ratings system, which is based on quality of work, reliability and value for money. The reviews are genuine as only homeowners who have hired a tradesman can rate them. If we receive complaints about a tradesman we undertake an investigation and suspend anyone who shouldn’t be on the site. Anyone can have a bad day and receive a bad rating, but it’s when those ratings outweigh the good ones that you should be alert.

If the tradesman doesn’t yet have any ratings make sure you ask for references from previous customers.

Take your time

Talk to the tradesman over the phone or meet them in person and get a feel for their character. If you have an extensive project, you’ll meet and deal with the tradesmen for many months to come, so make sure you have a good gut feeling.

Check certificates and qualifications

If you’re hiring a tradesman for gas or electric work, make sure they’re Gas Safe,  Part P or Select (for electric work) registered. Don’t be afraid to ask to see their certificate/registered number – details on how to check the Gas Safe ID card, can be found here. Checking liability insurance is something which we also would recommend. If you’re in any doubt that your tradesman isn’t covered to do the work you’ve employed them for, ask for this document.

Communicate

Be clear and up front about budgets, start/finish dates and expectations. For instance, who will be supplying material? You or the tradesman?  To avoid confusion or argument about who said what, ask for a written quote and maintain communication with your tradesman throughout the work. A written detailed description of the work to be carried out can also help.

Many homeowners expect tradesmen to clean up after themselves, make sure you put this forward to the tradesman if it’s a concern of yours.

Deposit

In some cases it may be appropriate for a tradesman to ask for an initial deposit (for materials, tools and travel), this deposit should never be more than 20% of the overall job price. Be very cautious about paying your money up front as you have no guarantee about the end result or the quality of work. Just as you wouldn’t buy a car you’ve never seen, you shouldn’t pay someone for a job that has hardly begun. This is not about mistrusting your tradesman, it’s just to be on the safe side.

Are you ready to post your job now? Go ahead, fill that form out and find 3 quality, local tradesmen.

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3 Comments

  1. I always go one word of mouth recommendations, asking around family and friends. If still no-one can recommend – then I would look on review sites to see who has good reviews in the local area, but still wouldnt decide until i had met them. Chances are you are about to give them a lot of money, so you need to choose wisely!

  2. I have been using rated people as a tradesman for some years now and have 5 star ratings , it’s a great site a does work , I’m glad you touched on the fact that it is also always a risk for the tradesman , from purchasing the job lead , without knowing anything about the customer , to having to cross fingers that work is paid for in a reasonable amount of time after completion , just as customers can meet rogue tradesman , I have to be carefull of wasting time and money quoting for work where the customer just wants a quote for an insurance claim but will attempt work themselves , or describes a job totally inappropriatly ; for example 3 bed house refurb , under 30k job lead costs £40 actual work paint front porch ; costs £300 actual budget £140 , I think it would be in everyone’s interest for our customers to be fully aware that we as tradesmen pay for the leads , first of all it would mean the customer may research the costs more fully ( if a customer puts a budget of under £500 to plaster a two bed house he/ she may get no responses at all ) and secondly it may deter time wasters who have no intention of using the tradesmen at all but need a quote for guidance .from my own experience as a tradesman on rated people and a customer , a written quote and job spec is always a good idea , as is an agreement on payment terms and guarantees etc before starting work . Keep up the good work ratedpeople thanks James
    http://Www.jreadplastering.com

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