5 Tips for Hiring a Tradesman You Can Trust
Finding an available, rightly priced, trusted plumber, electrician, builder or decorator can sometimes be a tricky task. So in this article we share 5 tips for hiring a tradesman to help you get the service you need.
One thing you can be sure of is that all of the reviews on The Yellow Belly, for whoever you’ve in mind will be from local people like you, who’ve confirmed they’ve had work done by that tradesman.
Therefore the reviews should offer you a good place to start your search. That said, it’s still important to trust your instincts and do your own checks. Here are 5 good practice steps worth considering :
1. CHECK HOME IMPROVEMENT INSURANCE & GUARANTEES IN PLACE
When having home improvement works carried out on your property, it is essential to make sure an insurance policy is in place and given to you, by way of business, as part of the overall sale to protect you from unforeseeable circumstances.
An Insurance Backed Guarantee (IBG) is valuable protection in the unlikely event of an installation company or contractor ceasing to trade. Only use a company or contractor who will provide you with a home improvement guarantee – with the paperwork to prove it. Otherwise, you could believe you are covered when you are not.
2. CHECK YOUR OWN HOME INSURANCE POLICY
You’ll also need to check your own home insurance policy to make sure everything is covered. In addition to damage, there may be a greater risk of break-in if access to the property is compromised, and if it’s uninhabited during this period.
Consider getting legal cover as an add-on if it’s not already covered as standard on your policy. If you should be unfortunate enough to need to take action, legal cover will cover any associated costs. It could also cover costs if a tradesperson takes action against you, for an incident concerning your property.
If you’re having any building work carried out, you may have to let your insurer know so you don’t accidentally invalidate your policy. Especially if you’re not at home whilst the work is taking place.
3. CHECK CERTIFICATION, REFERENCES AND GET QUOTES
When choosing a tradesman, check out which governing bodies their registered with and their qualifications. Tradesman listed on The Yellow Belly when joining agree that all declared information is accurate, but you can also check their registration details with the relevant organisation. It’s also a good idea to get at least three different quotes to compare, so you can draw up a shortlist. When talking to a potential tradesperson, you should always ask for references. Ask to see examples of their work or try talking to previous customers.
It’s advisable not to accept an estimate when discussing the cost, as this could give an untrustworthy tradesman the opportunity to increase the price once the work has been finished. You should always insist on a written quote, which should include on-site assessment of the job, as well as the cost of labour and materials. Once you’ve chosen a tradesman, you need to ask for a written contract covering things like the work itself, the price, and the start and finish dates.
4. AGREE PAYMENT TERMS BEFORE YOU START
Dependent on the job, you maybe asked to pay a deposit upfront, but never for the whole amount of money at the outset. Work out a suitable stage payment plan which both you and the builder are happy wit and have this put in writing. It’s always best to pay for segments of work once it’s completed, as you can check the standard before parting with your money
Obviously there needs to be some flexibility as unexpected things can crop up, but make sure that all labour and material costs are well-documented. Ask for VAT invoices, get a signed receipt for every payment you make, and keep all the paperwork for your records.
If possible, pay by credit card as it can provide extra protection in the event of a breach of contract or if a firm goes bust. Be careful if a daily rate is given rather than a fixed price for the whole job, as this can sometimes be an incentive for the job to overrun.
5. CONTINUOUSLY CHECK QUALITY
Before you make any final payment, ensure you are satisfied the work has been carried out properly and meets the terms of the contract. It’s unlikely that your home insurance will cover you for any damaged caused to your home as a result of shoddy workmanship, or faulty, poor quality materials. So make sure that any work is done to a high standard.
If you’re looking to hire one of Lincolnshire’s best tradesman, you’ll find them here. Search in your area, check out their reviews and profiles and contact those who fit the bill, bearing in mind these good practice tips and you’ll hopefully find someone who can do what you need, when you want it doing.