It can be a daunting prospect letting tradespeople into your home. You’re trusting them to work on what is likely to be your largest asset and your main refuge from the world. The place you feel safe, secure, and happy.
It’s vital you know what you’re getting when you hire someone to work on or in your property. A poor job can be stress inducing, costly to put right, and potentially dangerous. So, what can you do to make sure the tradespeople you’re hiring know what they’re doing and are trustworthy, reputable professionals?
At Property Gene we have a process, and this helps safeguard against rogue tradesmen and cowboy builders. We’ve all heard the horror stories. Make sure yours isn’t one of them by taking these steps to find the right, quality tradespeople for your project.
1. Work out exactly what you want before you start
Knowing what your project involves before you start looking will save you time, stress, and money.
- Know what your project is: If you ask someone to quote but you’re a bit vague on the work you need it will be difficult for them to give you a reliable cost estimate.
- Work out your budget: This makes it easier for you and the tradesperson to determine if you have realistic expectations based on their prices and are a good match. Remember you may also need to set aside a contingency amount. Typically, this would be around 5-10% of your budget. However, with rising inflation it makes sense to allow for an extra 10-15%.
- Target the right companies: Make sure you’ll get the service you need. There’s no point asking a builder specialising in new builds to quote for a project requiring specialist renovation skills (more below!). If you have a large project that needs various inter-dependent tradesman to turn up at different times, it may be worth choosing a larger company. They will coordinate this saving you the headache.
- Know your desired time scale: Do you need someone to start as soon as possible? Should it fit round holidays or time off work, for example? Is there a date your work must be done by? Is it partly or completely weather dependent? Or can you be flexible and wait for the right tradesperson to be available? Knowing the time scale you’re aiming for will help you make the right decisions.
2. Start your search
Use all avenues available to you for your initial search:
- Personal recommendations: ask people you trust if they can recommend anyone.
- Online groups: most communities have Facebook groups dedicated to local knowledge. You can ask for recommendations or search for other people’s.
- Search online: online searches will bring up local companies. Just bear in mind a higher listing doesn’t mean better, and a website doesn’t guarantee a valid business.
- Use online directories: various online directories list tradespeople but they’re not all created equal. Many just require an inclusion fee or charge per enquiry. Unlike Property Gene, they won’t necessarily have made all the right checks.
- Look locally: if you pass a tradesman’s board outside a house you may be able to chat with them or the homeowner and even see examples of their work.