Here are a few tips for finding tradesmen to work on your projects, whether its a plumber, electrician, tiler, or builder that you are looking for, these tips will help you find the right person!
1. Ask friends and family for recommendations
It's always worth taking a word of mouth recommendation from a friend or family member- this is definitely the best way to find someone for the job, as (hopefully) someone you know wouldn't recommend someone to you who hadn't done a great job!
2. Check Local Advertising
When builders are taking on larger projects they will often place a board outside the property with their business name and contact details. When you see these it is always good to note down the name and number for future reference, and you will know that you can ask the owner of the property if they had a good experience or not.
3. Use an online recommendation service
I have recently used my www.mybuilder.com to find a tiler, and it's been a surprisingly pleasant experience! I have never used one of these sites before, but it was really easy- you simply enter a short description of the job you need done, and builders/tilers etc are allowed to express their interest in the job. You then look at all the builders who are interested, and also read reviews from their past jobs, which is really important, and something you will never get if you choose a random person from yell.com. Then you shortlist your 5 favourites. Your 5 shortlisters will then call you to arrange to come and give you a quote. After you have received all 5 quotes you just choose your favourite one, and hire them! Everyone turned up on time to give the quotes within two days of me placing the advert, so I am really pleased.
Other similar online services include: www.checkatrade.com and www.ratedpeople.com
A few tips for managing the project...
- Try to get at least three quotes for each job- this will ensure you get a good price, as well as finding someone you feel comfortable with, rather than choosing the first person you meet.
- Always get all of your quotes in writing, with a full breakdown of costs including materials, labour and VAT. For larger jobs use a contract.
- Never pay anything upfront (apart from materials) Most good builders will request payment after the job is complete and they have seen that you are happy with everything. For larger jobs that take more than a few days, staged payments are normally requested weekly or monthly. Make sure you agree this upfront though, and have it written in your quote or contract.
- If you have a problem with anything, let them know immediately, in a firm and polite manner. This gives them the chance to resolve the problem quickly, as it will be much harder to get them to come back and fix something after the job is complete.
- For larger projects with a strict time frame include penalties for finishing late- be sure to include this in the contract and make sure it is signed.
What to avoid...
- Steer clear of anyone unwilling to give a written quote
- Avoid anyone who refuses to give you references
- Avoid anyone who only takes cash (although it's fine if you do decide choose cash as your payment option, as long as they accept other payment types)
- Avoid anyone who won't give you their business address or landline number.
I hope this helps you! Feel free to add anything in the comments :)