Enhancing your space

 

Transparency goes along way, this page is designed to help the homeowner on choosing the correct tradesperson, products and perform their DIY tasks in the right way. We designed this page for guidance and to share our experiences speaking with clients over the years. You should always get the opinion of more than one professional for any home renovation idea.

Choosing the right tradesperson

Having a tradesperson into your home can be daunting this is why why we are giving the homeowner our advice when choosing the right tradesperson for your project. We have written this article in hope it gives the homeowner some guidance and reassurance. 

 Firstly we would recommend credible endorsement sites such as Which? Trusted Trader, Gas safe register or visiting directories such as Checkatrade.com. Organisations like these put tradespeople through a vetting process to identify that they a professional fair trading businesses. Some checks the tradesperson may experience would include personal or business credit checks, Public liability insurance checks, Disclosing and Baring service checks (DBS formally CRB checks). Your local authority may also offer a trusted trader scheme who may undergo similar vetting checks. Normally if a tradesperson with specific skills or qualifications these organisations check the authenticity of the qualification. It is unlawful for any tradesperson to falsify (either written or verbally) any qualification or skills they may have if they in fact do not hold any. 

Any Professional tradesperson will have no issue to show the client any evidence of their public liability insurance. Irrespective of them producing these vital document to endorsement organisations. You should also consider asking the tradesperson if your specific job requirements are outlined in their insurance policy.  Example, does a plumber hold the correct liability insurance to perform tile installations if you asked them? We would recommend that the homeowner asks to see proof of the all relevant documents (either insurance or accreditations) before any service is provided.  In some cases the homeowner may also be liable for prosecution, an example of this is waste license holders. It is the responsibility of the waste carrier and the homeowner.

Ask to see images of the tradesperson work, you can go as far as asking to visit a previous client although that would be the decision of the previous client and not necessarily the tradesperson.  We would advise caution with any door to door sale enquiries, Although at times these may be genuine a thorough background check on the tradesperson is advised. In our opinion flyers and leaflets are fine, a professional will have their details on the flyers along with websites, review platforms etc. 

We would also advise getting a quote over an estimate. When agreed and the works are carried out then the quote is legally binding but do ask questions about unforeseen circumstances as these do happen. An example of this in our experience is removing old textured wallpaper (30 plus years old) and the walls being damaged once they are revealed. Thus requiring us to make minor repairs. Ensure you ask your tradesperson about additional costs relating to unforeseen circumstances and the procedure of how to manage these situations. It is fair to say that you or the tradesperson can see the condition of the walls behind wallpaper unless it is completely obvious on the quote stage. 

 When you receive your quote/estimate make sure the tradesperson details are on the document such as address, contact details, terms of the quote such as deposit and payment methods. One of the signs of a rogue trader is not to give away personal information such as addresses etc. Make sure you get at least 3 quotes and be thorough on the costs, what are you paying for? Remember its not always cheaper to go with the cheapest quote. If something is to good be to true it often is, we have a saying in the building industry 'buy cheap buy twice'.

If you live alone and need a tradesperson to visit or work then we would advise having someone with you when these appointment are set, it gives you that additional support and another perspective when you finally choose your professional. We would also advise against giving any tradesperson the key to property or allowing them work in your home without you or someone you trust there. Would you give a random stranger your key to you house in the Highstreet? If you do give them the key then make sure you have confirmation of them having your key in an email or document. 

Finally, get everything in writing! A reputable tradesperson will have a service agreement or contract. This should cover topics such as costs, payment schedules, additional costs (if any), cancellation rights, work duration & terms and conditions for both parties. Contracts protect all involved and provides clarity of the work being done and sets professional boundaries. We would recommend that all communication should be in an email and not texts or calls. although reasonable adjustments can be made if the client does not have an email address. calls and text can be easily challenged in terms of authenticity as where emails provide a more solid foundation to support your case should anything go wrong.
 

We hope you found our little article useful and please seek advice if you have any doubt and remember that there are a high number of quality tradespeople out there who take pride and satisfaction of their work. 

 

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