Tips for choosing the right tradesmen

 Article date: 11 Oct 2019
 Written by: Hohh House Of Hard Hats

TIPS FOR HIRING THE RIGHT TRADESMEN OR SERVICE PROVIDER

Hire the right tradesman for you

Before making your final decision about who you hire for your project, ensure you're completely happy with your choice of tradesman. Choose a team or individual that you feel comfortable with and someone you can communicate with, another very important aspect which should influence your choice is TRUST, make sure you feel you can trust the team or individual.

Always work through House of Hard Hats for peace of mind

Click the Contact tradesmen button when you've found a tradesman or team and don't forget to leave feedback once your job is complete.

Honest and reputable tradesman want your feedback to help build their reputation which will contribute to their success in the future. Tradesmen who ask people to work outside the site know that they can’t be held accountable for their work, which often leaves you “the customer” with unfinished work / poor quality finishing / tradesman who disappear without completing a project. YOU DON'T NEED THE STRESS, allow our website to work for you and to assist our dedicated professional tradesman to grow their business through the positive feedback you leave for them on completion of your work.

Always check the tradesman's feedback | references | areas of expertise 

  • Make sure their feedback is relevant for the work you wish to carry out.
  • Our new tradesmen don't always have feedback, this doesn't mean they are less capable but you should carry out additional checks. New tradesmen are encouraged to submit previous client references, which we personally authenticate.
  • For larger projects / jobs, it’s worth asking your tradesman to view previously completed work and where possible speak to the customer about the quality of workmanship and general conduct.

Consider planning and Building Regulations

  • If your project needs architectural plans, it's ALWAYS advisable to have them drawn up first. Without these plans, tradesman & builders are very much in the dark and will often provide you with a higher quote to ensure they don’t undercut themselves.
  • Before approaching tradesman, remember that planning applications usually take a number of weeks to process. This may take considerably longer if your application is refused or complications arise from the planning aspect
  • Check whether or not the work you want doing needs building regulations approval. Depending on the type of work, you may need to hire a suitably qualified and registered tradesman or builder.

Always get a quote before you hire a tradesman

  • We recommend you obtain a minimum of three quotes and make sure that quotes are based on the same specification.
  • Always try to obtain fixed quotes rather than estimates which are generally a rough price and subject to change. Ask for a breakdown of how the pricing was calculated.
  • For additional work, always insist on a revised quote before commencing
  • Tradesman who provide really low quotes, may not understand how much work is involved or the full extent of the project and may attempt to get money back later on other areas of your project.
  • Often there is a trade-off between quality and price - going for the lowest or cheapest quote may end up costing you more in the long run.
  • Make sure you’re quote clearly shows the tradesman's full name, full address and a fixed telephone number. Any other contact names / numbers and trading names are not a bad idea either.

Make sure your tradesman or builder has public liability insurance

Ask to see their public liability insurance certificate. They should have their policy details posted on their profile on the site. Various building work can sometimes also affect your home and contents insurance, it’s worth checking with your insurance company before your work begins.

Ask if your tradesman or builder's work is guaranteed

Good tradesman might guarantee workmanship or materials, as sometimes tradesman or builders can go out of business. If you choose or buy materials then they are normally your responsibility – cheap materials are not often recommended, generally you get what you pay for with most things, materials being one.

It’s worth asking if your tradesman or builder will use sub-contractors on your project

Cover yourself by making sure the tradesman or builder knows that they are responsible for all team members, including sub-contractors. They should all be covered by your tradesman’s public liability insurance and suitably qualified when it comes to dealing with specified categories i.e. Electricity, building to plan etc.

Check any trade association memberships listed for your tradesman or builder if the size of the project warrants specific services to be completed according to SANS standards

Does your tradesman belong to a professional trade organisation or body? Contact those organisations to verify their membership and enquire about what assurances they offer to consumers if things don’t go to plan or go completely wrong.

GET A CONTRACT IN PLACE

A lot of projects / jobs require a deposit / money up front - a written contract is always recommended, no matter how big or small. This allows you to have a signed agreement between you and your chosen team, with a formal arrangement of the work in detail that you have agreed and appointed your chosen team to undertake, this will include an agreed figure for the project – you can find different examples on the internet for basic contracts to the more detailed ones. Agree on a start and completion date and payment arrangements before the work begins. Contracts will protect both yours and the tradesman’s interests. Contracts should always be adhered to from both parts, as this will avoid any breach of contract.

Be ABSOLUTELY clear and always discuss money upfront

Try to avoid paying a deposit unless you have worked with a tradesman or builder before or unless this deposit is required for the sourcing of materials. Never pay the whole amount up front and for any money transactions between you and your chosen team, always keep a signed register with all money exchanged.

Check if the contract allows for stage payments and retention:

  • Progress Payments are much the same as performance based payments calculated and paid based on pre agreed stages of completion for your project and paid once these stages are satisfactory completed
  • Retention allows you to hold back a percentage of the final invoice until after the job has been completed to your satisfaction.

Cash in hand work or projects?

We recommend you think carefully before you agree to this. A written invoice proves a relationship and can be useful in the event of any disputed.

Check if your tradesman is VAT registered

          Check if your quote includes VAT, as this will have an impact on your final invoice.

Does you quote cover labour + materials?

Check if your quote is for labour only or if your quote covers materials too, these will certainly differ, the bigger the project, generally the bigger your material cost will be too.

TO SUMMARISE:
IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR MONEY
ALWAYS HIRE YOUR CHOSEN TRADESMAN OR BUILDER THROUGH THE SITE – THIS WILL GIVE YOU PEACE OF MIND AND REDUCE UNNESSARY STRESS ON YOURSELF THROUGHOUT YOUR PROJECT
MAKE SURE YOU KEEP A TRACK RECORD OF CORRESPONDENCE ON EMAIL BETWEEN PARTIES ALONG WITH AN AGREEMENT OF WORK, LASTLY YOU GET TO LEAVE FEEDBACK ON HOUSE OF HARDHATS BASED ON YOUR ENTIRE EXPERIENCE, THIS WILL BE VISIBLE TO FUTURE CLIENTS WHO WISH TO UTILISE THE SERVICES OF THE SAME CONTRACTOR

IMPORTANTLY, YOU WILL HAVE A PROFESSIONAL TRADESMAN LOOKING TO DEVELOP HIS OR HER BUSINESS POSITVILY THROUGH THE FEEDBACK YOU LEAVE FOR THEM, THIS WILL BE VISIBLE FOR FUTURE CUSTOMERS TO SEE AND AID IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF YOUR TRADESMANS CAREER

HOUSE OF HARD HATS WILL GIVE YOU THE TOOL TO ENSURE YOU GET THE BEST RESULTS FOR YOUR PROJECT THROUGH YOUR CHOSEN TRADESMAN OR TEAM, NOT TO MENTION A VERY GOOD PRICE TOO!

After everything, you'll be left feeling good, knowing you have positively contributed to your tradesman or builders future by leaving feedback for other customers like you to see and helping them win future work through the site!

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