Reliable and skilled yet affordable tradespeople are hard to come by and it can be tricky to know where to begin when it comes to finding them.
Recommendations from friends, family, and neighbours are a good starting point when you’re trying to find tradespeople. But knowing what you should actually be looking out for is where many of us often get stumped.
Get at least three different quotes to compare. Be sure to ask what each one includes, how long the work is anticipated to take, what qualifications the tradespeople have, and if they offer any guarantees to protect your project.
How to find tradespeople
Reputable professionals will be members of relevant organisations such as trade bodies or chartered institutes, such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) or National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC).
“An easy way of knowing you’re getting a qualified engineer, for example, is by searching online using the Find a Professional tool on the CIPHE website,” says Kevin Wellman, chief executive officer of of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE).
You can also dive a little deeper when you try to find tradespeople and ask to see their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) record when requesting a quote. “This ensures they are competent for the specific job,” suggests Kevin. “A qualified engineer who is competent in drain laying may not necessarily be proficient in the installation and maintenance of pressurised hot-water systems. Checking the credentials of those working in your home is essential.”
What about installers?
When looking for installers, you need to follow a similar process to when you’re trying to find tradespeople.
“There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an installer, no matter how big or small the work,” says Victoria Brocklesby, chief operating officer at aluminium door company Origin. “Always check if the manufacturer of your chosen product is able to provide a list of preferred installers in your area.
“These professionals usually have undergone training with the company on how to install its products. This will give you more confidence that the installer is familiar with the nuances of the products and will be able to deliver a high-quality finish – just like when you find tradespeople.”
Once you have a list of preferred trades, ask to see their previous work – those with good experience will be willing to share examples.
Check out reviews online, and make sure you have an in-depth conversation with them before committing to any work. Not only will this give you a better understanding of their process, it also allows you to get a sense of what they are like to work with and whether they meet your expectations for the task at hand.
“There needs to be a level of trust when you find tradespeople,” adds Victoria.
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