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How to find a quality tradesperson

From fitting a kitchen to erecting fences, there are some jobs which are better left to the experts. However, with so many horror stories around it can be hard to know who to turn to.  How are you supposed to find someone who will do the job well and for a good price? Which advice should you listen to and which should you ignore?

1 – Personal Recommendations
The best place to start is to seek out recommendations from friends and family, colleagues or even neighbours. They may have dealt with a tradesperson who they can highly recommend and may be able to give you some good insider knowledge such as how much they charged for a particular job, which will help ensure you aren’t paying an unreasonable amount.

2 – Online reviews
Many tradespersons have their own websites and even Facebook pages these days where you can find out more information about their business and even see photos of recently completed work. What’s more Google and Facebook both allow customers to leave reviews about their experience with a local business or tradesperson. By reading those reviews you may be able to get an extra insight into the level of service a tradesperson gives. However try to keep an open mind as some reviews may be biased or particularly unfair to the trader.

3 – Trader Schemes
Your local trading standards service may be able to advise you of schemes in your area such as a Builder’s register which lists tradespersons who have undergone strict vetting procedures to ensure they provide a fair and honest service. 

4 – Use established companies
While it doesn’t guarantee that a company will do the best work, having a website, a landline phone number and a brick and mortar company office is a good sign that a business is legitimate. At the very least if the work is not done to your liking then there may be someone that you can direct your complaints to at their office. A one-man-band type company where there is only one person in charge may sometimes be more difficult to deal with if disputes arise.

5 – Ask for references
If dealing with a one man band type operation then you should ask them for references. See if they are willing to allow you to speak to or even visit previous customers so that you can see how their work holds up.

6 – Shop around for quotes
Once you’ve settled on a tradesperson to complete the job, you should ask for a detailed quotation which sets out the specific dates for starting and completing the job and if there will be any penalties for the tradesperson if the job overruns the original deadline. Once you have your quote you should begin shopping around to see if you can get a better deal anywhere else. However, bear in mind that cheaper doesn’t always mean better, so if you do find a cheaper quote make sure you do your digging to make sure they’ll do a good job.

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