Home improvement work can vary in complexity; while you may be perfectly capable of painting a wall, fixing your house’s plumbing may be another story. Many homeowners choose DIY options to save money, but without the necessary skills no amount of enthusiasm will be enough to guarantee a job well done, or an end result that will not cost more money to repair. That being said, there are still opportunities for DIY input if you hire a tradesman. If you ask for a price breakdown for your project when a tradesman offers you a quote, you may find some jobs you can do yourself, such as removing waste materials. The number one rule to follow is this: if you do not know how to do a job, do not use your own home as a testing ground. There is a reason that certain tradesmen have to earn qualifications to do their work legally.
You may tell yourself that you do not need a tradesman if your project only involves unskilled work. However, you should still consider tradesmen for tasks like these. A well practiced handyman will be able to do the job more quickly and to a better quality. There is also the advantage that even unskilled tradesmen usually have some level of insurance coverage which you can benefit from if something goes wrong. Certain jobs may not require specialist skills, but if you want them done by an experienced hand in a short amount of time it is still best to hire a tradesman.
Before beginning your search it is important to have a clear idea of your project and what you want out of it. The clearer you can be, the more approximate a quote a tradesman can give you.
You may have heard that the best way of finding a reliable tradesman is through personal recommendation. The disadvantage of this is that if you just go to one tradesman you risk not getting a competitive quote. A Plentific customer survey taken in June 2016 found that, out of 2000 adults, 59% feared being able to find a good, reliable tradesman for their project, and 51% feared getting ripped off or overcharged. The best way to avoid this is reviewing and examining several different ‘options’ for tradesmen, then comparing them alongside the quotes they offer you.
An established professional tradesman will be able to show you information on their qualifications, experience and completed jobs. They should have pictures available, as well as reviews from previous customers. It is a good sign if they belong to a national or international tradesman's’ organisation, as such groups enforce high standards for members. Your tradesmen may have completed industry qualifications, apprenticeships or university courses to qualify to become professionals. If you are unsure what to look out for, you can find out what qualifications are necessary to work in certain trades on the National Careers Service website.
When looking for tradesmen it is important to have several firm ‘maybes’ to consider before making your final decision. A common recommendation is to have three tradesmen and three quotes to compare to make sure that you are getting a competitive price. Insurance is also important: a well established professional should have active Public Liability Insurance. Any tradesmen who offer assessment or planning services should also have Professional Indemnity Insurance. Remember to ask about guarantees: if you are unsatisfied with their work, they should return to fix it.
When considering tradesmen there are a few things to watch our for. A tradesman who says he can finish your work for today at a lower rate than his competitors, but only if you pay in cash, is one to avoid, as they may be engaging in VAT fraud, and without a contract you will have no protection for your job. The same goes for any tradesmen who only offer their mobile number without a landline for their business: you want someone legitimately well established. Finally, do not be pressured into paying the full amount for a job up front. While it is common to pay deposits on larger home improvement projects, paying in installments will give you more security and control of the job.
Finding tradesmen, comparing their quotes and choosing between them can seem like it would be a long and drawn-out task. Plentific can not only help you save time but also ensure that you have several high quality tradesmen to choose from. The Plentific website offers a service that can quickly generate a bespoke contact list of the best tradesmen in your local area that offer the skills and expertise you need for your project. When using Plentific you will be given access to profiles for each of your tradesmen, where you can examine customer ratings and reviews, qualifications and past projects. By using a Plentific verified professional you will also be eligible for the added protection of the Plentific Guarantee, which will fully cover your project.
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