AWS Developments

Uncategorised How to know if you’ve got a good tradesman?

So you need to know if you’ve found the right person for the job, well have you? Now I know there isn’t any definitive checklist given, or a little print out you can cross reference when they’re looking at the job in hand. But I will certainly help you in what to look and listen out for. Then you can create the checklist mentally or if I get enough requests I will make one for you to print out.

First thing is first you need to decide what the job is you need doing. Whether be something large like a full house renovation, or something a little smaller like maintenance work i.e plastering a room or some new sockets. The type of job definitely determines who to ring, you wouldn’t want a joiner putting a new fuse board in would you? So please please ring the right person for the job to start! Strictly anything electrical, plumbing/ gas use the correct registered companies! I mean if this co insides with another job for example, you want a stud wall putting up with some new sockets and a new radiator on it. You’ll need three people really; builder, electrician and plumber. So who to ring?

Second thing then – Who to ring and where to find them? Now all my work always came from word of mouth, new customers appearing from the recommendations from previous ones. I think that’s the best thing, for both tradesman and customer. Nothing beats a recommendation from someone who we already know and trust, right? So lets start with asking family, friends and colleagues for recommendations on who to use, or even ask on facebook!

 All this fails and you don’t get any from them, get your research hat on. Basically google people in your area, get names of a few that have a good website, facebook page, instagram, reviews on google, and have a look at their work. If you like it then contact them that way, you contact a few anyways. You can’t go on the first price unless you have a good relationship with them. Or see if you can contact the people who left the reviews, via Facebook or instagram. Get some more honest answers. So I really you want to be ringing 3 people for each job that involves a different trade, like the wall example earlier. Unless you find someone you like who works with the other trades, and can recommend some to you!

Third thing – They’re here to look at the job. This part mainly boils down to person feeling I think, what’s your gut saying? Do you like this person? Feel comfortable them doing the work? I’m sure you will all know what I mean, when we meet new people you can generally tell if you like them or not quite quickly. So you need someone who you will feel comfortable with and who you trust! Not to mention you want someone who can bring ideas to the table, things you may not have thought about, someone who understands budget. Which can be determined in the site visit too, don’t be afraid to ask questions. The world is full of them, its built on them intact. Ask away, it will help you decide on who to use. Image is tough to go on really, some of the best trades people I know don’t have the tidiest van, or they may have been working late the night before so might not be clean shaved or whatever. But choose someone who you are comfortable with, period.

Fourth thing – the quotes. This bit can be quite fun to be fair, this is also another place in where you can determine who’s worth using or full of shit. Generally the more quote you get the more of an idea you will have on who to use – you should see similar numbers in the ones worth using. I.e builder 1 quoted £2300, Builer 2 quoted £2450 and Builder 3 quote £2900. See the jump? Builder 3 is the one to miss, they either don’t want the job or they have over priced because they’re not sure on how to do it – why the price is a lot higher (and full of shit) So we want to be looking for similarities in the quotes for starts, along with break downs. I always offered breakdowns of what it included (job time, materials, labour), it helps both the customer and the builder for future use. 

So we’re going to choose a builder in the similar price range, who offers the price breaks downs and someone who we feel are best for us. As I said before we want to be choosing someone who we feel comfortable with and trust. Also most of the good builder/ tradesmen generally have a waiting list – this is a good sign! Means there have plenty of loyal customers who have recommended them to everyone! Unless it super urgent its worth the wait I would say. 

Fifth thing – the work. The hard part was done and now we are getting the desired job done! Woooooooo (confetti is flying everywhere!) A start date has been arranged and work starts! All of our boxes have been tricked above so we should be happy with the price, comfortable with the tradesman, and we have seen previous pictures of work so we know were getting a good job. 

So what happens if you come across something that wasn’t meant to be involved in the original work plans, its not on the quote. For example the new stud wall we want up with the new sockets and radiator, we have found rotted floor boards and joists which it would be sat on. Well this is where you both need to come to an agreement on how to sort it. The tradesman will know how to sort it, explain it to you and yourself feel comfortable with what it is and what extra needs doing. Remember you have a budget to work with don’t you? Talk it through with them, what can be done with minimal cost or get it all done along with the original job. Main thing is you being comfortable and confident in them, main thing HAPPY!

Six thing – Are you fully happy with it? Then pay up! Jobs completed – all good? Well if the steps are followed we should have a happy bunny on our hands if all works are complete, to budget or at least close to it as possible if any hiccups are found! But what if you’re not? So if you’re not happy with something, the radiator is a little wonky or the plastering isn’t up to scratch. Simply let them know and any good tradesman should happily come back and put it right, we all make mistakes we’re only human after all. If they don’t come back – don’t pay until it’s resolved.

So all being well we have found our tradesman, had our job done to a standard we are happy with and paid them. Also we have now got the number of a tradesman we know, like and can rely on for future use.

I once did a full house renovation for a client before I went into property. It was a big job, floors was up, walls was down, plaster off the walls, utilities moved, new kitchen and bathrooms. Now the customer waited for me to come and do the job, mainly from reputation and I was well into the category of what people want from tradesmen. I had to wrap up another job before I came to them. All the rip out was done, everything moved and we was putting back. They wanted to finish the job quicker planned, they wanted to rush basically. So they made the decision to get a couple of other trades in, I wasn’t informed I turned up one morning to find a plasterer had turned up, which shifted my schedule of works. Its not the best way to go about it really, I mean a tiler was introduced too. I knew the tiler so wasn’t that bad, but didn’t know the plasterer which was a little cheaper then me to then be asked if I can put his work right! Moral of it is; Don’t Rush it and get cheap people in which will end up costing more then the start, and take longer! Building the relationship with the tradesman is key and speaking to them is king obviously. 

See you on there next one…

Aaron