Key Tips for Finding the Best Tradesfolk to Work on Your Home
May 30 2022 - Home improvement is big business in the UK - and even bigger business in recent years, as the appetite for home renovations grows ever larger across the nation. More than a third of homeowners in the UK were planning major home renovations by the end of the year, in part due to rising house prices leading households to improve instead of move.
But such renovations often require skilled workers, which can be difficult to come across without some serious vetting. Supplier of Milwaukee power tools SGS Engineering recently conducted a study to find out which areas in the UK were best - and worst - for hiring skilled tradespeople. The top ten locations for securing a high-quality contractor were as follows, with the percentage representing the likelihood of securing a positively reviewed tradesperson:
- Islington - 5.20%
- Reading - 1.15%
- Southend-on-Sea - 0.96%
- Newport - 0.83%
- Bradford - 0.76%
- Manchester - 0.74%
- Coventry - 0.74%
- Kingston upon Hull - 0.69%
- Preston - 0.66%
- Birkenhead - 0.63%
Despite the borough of Islington’s impressive results when it comes to procuring high-quality tradesfolk, London in its entirety scored the lowest in the country = with a less than 0.1% chance of getting a highly-rated tradesperson.
But what can you do to improve your chances of working with a higher quality contractor when it comes to your home? Here are some key tips you can take into consideration the next time you are canvassing for workers, in order to guarantee you the best possible results for your home.
Use Word-of-Mouth Recommendations
The single best way to ensure that you are retaining quality workers for your home improvement or repairs is to select tradespeople via word-of-mouth recommendation. If a tradesperson comes positively reviewed from a friend or family member, you can be sure that you will not be defrauded, that the work will be carried out to your liking and that there will be no hidden costs or difficulties. Online tools like Checkatrade can also be used to this end, with higher-rated professionals less likely to be problematic to your plans.
Seek Proof of Credentials
Even after vetting your options carefully, and choosing a shortlist of viable contractors and tradespeople, there is the possibility of incompatibility with your needs - and the outside chance that some are not as they appear. Further vetting can be done at this stage by asking for proof of credentials as well as additional contact and business information.
For example, if you are hiring an engineer to install a new boiler or alter your gas lines in any way, they are legally required to be Gas Safe engineers. Any engineer that fails to produce proof of their certification should be avoided.
Do Not Pay Up Front
Lastly, you should not pay up front for any work before it has been completed. Some tradesfolk may try to pressure you to pay up-front for the work, citing material costs and busy schedule; this is a common tactic used by less reputable contractors, and often precludes shoddy or incomplete work. Any professional tradesperson will either invoice you on completion of the project, or happily negotiate a contract with you that stipulates the terms of payment as well as the work to be done.