Choosing Trades People
Tradespeople are skilled people who are able to help you with a number of manual tasks around your home and garden. The jobs that tradespeople undertake are not only important to be finished in a timely fashion, but also that they are finished to the best quality possible this guide will help when choosing trades people.
This means that you are going to need to find the right tradesperson for the job. It doesn’t matter whether you have decorating, building or repair work that needs to be carried out, you are going to want to find a qualified, trustworthy and reliable person who is going to be able to carry out the work that you need to the best standard possible.
You will then also need to draw up and agree a contract of the work, this could be verbally or in writing and keep an eye on the work as it progresses near to completion.
But how do you do this? How do you make sure that you are choosing trades people that are right for your job? Let’s take a look at the do’s and don’ts of Choosing Trades People.
- If you can, then try to find a tradesperson through a personal recommendation. If you do this then you are going to know that they are able to give you the best results possible, as they have done before. That said, it isn’t always possible to get recommendations from family or friends. If you still want to make sure that you have a dependable and reliable tradesperson, then you could always go to the trade association, they can recommend someone in the area who is a member and therefore you know that they will abide by the code of practice. This association could be The Council for Registered Gas Installers, The Federation of Master Builders or the Institute of Plumbing.
- When looking for a tradesperson you are going to try and get at least three different quotes. These quotes should be complete, firm and exact and should contain all fittings and materials. This quote should be legally binding, in order to ensure that you then don’t have to pay any more for the work that you need to be carried out.
- Your contract should also include a date by which the work must be completed. This should not only give a deadline that the work will be finished, but also will protect you should the work be delayed.
- It is a good idea to try and pay for the work that needs to be carried out via a credit card. This will protect you. You should also get a receipt from the tradesperson, with their name and address on it. This will help to protect your money and ensure that you are protected in case there is any damage to your home or to the contents of your home.
- You should always check whether or not the tradesperson has insurance that will cover any personal injury or death due to the work that needs to be carried out.
- Don’t ever risk taking on a tradesperson who does not seem to be legitimate, even if they are offering a low cost. They should have a registered name and address, as well as a contactable number too.
- Don’t, ever feel pressured into choosing someone, or to have more work than you need, if the tradesperson that you are speaking to makes you feel this way then you should find another one to carry out the work.
- Don’t think that someone who suggests that you need extra items or work that other tradespersons have not is always the right person to listen to. There is also a chance that they could be trying to charge you for extra work that you don’t need. Which is why you should always obtain another quote from someone else.
- Never ever pay cash upfront, always wait until the work has been carried out to make a payment.
Making a contract with a tradesperson
One of the most important things that you can do when you are choosing trades people is to ensure that you have a contract between the two of you. This contract can be made verbally, or can be made in writing, both of these are valid in the eyes of the law. However, when it comes to proving things in the case of an issue, a written contract is the easiest to opt for.
A written contract should specify the details of what has been agreed between you both as this will help you to be aware of your rights and obligations. Whilst it is not an official document, it is always a good idea for you both to sign the contract, date it and have a copy to keep.
As a part of the contract you should detail the work that needs to be carried out as well as the materials that are going to be used, if this is known. It should also contain a planned start date for the work as well as an expected completion date.
Importantly, the contract should also include the total price and payment details, as well as whether or not you have decided to pay for the total in full, or perhaps pay in a staggered fashion.
What can I do if they are trying to charge a different place to what was advertised?
Have you organised work for an eye-catching price? Only to find that when they arrive to carry out the work, they want to charge more than they quoted?
If there is no definite agreement between you two, then as a customer you cannot force them to complete the work for the advertised price, as there was no agreement between the two.
That said, if you feel that the advert that they posted was misleading you when Choosing Trades People, then you can complain about how this may have been misleading, however, you still cannot force them to carry out the work for price that they had advertised. This complaint will usually need to be made to the local trading standards office, who will be able to advise you on what to do.
It will either be the case that you will find that there is small print in the advert that covers them, or that they have acted in a misleading fashion and that changes need to be made to ensure that other people are not misled like you have been.
About the Author
This article was written by a member of the Expert Answers team and posted by Lloyd Barrett, Admin & Customer Services Manager for online advice service Expert Answers. Expert Answers provides legal advice to users in the UK who post a question on their secure platform.