Bob the Builder – can he fix it? Maybe not… and that’s why it’s so important to do your homework when finding the right tradesman.
No matter how big or small the project is, you need to be sure that you have found the right person for the job.
As with everything in life, research pays. Make sure you fully understand what you need and what the overall requirements are for the job before deciding who to work with. Then make sure that the requirements are easy to explain and for the prospective contractors or tradesman to understand as well.
And then comes the next step of actually finding the right tradesman. So, here’s a few hints and tips which might help:
Finding the right tradesman – Accreditation
Some trades are covered by regulatory bodies, which regularly assess and monitor their members to make sure they are maintaining relevant certification and standards and, of course, abiding by their regulations.
Others don’t require accreditation, such as plumbing or joinery. However, it is still advisable to check if they are part of any trusted affiliations.
Gas Engineers should all be registered with GAS SAFE, which is the only leading regulatory body in the UK. Without evidence of their registration, engineers are not legally allowed to work on any gas installations and may not be competent to carry out the work you need.
Several regulatory bodies cover the electrical industry. NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) is one of the organisations, overseeing the technical standards, skills, and service levels of their electrical contractors. If registered with NICEIC, the contactor is permitted to self-certify their work to the local Building Controls. NAPIT is also one of the UK’s leading industry accreditation schemes with the intention of retaining a high standard of professionalism, competence, and industry standards. Others include ELECSA, STROMA and ECA.
There are many other affiliations for other trades. All tradesmen should be competent in whatever job they carry out, and you can always ask for proof of a City & Guilds certification, which is the most universally recognised qualification, and the leading brand for trade industry training.
Finding the right tradesman – Reviews and Testimonials
We live in a world now where a good customer review means everything! There are plenty of places where trades companies can set up customer review sites for the public to see. We would strongly recommend checking Facebook and Google, as these are the most frequently used sites and the easiest to access.
Checkatrade was the original trade directory, which involves their member businesses being thoroughly vetted, insurances and ID checked, and customer recommendations often also verified. The Which? TrustedTrader scheme is an endorsement scheme run by Which? and works on similar principles with recognition on their list for traders who have passed assessments by Trading Standards professionals before allowing an endorsement.
You can use sites such as MyBuilder, which posts both good and bad reviews, so you get an all-round customer view of the business itself. Although we wouldn’t recommend using those sites to post your job in the hope of finding the right builder, as I’ll explain below.
Pricing and bid job sites
‘Bid job’ sites such as MyBuilder, in our experience*, are sure fire ways to get caught out by the rogue traders and cowboys. Sadly, these sites can create a bidding frenzy! Tradesmen trying to undercut one another, which we believe is putting a strain on profits. Work is being rushed to complete, and you, the customers, are suffering as the quality and potentially safety of the job is at risk.
Pricing can be a tricky part of the trade industry, and one thing to remember is, cheapest is not always best!
This is why your due diligence is key when finding the right tradesman.
Check out their Website and Social Media
I briefly mentioned reviews on Facebook and Google earlier, but there is information pretty much anywhere at the click of your mouse or the tap of a finger now. So, search the company name of your chosen tradesman in Google (although other search platforms are available!) to see if they have a website. Does the website offer free, valuable, and knowledgeable content? Do they have a Google Business page? Do they display pictures, videos, reviews, and video testimonials? Do they have a Facebook Business page?
All these things are easy to access and you should take your time and look through the content on these sites as an indication, at least, before making your final choice.
I hope this has helped. There are hundreds of great tradesmen out there, but just be wary of the cowboys. Unfortunately, they plague our industry, which makes it harder for us to gain your trust, and more difficult for you to find the right tradesman.
That’s why we feel it’s important to give you valuable information and content so you know you can trust us to deliver the best quality work too. We know you may have specific needs and requirements, so getting to know you before finalising the work is so important for all of us.
If you would like any more information on our engineers, please get in touch today. We are more than happy to help, even if it’s just over the phone advice. If you choose Qualitas Limited, you have most certainly found the right tradesman!
*please note that this is our opinion and experience only.