Tips & Advice

Up to four tradesman can purchase your lead, enabling them to contact you about your job. But how do you decide which of them to choose?

In order to select the right tradesman, we recommend you check the following elements of their profile:

Read rating & feedback from other customers

Ensure that all the ratings are related to the work you are planning to do, e.g. if you are looking for a flooring tradesmen and a general builder contacts offering the same services, its best and safe to ensure that they have relevant ratings about their flooring work carried out, if no ratings, we recommend that you ask them to provide contacts of recent customer for whom they have done flooring.

View photos from previous jobs

Each tradesmen is welcome to add photos of their previous work before and after completion. If they don't have any photos online, don't be afraid to request a portfolio of their previous work.

Write down the detail

Make sure that during the viewing with the tradesmen, you are clear on what you want, to avoid any confusion once the work has started. We would recommend that you type a list of the tasks and hand a copy to the tradesmen, so all is clear and both parties agree on the tasks.

Get a written quote

Never agree a quote by word of mouth, but only written ones, either by email or text or post.

Each tradesman will provide you with a quote and prices will probably vary. This is why we recommend that you obtain 4 quotes. Some will be cheaper, some more expensive. To help you select the right tradesmen based on the quote, have a look at other homeowners' ratings.

  • A very cheap quote
    The job may be done to low standards, or if the job is undervalued it could lead to tradesmen asking for more money later
  • An average quote
    Should lead to completion of the job in a satisfactory fashion
  • An expensive quote
    Might lead to the work being done to high standards, but remember that’s not necessarily the case

Always look at previous ratings and what other homeowners have to say about the tradesmen quote.

During the meeting with the tradesmen, an experienced tradesman is able to explain and recommend the best way forward for the work you are planning to carry out.

Who will be doing the work?

Some tradesmen will use sub-contractors to complete any work that they don't have time to do themselves. This isn't necessarily an issue, but it's good to know who will be doing the work for you.

Ensure they're insured

Always make sure that the tradesmen are insured, that their insurance papers are up to date and that the name and address of the tradesmen are on the insurance papers. This will help you in case the tradesmen goes bankrupt.

Check Trade Association memberships

Most of the tradesmen do belong to some professional body or regulated trade association, its best to ensure that you check upon those memberships to ensure that they are true.

Get a guarantee

Most projects will need to be guaranteed by the tradesmen. Ask how long the work will be guaranteed for.

Agree a completion date

Before work starts always agree a start date and a completion date, allowing a contingency of a few extra days or weeks if the project is large and will take place over several months.

A good Tradesmen will always update you on the work they've done and better tradesmen will provide you with a schedule of how much work will be done each day.

Sometimes deadlines are not meet due to various reasons:

  • Additional work requirements that were not discussed during the initial viewing
  • The discovery of a problem once the job has begun
  • Weather conditions delaying exterior work
  • ...and many more

An experienced tradesmen will update you immediately if extra hours of labour are required, and will clarify what they are for and how much they will cost. Never leave the extra work unquoted until completion; this will help to avoid inflated quotes.

Budget

Once you have agreed a quote with the tradesmen, make sure you both understand how and when you will pay.

Agree on a method of payment (bank transfer, cheque or cash)

Installments are the best way to pay as the work is being done. For example, if you and the tradesmen have agreed on three installments (25% at the beginning, 25% half way through and the balance when the work is complete), always ensure that the amount you are paying is based on the amount of work done.

It’s always wise to ask for a receipt and invoice when settling the final amount.

Prices are often quoted "excluding VAT". Check if your tradesmen is VAT registered as this will be payable in addition to the agree quote.

Always try to retain a small percentage of the payment if you don't have the time to go through the tradesman's work immediately. Then, if the work is not up to your agreed standards it will help you settle the issue.

Agree a contract

Once you've agreed what the tradesman is to do, write a contract to protect you in the event of a dispute.