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Hiring a Tradesman

With so many TV Shows showing us about cowboy builders and DIY gone wrong, it is only natural to worry and stress over finding a reliable tradesman. A job needs doing around the house and they are the only ones who can fix it, but we don’t want to get ripped off and end up with a worse situation. Whether you are looking for someone to do a minor or major project, from painting and decorating, building a wall, you want to ensure you have a tradesman you can trust to do a good job at a reasonable price.

It’s hard to know where to look in finding a good honest tradesman. You could spend hours looking through directories with no hope.

The best way is not through the directories, there are many ways that you can do to help you get the help you need. Your trading standards service may operate a ‘Builders’ Register’ with a list of reliable electricians, builders, roofers and plumbers. They would have all undergone a strict vetting procedure by trading standards and would have all been verified. You can go to the trading standards website and use your postcode to do a search to find your local office, where you can then search on the register.

Visiting Which? Can also offer you many recommendations and hosts of 70,000 tradespeople who are rated and recommended by members, they also look at removing fake recommendations.

There are a few websites that are similar and have had great reviews:

‘Trust A Trader’ and ‘Rated People’ are two of these, and assist you in finding a recommended tradesman in your area.

‘Rated People’ even claim to be the UK’S largest trade recommendation service. You can rate the traders when the job is done too.

‘Trust A Trader’ can be visited at

Make sure you follow these rules when hiring a tradesman:

-Always ask for a detailed, written quotation, with a start and finish time, and agreed payment terms.

-Be specific and create a detailed plan brief when requesting quotes. Get about 3

-Seek references and speak to previous customers

-Use established firms, make sure you have their office address and landline number.

-Only pay for work that has been completed and do not make advanced payments, only where it is for materials that need to be purchased and then you should only pay a fair percentage.

-Always use a written contract.

-If there is a lot of extensive work, set a penalty clause, should the work over run the deadline.

By following this advice you should be okay, however if something does go wrong you can always contact:

-Your local office of fair trading

-The Police (If the tradesman has disappeared with your money and other serious offences)