• James Lee
  • Three ways to feel safer when hiring workmen
Three ways to feel safer when hiring workmen
Written by
James Lee
September 2013
Written by
James Lee
September 2013

When a friend comes over for a glass of wine or a family member joins you for tea, discussions will inevitably turn to your place of residence and the various home improvements carried out. After all, everyone loves to talk about a job well done from a new tarmac drive to a new central heating system, especially if the work is completed by a friendly, reliable tradesperson.

On the other hand, you may have had a disappointing experience with a tradesperson or heard a few horror stories from friends and family regarding unscrupulous workmen. Furthermore, the rise of reality TV shows highlighting poor worksmanship is laying siege to the industry's reputation, tarring reputable builders and labourers in the process.

With the barrage of negativity emanating from second-hand or third-hand sources regarding the employment of contractors, it is natural to be wary when looking for a tradesperson to hire.

Here are just a handful of tips to ensure you feel safe and secure when hiring a labourer.

Verify credentials

One of the ways cowboy traders manage to get away with their underhand tactics is that people contracting them don't verify their references or check their credentials. They can be enthusiastic about the work and appear to be legit on the outside but after digging deeper, they may not be an 'approved' contractor or belong to a professional organisation.

As a result, it is worth researching a list of candidates and their credentials before employing them to fix a boiler or repair a roof. Trade standards websites such as ReferenceLine can help you make a more informed choice when looking for a firm as positive customer testimonials can reinforce the authority and credibility of a tradesperson.

Don't be afraid to ask questions

As well as outside research, it is always well-worth asking your tradesperson plenty of questions about their trade history and their experience.

For instance, can they supply three or four references of recent work and can you visit previous projects with them? This way, you can ensure the tradesperson is exactly who he or she says they are. Furthermore, it is always work questioning them about insurance; Do they have insurance-backed guarantees? Do they have other insurance such as public liabilities?

Check your contract

Once you have chosen a contract, it is essential to obtain a written contract that outlines the work specified, the price, the materials, the warranties, the start and end date and debris removal if necessary. A written and legally binding contract means the worker is legally obliged to provide the work and price provided in the contract; a process that will be absolutely no problem for a reputable, reliable builder but something that could put off a cowboy trader!

These three tips should help you keep safe in the knowledge that you're employing a reputable trader to carry out labour work to your home or grounds. Now, you'll be able to chat with your friends about the great experience you had with a trader; one that doesn't confirm to the experiences had on countless reality TV shows.

About the author

Written by Referenceline (www.referenceline.com). Referenceline is a service helping consumers make informed choices when looking for firms.

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