Builders, plumbers, electricians and other tradesmen are notoriously known for ripping people off – which has left homeowners confused and sceptical when deciding on who to hire. A poll by Helly Hanson Workwear revealed that three quarters of homeowners are nervous about hiring a new tradesman for the first time, and 40% reported a bad experience in the past. So how can you find out who is reliable?
Whatever the job is, it can be really time consuming finding a professional who will do the job to a good standard and charge a fair price. Here are some top signs that you’re dealing with a dodgy tradesman:
- They have cold called you
Never trust a tradesman who cold calls – if they do a good job then they shouldn’t have to reach out to new customers. Clients will recommend good workmen to others, and leave good reviews on social media/trader websites which will bring in business.
- Their quote is surprisingly low
When shopping around for a tradesman, always get at least three different quotes. For the same job, you’d expect the estimates to be a similar price. If one quote is far lower than another, ask the tradesman why. It could be that they have underestimated the amount of time it will take, or perhaps they are using lower quality, cheaper materials. They might be unable to give accurate figures or it could be something more sinister.
- They only accept cash
This is a big indication that the tradesman in question could be a rogue builder. If they only accept cash, not only could they be dodging tax but if you pay part upfront, the tradesman could make off with your money without finishing the job.
- They don’t have any references on request
It is standard practice for potential clients to ask for honest references from past clients – so if a tradesman refuses this should trigger red warning lights.
- They aren’t on industry sites
Fair enough, some people aren’t internet savvy, but in this industry it pays to be. Websites such as TradeMark and Trust a Trader can help homeowners find reputable tradesmen and approved local firms. When searching for a new tradesperson, online is often a good place to start and you should also be able to read reviews of their work.
Don’t get caught out – always ask for a contract and get quotes in writing. Hopefully now you know the signs, you won’t ever hire a dodgy tradesperson.