Whether you are looking to get a small job done by a handyman or a bigger job like garden landscaping or an extension, knowing what to look for when choosing a tradesperson is key to getting your home improvements finished on time and on budget. (Image Credit: Michal Jarmoluk/Pixabay)
Do They Have a Good Reputation?
The best source of information when choosing a tradesperson is their previous customer reviews. Maybe there was someone on your street that recently had some work done on their home that could give you a recommendation. Alternatively, you might have a family member that lives nearby who knows someone they could put you in touch with. Getting a solid recommendation is a great start.
A lot of tradespeople work on word-of-mouth referrals, so if one if recommended to you, you should definitely follow it up to find out more. A tradesperson with a bad reputation is unlikely to be recommended to other people, but that’s not to say they aren’t reputable. They may just be new to the trade, new to the area, or they might be a small business that has a small number of very local customers.
If you don’t come across a tradesperson through word of mouth, you can try an online search. Searching for “painters in my area” on Porch will give you a good list to choose from. You can then make contact, and once you’ve discussed your requirements and a budget, you can ask for them to supply references for previous work.
Any good tradesperson should be happy for you to speak to previous customers of theirs. If you can, try and talk to former customers who have had similar work done to the work you’re having done. They might be great at fittings kitchens but not so great at painting walls!
Have They Got Experience Doing Similar Work?
Following on from getting references, you should consider whether or not they have done similar work to your proposal. Depending on the project you have in mind, you may need to hire multiple tradespeople for specialized jobs. If you’re choosing a new kitchen design, then you may need a carpenter, a plumber, an electrician, and a painter and decorator to complete the work. Instead of hiring them all individually, you could find larger firms to quote you for all the home improvements you desire. This is sometimes easier to manage.
In an ideal situation, you will be able to see pictures of the work they have completed on previous projects. If the tradesperson has been recommended to you, you may even be able to go and see the standard of work in person. It’s not just important to view the work from a quality point of view; you might also want to consider the style of work that’s been done and if they have skills to deliver what you’re looking for.
Do They Fit Your Budget?
One of the most critical factors you need to consider is, do they fit your budget? The last thing you want is to be left with a half-finished project. To begin with, you should get quotes from several different people so that you have a benchmark to compare prices against. In some cases, the difference can be thousands of dollars, so a simple call to 3 or 4 tradespeople could save you a lot of money.
Again, if you can, try and speak to previous customers to find out if their project came in on budget. If not, how much did they go over by? What was the reason? Did they choose more expensive fittings, or was it the tradesperson that blew the budget?
Another thing to consider when choosing a budget for home improvements is whether hiring multiple workers is cheaper than hiring one firm to carry out the work. The pros of having a big firm are that there is less to manage for you, and they may even have a project manager on-site to manage the work. However, if you plan to be around during the work or are very organized, it may be much cheaper to hire everyone individually if you can handle overseeing the project yourself.
Do You Get Along?
It may seem like a simple point, but getting along with the person or people you have hired is so important. Building up a trustworthy relationship will help put your mind at rest and is more likely to end in a successful project. It’s worth remembering that the tradesperson might be nervous about the project too. They need to be sure that you will pay their invoices on time so they can purchase materials and complete the work in good time. Communicating clearly and honestly is the best policy.
Choosing the right the tradesperson is a crucial step when you want to make home improvements on your home. However, finding the tradesperson who you not only trust to do the best job but also get along with can be a challenge. By taking into account their reputation and their experience, you can ensure you find the best tradesperson for your jobs.