Choosing a tradesperson

October 25th, 2013

As your parents will probably tell you, a personal recommendation is important, so when you’re choosing and using a tradesman, shop around to get the best deal. The internet allows you to do both these things quickly and easily. If you post your job on Builderscrack, you can get multiple quotes from different tradesmen quickly and easily, and you can see whether the tradesmen have been recommended by those who have used them previously.

You get instant access tusing a tradesmano a huge local network of rated tradesmen and you can be confident that the tradesman that does your work will take extra care to do the job well, because every positive rating helps them to grow their business.

Here are some tips on selecting the best tradesperson for your job.

Get to know the tradesmen you are dealing with

When dealing with various tradesmen, take a little time to get to know more about them and the services they offer:

  • how long have you been in business?
  • do you have insurance which covers damage to property?
  • is your work guaranteed?

Make sure you write up and sign an agreement with your tradesman regarding what they will do for you, what they won’t do, how long they will take, when they will start, and the agreed price. Be wary of adverts that come through your door or directory listings that only have a telephone number. Ensure you have the tradespersons full contact details including their name, company name, physical address, mobile and landlines, e-mail address and any other details you may need to track them down in the unlikely event of a dispute or guarantee claim. At all costs avoid the fast-talking tradesman who approaches you and ‘just happens to be in your area’. Don’t be pressurised into letting them do work for you.

Choosing the right tradie

As with all things in this world, the best price is not always the best value. Be sure to weigh up the benefits of working with one tradesman over another. How much experience does the tradie have? How can they guarantee the quality of workmanship that you require? A good way to start is by getting multiple quotations. Builderscrack makes it easy to get multiple quotes.

Take care to include enough detail in your written job requirement so that each tradesman starts with a good first understanding of your needs, or else their quotations may not be comparable. Including photos will make it even easier for them, but isn’t required. Once a tradesman has agreed to quote make sure they have all the information they need and always ask for a firm price. Make sure that you understand what is included and whether or not the price includes GST.

tradesmanChoose the quote that offers you the best value for money, but take into account any previous ratings that have been posted by other clients in respect to their quality, value and reliability.

Don’t work on ‘gut feel’ – feel free to ask the tradesman for details of other clients they’ve done work for and follow up those references to ensure that you are happy you’ve chosen the right people to work with.

When to pay for the job

Follow a few simple rules and you should avoid the common pitfalls when it comes to payments.

  • Never pay the whole amount in advance and avoid paying large deposits up front.
  • On longer jobs, agree a schedule of payments and make sure that your payment at each stage reflects the progress made.
  • Always retain a proportion of the total payment until the job is fully completed. However, be fair on completion and pay promptly when the work is finished to your satisfaction.
  • For a range of reasons your agreement may need to be revised – your tradesman may uncover unexpected problems or you may decide to alter your requirements.
  • Ask for a signed invoice for every payment you make. Keep all invoices and receipts. Do not pay the individual builder, always the company.

If you have any further suggestions for how best to engage a tradesman, please let us know.

What next?

Read articles about choosing and using specific trades and services.
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