Top tips on finding the right tradespeople




If you are moving into a new home, chances are there’ll be a few jobs that need doing. Follow these steps to ensure you get the right tradespeople.

Give yourself time

The best tradespeople can get booked up weeks or even months in advance, so the further ahead you can plan, the better. This is particularly important if the work is required to make your new home habitable.

Planning ahead will also give you time to compare several quotes so you can get the best tradesperson, at the best price.

Make sure you hire a professional

Dealing with the aftermath of shoddy or unfinished workmanship is stressful and expensive. So always do your research before giving anyone the green light for the job.

Start with a simple Google search, which might uncover any posts made by previous unhappy customers on social media – or any negative online reviews.

Feel free to ask for references from previous customers and to see first-hand evidence of their work.

Finally, always check out the tradesperson’s credentials verify they are licensed for the work you need carrying out. Electricians for example, should have a certificate to show they work to the UK safety standard BS 7671.

A number of organisations run schemes under which they vet and accredit tradesmen, such as the Government-endorsed TrustMark.

And all professionals on Zoopla partner, Plentific carry an insurance-backed guarantee.


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Set down a clear brief

When you have settled on a tradesperson to carry out the job, it’s important to be crystal clear about exactly what you want. Then put these requirements in writing, as disputes can often arise from misunderstandings.

The cost and timescales of the job should also be crystal clear. Get in writing what is and isn't included, as well as timescales in which the job should be completed.

Double- and triple-check whether VAT, charged at 20%, is included in the quote, to avoid any nasty surprises when it comes to paying.

Know your rights

The Consumer Rights Act, states that traders must carry out work with, 'reasonable care and skill, in a reasonable timeframe and at a reasonable price'.

If you feel your tradesperson has failed to do this, or they have not stuck to what was agreed in your contract, you have grounds to complain.

Remedies include having the work you are unhappy with redone at no extra cost, or receiving a discount/refund on the work within 14 days of it being agreed.

If you are unable to reach an agreement directly with the tradesperson, you can then take your complaint to the independent Dispute Resolution Ombudsman.

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