If you live in Essex or Herts you will undoubtedly be turning your attention to repair jobs that have needed doing in your garden and on the outside of your property over the coming weeks, especially as the warmer weather. However, if you don’t want to tackle these jobs on your own it can be a mind field when it comes to choosing the right building contractor.
That’s why we checked out the Sainsbury’s Money Matters Guide to finding a trustworthy tradesperson. They say to start by checking out on-line rating sites such as Rated People.
Here are their 5 tips on how to make sure you find trustworthy people:
Tip 1. Make sure you do checks on the tradespeople, never pay a large amount of money before they have completed the job. Ask you friends and family for recommendations. Checking out websites such as Rated People, the Trust Mark, My builder.com, Checkatrade etc.
Tip 2. Make sure you do more than just checking reviews on websites. Always ask for proof from previous customers, those who are happy to have a chat with you or signed approvals.
Tip 3. Read all of the reviews including those ones that are not very good, that way you will get a good idea of what the problems were and whether they are acceptable.
Tip 4. Where possible try and avoid paying cash try and pay by credit or debit card, so that you can have more financial protection.
The difference between a quote and an Estimate
It’s best to ask for a quotation before agreeing for work to be carried out - this is because it’s legally binding, a promise to do the work at the agreed price and will be a fixed price unless there is extra work commissioned or if any unforeseen circumstances happen. An estimate is just that, it’s a price indicator, it’s not legally binding and is subject to change.
Make sure before you employ the services of someone that they give you a written quote detailing exactly what is included in the price, make sure they have insurance, that you have their full contact details and their credentials including a trade license. Before they carry out the work make sure that their costs include any subcontractor work if needed if you need to supply anything, cleaning up and disposal of waste once the job is completed.
Always check to make sure that you do not need planning or building permission if you are carrying out an extension, improvement or work to a listed property. Make sure you write down a detailed brief, as for a written quote with your mutually agreed payment terms, don’t pay in advance for anything apart from the money to pay for materials.
Just in case you have any problems make sure that you keep all the relevant paperwork, including all correspondence and their quote.
For more handy hints why not visit their Sainsbury's Money Saving blog https://www.sainsburysbank.co.uk/money-matters/profile-money-matters-team