We have put together a checklist of things to think about when hiring tradespeople to do work for you:
- Have a clear idea of exactly what work you want to have done. This should be explained to all the tradespeople you ask to give you a quote.
- Get a written quotation from at least three tradespeople
- Compare all quotes for the following items:
- - The statement of the work to be undertaken
- - The price
- - The start and finish dates offered
- - The warranty or guarantee given
- Think about the complete package, not just the price. Satisfy yourself that the quotation covers all the jobs you need doing, and any work that will not be covered is clearly explained.
- Discuss and agree a fixed and firm price for the total agreed job, and how and when payment will be made before you reach a final agreement with the tradesperson you have chosen. If you don’t feel confident about doing this, you could ask a friend or relative to help you negotiate with the tradesperson.
- Agree the method of payment with your chosen tradesperson before the work is started. This agreement should always reflect your wishes.
- Make definite appointments and always ask to see the tradesperson's identification.
- Keep an eye on how the work is progressing. You need to ensure that any additional work that emerges after the tradesperson has started work will not be undertaken without agreement from both parties.
- Following the completion of the work, ensure you receive a receipt for payment. Ideally both parties should sign this. Keep copies of the original quotation, any changes you have agreed, invoices, contracts and receipts. These can be very important if there is any disagreement about the work later on.
- Specify that your property should be left in a clean and tidy state and that all rubbish and unused materials must be removed.
Things to avoid when dealing with tradespeople:
NEVER give work to someone who just knocks at the door or tries to pressurise you into having work done.
NEVER make payment before the work starts. Payment should only ever be made upon the completion of work to your satisfaction, or in accordance with a previously agreed plan to pay in stages as the work progresses.
DO NOT ALLOW anyone into your home uninvited, and do not let somebody borrow keys to your house.
DO NOT BE TALKED into additional work that is not needed or desirable.
DO NOT KEEP CHANGING your requirements once you have agreed the price and the statement of work to be done. Changes offer the opportunity for your tradesperson to revise the agreed price.
DO NOT ACCEPT THE OFFER OF ANYONE OTHER THAN FAMILY OR FRIENDS TO ACCOMPANY YOU TO YOUR BANK, BUILDING SOCIETY, OR THE POST OFFICE TO WITHDRAW YOUR MONEY.