All Women's Talk

7 Ways to Find a Reliable Tradesman ...

By Alison

When you need something fixed around the house, you also need to know the ways to find a reliable tradesman. If you pick someone at random, how do you know if they're going to do a good job? When you need a tradesman you don't want to be ripped off, so here are some ways to find a reliable tradesman …

1 Word of Mouth

One of the best ways to find a reliable tradesman is to ask around. Chances are that someone you know has had to employ a plumber, carpenter or builder at some point. If they are happy with their work, then they will be only to happy to recommend them. So ask family, neighbors and co-workers if they know anyone suitable.

2 Get a Detailed Quotation

When a tradesman comes round to assess the job to be done, ask for a detailed quotation. This should be on headed paper with the name and address of the firm or tradesman. If they just scribble down a rough figure on a scrappy piece of paper, be wary. That doesn't make them seem very professional. It also makes it likely that the price they give you will increase later on.


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3 Get References

It's also wise to ask for references, especially if you have found the tradesman through a directory and not a reliable recommendation. You should also check the references by contacting the referee if possible - and try to ensure that it's not a relative of the tradesman. Find out if they were punctual, tidy, and finished the work on time.

4 View Their Work

Ask to view their work if possible, especially if you're looking for a major job like building work. You'll soon see if their work isn't up to scratch. Also ask the owner of the house questions about their experience with the tradesmen and whether they would use them again.

5 Membership of Organisation

Each trade has at least one trade body or organisation that the tradesman should be a member of. Although this doesn't offer a cast-iron guarantee of their work, it should indicate that they have appropriate qualifications. It will also give you a place to complain to if you do experience problems with one of their members.

6 Fixed Address

Look for a firm or trader that has an office address and a landline. If they only give you a cell phone number, they could be pretty difficult to track down if you have any problems with their work. It could also suggest that they're not entirely trustworthy and honest.

7 Recommended Tradesmen

Look for tradesmen on sites with official recommendations. For example, in the UK you can check this site(, where tradesmen have been approved by Trading Standards, a government body. You will also find plenty of sites where tradesmen are rated by users, although it is difficult to be sure that the recommendations are authentic.

When you're looking for a tradesman, don't just use the first one you find. Call at least three and ask for quotes. And never use anyone who just turns up at your door and offers to do work straight away, especially if they claim your house has a problem that you'd never even noticed. They will probably do poor work and charge too much for it. Are you good at fixing things around the house - what can you fix yourself?

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