Getting tradespeople in for a renovation, extension or plumbing job can be both an exciting, and stressful time – depending on how well-prepared you are. Although you may not be doing the hard work yourself, you still need to take precautions if you want to ensure that you’re getting a professional tradesperson to handle the job.
Remember that a good, reputable tradesperson can remove a lot of the frustration and potential for risk that can exist within any home renovation experience, whereas a bad one can drain your resources and leave you with an empty budget and unfinished home.
Here are some questions you should ask a tradesperson before you hire them;
1. Are you Accredited?
Seems obvious, right? In practice very few home owners ask to see a tradepersons qualifications. When asked they might be satisfied with a list of references or a certificate of insurance – but these are not the same thing. In Ireland there is a high standard of trade professionals due to the formal apprenticeship system. Undertaking an apprenticeship means that the trade professional has to undergo 4 years of practical on-the ground training under the guidance of an approved trainer and a number of college-based learning modules. At the end of it they get a national craft certificate or similar. Thereafter they may choose to undertake additional accreditations through an industry body. Make sure you ask to see a tradepersons qualifications before you give them the job!
2. Ask for a written quotation
When trying to keep costs down and ensure you get the job done well, make sure that you don’t simply accept a verbal assurance that your project is going to cost “about” a certain amount.Request a written quotation for exactly how much you should be expected to pay, before any work gets underway. Often, this will mean starting with an estimate that you can agree to with your tradesperson, or make changes to depending on the work that needs to be done, the date of completion, and so on.
3. Do you have insurance?
Before you hire a tradesperson, ask them to provide you with a current certificate of public liability insurance at a minimum. All risks insurance cover is even better. This will ensure that any accidents that occur are claimable under their insurance policy rather than your home insurance or from you personally.It may not seem necessary at first – particularly if the tradesperson you’re dealing with appears to be trustworthy – but it’s a good safety net to have in place.
4. Ask to see their recent projects
Checking out the work that a tradesperson has done previously will help you to decide whether he/she is the right person for the job.
With any luck, your tradesperson should be able to show you images of the projects they’ve recently completed, as well as giving you information for referrals should you need them. By looking at photos of their completed work, you’ll be able to see for yourself whether the tradesperson in question is capable of achieving the sort of results you want for your own home.Where possible, speak to some of their previous clients before you commit. This way, you’ll be able to access valuable feedback about the customer service you can expect, and the level of satisfaction derived from previous customers.
5. Sign a home improvement contract
A home improvement contract will cover all sorts of tangible and intangible deliverables for your project including time frames, payment terms, materials to be used, warranties and what happens in the event of any disputes. So please make sure you have one.