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how to minimise the risk of things going wrong

I need to hire a tradesman, what is my best approach?

Be prepared
Before you start be clear in your mind what you want doing. Top Tip: Clear communication in the early stages prevents misunderstandings later.

If you can, write down your specifications
This is essentially what you want, desired time frames and budget before calling. This will keep things clear and help you explain your requirements to your Tradesperson.

Get a written quote or estimate.
This will help avoid any confusion later if the result is not what you expected – Top Tip: Never approve a significant job from a verbal quote and contract.

Make sure you understand the payment terms
Know what and when you have to pay. For just £2.99, you might consider using our Escrow service to protect your money.

Beware the 'cash price'
A cash deal can be perfectly fine, but make sure the company is well known, you get a written quote and a proper reciept for the payment. However, frequently 'cash' means tradesperson is avoiding written quotes and thier legal tax liabilities plus you have no comback if the work is shoddy or incomplete. You need to ask yourself is this builder large enough to be able to complete my work, what if something goes wrong afterwards? Will they be around if any of the work needs a repair? How can I have a valid contract if there is no proof of payment?

Keep a record
Take a photo of the intended project before work commences and as the work progresses. Top Tip: Most mobile phones have cameras now.

Always get more than one quote.
Price should not always be the deciding factor, quality of materials, proven accreditations, experience and reputation should play a large part in your decision. Do they offer a skill as one of many or do they specialise? Top Tip CHEAPEST IS NOT ALWAYS BEST

Avoid hiring tradesmen from publications that clearly just take money for advertising
Classifieds and other publications can unwittingly print false claims and memberships. Classified ads are almost certainly not a reliable resource.  Be cautious of employing trades who have no trading address in their advert and no landline number.

Get a Warranty Some  traders have deposit protection insurance or offer guarentees. If they do offer these, what warranties does they actually have in place and who underwrites then in the case that they have stopped trading? Guarentees that are not underwritten are essentially NOT guarantees. 

Check their accreditations
Do not be afraid to make sure their accreditations are up to date. If your trader is a member of a registered trade referral body, such as FMB, FENSA  (List of Approved Trade Schemes) etc  do not be afraid to contact the government Trustmark,  to make sure they have not lapsed. Top Tip: Trustmark is a Government body that oversees the UK’s recognized Guilds and Federations.

Use Checked and Vetted
Using Checked and Vetted is a good start where you know that every member has been scrutinized and where you know all the feedback is genuine and authenticated. It is unusual in the UK to find a company like ours who actually make all their members go that extra mile. All our members are truly accountable and WANT to be vetted and monitored and we have the highest level of telephone verifed feedback in the UK.

Pay by credit card if you can
This gives you more protection. If they only take cash, get a receipt, if it is a door knocker – be wary, get advice!

Crucially, DON'T do business at the door.
If someone makes you an offer to you at the door, always take time to research the company before you commit to anything.

Don't pay for thhe job up front
Paying for a job up front is not advisable. It is much better to pay in instalments as agreed between you and your tradesperson or use our Escrow service.

If you are worried about a suspected scam or need to talk to someone about
  1. Worries you have about ongoing works
  2. Advice on the small claims process
  3. Report local intelligence on alleged rogue trades
  4. An elderly relative who you fear is vulnerable (A door chain is essential)


Please call Customer Services  0191 65 111 65

Or Email   [email protected]


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