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How to Find a Reliable Tradesperson

Young man installing heating system in apartment.

Adobe Stock

Trade work is skilled work, whether the installation of a plumbing system or the plastering of a new wall. Many homeowners naturally do not possess the skills and experience to undertake their own home improvements or repairs – so when something goes wrong, a tradesperson is the first person to call. 

But for homeowners new to this, finding a reliable tradesperson can be a daunting prospect. With horror stories about cowboy builders and rogue traders ever present in the news, what can you do to ensure the tradesperson you find is reliable and skilled?

Research and Due Diligence

While this might sound somewhat glib, one of the better ways to ascertain the quality of a given tradesperson is to put some time into researching their online presence. In doing your due diligence, you may be able to build a better understanding of their skills and approach to work; this might be discovered through their own pictures of work in progress, or through client-volunteered photos of finished projects.

Timelines are also important here, as delays to completion of work could have significant cost implications for you – to say nothing of your quality of life. This information might be best gleaned from customer reviews, which may be left on their social media platforms or on independent review websites. Naturally, you will want to avoid any tradesperson with a negative presence on such sites – especially if they have responded to such reviews publicly and combatively. 

 Bearded man in safety helmet placing the cover on frame while installing wall-hung toilet system

Word-of-Mouth Recommendation

A more accurate, efficient and effective way to choose a reliable tradesperson is to reach out to friends and family for recommendations. Word-of-mouth is a particularly powerful marketing tool for trade workers, and for good reason: their results speak for themselves, and good results invariably win a degree of fresh local custom.

If you are looking to get your roof evaluated and repaired, you might canvas for opinions on social media or in your family Whatsapp group. The roofer that quickly and skillfully installed a new dry ridge roof system on your friend’s recent home purchase will naturally be a much safer bet for your own project than the unknown quantity you have found on Facebook Marketplace. This goes for plumbers and electricians, too; where there is tangible proof of quality work, your decision is made much easier. 

Checking for Accreditation

For the extra-diligent, there is an additional step you can take to feel completely secure in your choice of trade worker. Many trade positions require accreditation of workers that fill them; this is perhaps most obvious with gas engineers, who are required to attain qualification and register with the Gas Safe Register. Gas engineers that do not appear on the Gas Safe Register are not legally qualified to work on your boiler.

There are accreditations that are, for all intents and purposes, optional; for example, joiners and carpenters are not required to obtain a qualification in their field to provide their services. However, you as a consumer might feel safer with institutional evidence of skill and experience – making a hunt for accredited and qualified workers a useful step in ensuring your home project is completed to your standards.