Picture the scenario – you have spent months saving for that new conservatory roof, then you choose a company to do the work, you pay them then they leave only to find out the roof leaks and you can’t get hold of them. Even worse, you pay them money up front and they are never seen again! Sounds like the stuff of nightmares, right? To prevent you getting caught out with the horrors of nightmare tradesmen. We take a look at how to avoid nightmare tradesmen and choosing the wrong company to carry out work around your home and how you can choose the right one with confidence.

Start the Search Online

In years gone by, we would look for businesses in the Yellow Pages, often judging whether a tradesman/company was reputable by the size of their ad, often assuming that those with the biggest ads were the most expensive. We’d ask friends and neighbours and rely on word of mouth. Some would call the number on the side of the van they had seen so many times, or the number out of the local paper. Now, with so much information at our fingertips, we can actually find a wealth of information about a company online in a heartbeat. Simply ask for a recommendation on Facebook or search on Google for a list of tradesmen in your local area and you will soon be furnished with a range of options.

Read the Online Reviews

While looking online to find a reputable tradesmen that won’t leave your home like a house of horrors is the first step, the next step has to be to delve a little deeper. Does the company have a strong online presence? Do they have a website, social media presence and when you google their name, is there lots of information available? What about reviews? Online reviews are the new word of mouth and the way that many people choose products and services these days. Google and Facebook, as well as many other platforms, offer a plethora of reviews that will give you an idea of a company’s approach to customer service and the quality of their work.

Ask for Examples of Work

You should be able to find plenty of examples of their work and projects that they have completed online however, if you can’t ask them for examples. Where have they carried out previous work in your area and can they show you pictures of the job both before and after?

Are They Insured?

If the company that you choose does not have adequate public liability insurance and accreditations to carry out the work then you should avoid! A reputable company that has experience and values their customers will have the relevant insurance and trade accreditations required to provide their services.

What Warranties/Guarantees do They Offer?

With the best of intentions, even the most reliable and trustworthy companies can fall victim to issues now and again. If you have a new roof installed that begins to leak down the line or something goes wrong with the projects, what warranties and guarantees are available to ensure that you don’t have to spend money to put it right? Most companies offer warranties of up to 10 years and longer in some cases.

Don’t be Swayed by Price

While we all like to save money where we can, there is a lot of truth in the saying ‘you get what you pay for’. While choosing the most expensive company won’t guarantee that you get the best value for money, don’t be swayed by a bloke with a van that claims he can do the job much cheaper for cash!

Ask for a Quote for the Work

When getting quotes for the work, make sure that you get it all in writing and that there are no hidden costs. You don’t want any nasty surprises at the end. Of course, it won’t always be entirely feasible to give a final cost – things may crop up when the work is being undertaken but be very clear that you want to agree with any additional charges first. Ask the company that you choose to keep you informed of any developments that will incur more costs.

Are They Confident in Their Approach?

You will get a good feel for a company by talking to them. A reliable and experienced tradesman should make you feel comfortable and confident in their abilities. Talking to them should make you feel at ease and they should be able to answer any questions you have. Avoid nightmare tradesmen that can’t answer a question directly or that seem unsure in their answers.

Remember – you don’t have to be pressured into making a decision. Home improvements are a big investment and you should be comfortable in your choice so take your time and only commit when you feel ready. Take your time, carry out your research and avoid nightmare tradesmen