Dealing with trades people isn’t always easy. Here are a few things you can do when dealing with trades people.
• Understand the scale and scope of the job you want done. When you talk to the trades person on the phone, you’ll want to brief them as clearly as possible before you expect them to turn up to quote. Details are important. You’ll want to know as much detail about what you are asking for, the materials you need and the end-result you want to have when you’re finished as you can. You should look for at least two or three quotes before you agree to go ahead with a job.
• Be as reliable as you expect the tradesman to be. Follow the old “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” rule. Turn up when you agree to. Pay them according to the terms and conditions agreed to before beginning the job. Some smaller trades will only take cash or check and may require payment on the same day. You should check this type of information upfront. If it is a larger job, it can require a more complex contract with payment installments.
• It isn’t easy to find a good tradesman. Investing time to source a good local plumber and electrician will be worth it. One way to do this is from referrals from friends or people you trust. That, however, isn’t foolproof. They may add the travel time into their quote or need to squeeze you in, so it can be better to choose a local tradesperson.
• There are some trades which require the tradesman to have a license, such as plumbers and electricians. Most states have an internet service to check the tradesman to see if their license is valid. It is worth doing a Google search before agreeing to start a large job, because there are professional bodies governing certain trades and industries
• There is very little a consumer can do if it is a small job once a job has been done and paid for and the renovator decides they are unhappy with it. To ensure the tradesman returns to fix any faulty work, the best thing is to use your own negotiation skills. You should always aim to establish a courteous, professional rapport with the tradesperson. Contact them, be specific about what is wrong with the job, and suggest how you feel it can be repaired. It helps if you make sure you have the landline phone number for the tradesperson before you agree to the job-not just a mobile number.
• If you’re angry with a tradesperson, it is so much wiser to vent your anger in private. If you abuse a tradesperson to their face, or refusing to pay their bill leads will only cause you potential trouble. If and only if you cannot resolve the issue any other way, you should pay according to agreed terms and resort to your state’s fair trading legislation.