DIY Tips

PA Photo/JupiterImages Corporation
PA Photo/JupiterImages Corporation

There can’t be many who haven’t had a bad experience with tradesmen - and, yes, let’s face it, it’s usually men because tradeswomen are pretty thin on the ground.

Problems can range from the relatively minor but extremely annoying, such as not turning up and not telling you they’re not turning up, to the much more serious, such as abandoning the job halfway through, leaving you thousands of pounds out of pocket and with a home that may not even be habitable.

Yes, it is definitely hard to find a good tradesperson - even the ones who are good at their jobs can often be unreliable or unwilling to answer their phone when you need them.

Thankfully though, there are ways to find better ones.

It’s no secret that the best way to find someone who’ll do a good job is to get a recommendation - however, this doesn’t necessarily follow when it’s a recommendation from another tradesperson. While your plumber may know a good electrician they’ve worked with before, for example, be wary - it might just be a case of them trying to get a mate some work. I’ve had some bad experiences of this lately, resulting in me employing unreliable, incompetent and work-shy tradesmen (and even one who had serious psychological flaws and wasn’t afraid to show them...).

Recommendations from a former customer, or from your own friends, colleagues and neighbours, are more reliable, but if no one you know can suggest the person you need, where can you turn? An architect, if you’re using one, should have contractors they use regularly.