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HomePros' Comprehensive Set of Guidelines for Hiring The Best Tradesmen

To help you choose the right tradesman for your home improvement project we have produced a comprehensive set of guidelines aimed at avoiding some of the pitfalls and mistakes often made in finding the right professional to suit your needs.

  • Your first hurdle will be to locate a trustworthy tradesman.
  • Use the HomePro Find a Tradesman directory service above to help you locate recommended tradesmen in your local area.
  • All our registered tradesmen have been trading at least one year and had legal and financial checks carried out on them.
  • We have also collected previous customer references on many of the registered tradesmen listed here and provided a score based on their results.

Finding Your Trade Professional

Use the HomePro Find a Pro service to help you locate quality home improvement and local building companies in your area. All professionals have had legal and financial checks carried out on them. We have also collected previous customer references on many of them and provided a score based on their results.

When a search has been carried out we rank the professionals based on how close they are to your postcode, the relevance of the type of work you require them to do and the level of vetting they have passed.

How Many Tradesman Should You Contact?

Don't try to contact every Tradesman listed - most are very busy and will generally put effort into a quotation when they feel they have a good chance of winning it at a fair price.

If they know they are tendering against a large number of other businesses they will be less likely to put as much effort into your quotation. Contacting multiple Tradesmen will also take up a lot of your own time, plan it so that you are able to show them around at times which are most convenient to you and your family!

Our "Find a Pro" directory service (found at the top right of every page on the HomePro website) will offer you a selection of recommended tradesman and builders in your area, all of which have proven trading history. We recommend you choose 3 - 4 Tradesmen and ask them to quote for the work you need. It is highly recommended that you ask for a written quotation and do not enter into any agreements on the basis of a verbal contract. HomePro recommend that you read our advice on how to choose a trustworthy builder and avoid the rogue builders.

The Best Decisions Are Made When All The Details Have Been Gathered!

Now that you are aware of the basics we can go in to more depth on the guidelines suggested above.

HomePro also recommends that you download our checklist to help you compare your choices before that final decision is made.

Your first hurdle will be to locate a professional builder, double glazing company, electrician or plumber who has been recommended by lots of other homeowners so that you know that they have the experience, certification and credibility to do the work for you in a safe and conscientious manner.

Check a Tradesman - Make Sure He Is An Association Member or Is Fully Qualified

Use the "Check A Tradesman" service should you ever be contacted by a local tradesman who says that they are members of HomePro or IPWFI. All professionals have been trading at least one year and had legal and financial checks carried out on them. We have also collected previous customer references on many of them and provided a score based on their results.

Using this service is easy. Simply give us a call on 08707 344 344. Alternatively, if you have the tradesman's specific membership ID, enter it in the Membership ID search box at the top right of this page.

If a tradesman has displayed qualifications ask for more specifics. The majority of the certification companies also have online facilities so that home owners can check to see if a company is in fact registered with them and just as importantly if that membership is currently valid or expired. Electricians could for instance claim to be NICEIC Approved Contractors while they are not. Any Gas Installer  / Gas Engineer must be registered with the Gas Safe Register. Check them out before they do any work in your home.

What's in it for you? When the work is done your chosen tradesman will provide you with documentation proving your fitting was done legally; was completed to accepted industry standards and the local council will also be notified upon completion on your behalf in many cases.

HomePro Top Tips

HomePro does not sell homeowners leads on to our tradesman. If you contact one of our members, that is a free service to both you and the tradesman. There are many resources where you can find home improvements contractors but most of these will accept any business prepared to pay those services for a lead - HomePro.com only accepts contractors that pass our strict vetting criteria. This is good for the tradesman and good for the homeowner too. Our business is about promoting recommended tradespeople.

Contacting Recommended Tradesmen - Stick To Your Local Area

Use the "Quote Me" button where available to contact the tradesmen. Fill in the details requested and then click on the submit button.  The tradesmen will then contact you accordingly with details of a quote.  When the "Quote Me" button isn't available use the contact phone number. Don't try to contact every Trade Professional under the sun - most are very busy and will generally put effort into a quotation when they feel they have a good chance of winning the work at a fair price. If they feel they are tendering against 20 others they will be less likely to show the amount of interest you deserve. Contacting many Trades Professionals will also take up a lot of your own time!

Our "Find A Pro Service" will offer you a selection of contractors in the area in which you live. All will have a proven trading history.This is evidenced by looking through their testimonials. HomePro recommend you contact between THREE and FOUR contractors for a quote each time you need work done on your home or business premises.

What To Ask Before You Accept A Quote

Before you sign a contract with your chosen tradesman, ask if you could contact a customer that they have recently finished working for - they say that Trade Professionals are only as good as their last job - this is not always true, but it is a good indication.

A good Trade Professional will always leave a satisfied customer, and should have no objection to you contacting one of them. They may need permission from their customer before you do this - so be patient, but remain insistent.

Their scores out of 10 based on Value for Money, Timeliness, Courtesy and Quality of Work can be seen next to their contact details.

Find out how much work they currently have ongoing - A major consideration for a Trade Professional is his cash flow; as a consequence they can tend to manage several jobs at once. This isn't a problem for a good Professional, but for one that is unorganised this can be their downfall!

Home Owners - Beware!

Beware of any contractor who offers to do the job cheaper for cash! - It may be a tempting offer - a cheap job - but stop to consider what you are doing. If you are offered the job cheaper for cash, the contractor could be trying to avoid the VAT, this means he should have no official record of the work he does, and will therefore be reluctant to offer a guarantee or enter into a contract.

This also shows that the contractor is prepared to cut corners - will he cut corners throughout the job? A good Trades Professional will not offer to complete the job cheaper for cash, and will always provide you with a written receipt for any money you pay them - if they are VAT registered, ensure the VAT amount is also identified.

Beware of requests for large deposit payments - demands for large deposits should really make the alarm bells ring. There are far too many examples of homeowners paying large deposits and the contractor disappears, or goes out of business. Always question the need to pay for a deposit up front - ask what it is for. All good Trade Professionals will have credit accounts with their suppliers, so to suggest that the deposit is for materials can often be false.

If they say they need it to ensure the job goes ahead, you can state that you would rather sign a contract instead to show your commitment. In certain circumstances it may be justified to pay a deposit (if a special item needs purchasing from a specified supplier) but keep the amount as low as possible, 10% of the contract price is usually acceptable.

You can also ask the Trade Professional to provide you with a HomePro Insurance Backed Guarantee - our Value Plus policy will provide you with deposit protection for up to 25% of the contract value.

HomePro Ltd, Suite 40B, Port of Liverpool Building, Pier Head, Liverpool, L1 1BY
HomePro is the trading name of HomePro Ltd. Registered in England Company Number 3833783
General Enquiries: (+44) 08707 384 858 - Membership Enquiries: 08707 398 999 - Fax: (+44) 08707 384 868
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