Are you looking for a Carpenter that is neat, reliable and affordable?
Don't be put off by all the horror stories and tales of rogues on TV. There are plenty of good tradesmen out there that take pride in their work, do a great job and will tidy up their mess before they leave.
Follow these tips and you'll give yourself the best chance of avoiding the few rogues out there that give the rest a bad name. All the resources recommended on this page to help you find a carpenter are completely free to use. You're welcome ;-)
According to a recent study by Santander home insurance, one in five Brits have been a victim of a cowboy builder, and the average bodge job costs £1,592 per household!
A good tradesman should have a few references that you can contact for first hand knowledge of their skills, reliability etc. Alarm bells should ring if when you ask for references all you get is excuses..
Avoid anyone who comes knocking on your door touting for work. Many scammers operate this way, and will often tell you they were "just working in the neighborhood, and noticed a problem with your...". This is often followed by informing you of how much worse the problem is going to get, of how expensive call-outs for repairs are and that they can at least save you that cost as they are already here.
Rogue traders who operate this way tend to prey mainly on the elderly and vulnerable, but are happy ripping others off too! They often pressure you into making a decision on the spot, which will lead to problems later on.
Firstly, Never pay all the money for a job up front. A small deposit is acceptable if there is a large outlay for materials before they can start your work, but don't pay for the whole job before any work has started and make sure you get a receipt. No good tradesmen will ask for you to do this unless you've messed them around with money in the past.
Cash is untraceable and if a tradesman insists you pay this way it is unlikely that they are putting it through an official business, or that you'll get any type of guarantee with their work. If they won't take a Cheque or credit card, show them the door and find a carpenter from somewhere else!
The best form of marketing is word of mouth
When someone does a good job for me whether it's fixing my dishwasher, my van or something around the house I tell people about them. Many people find a carpenter by asking their friends, but this can lead to problems if that particular tradesman lets you down. There are better ways to find a carpenter that has lots of satisfied customers. I've listed recommended tradesman websites for carpenters who are looking for work because they are a great way to build an on-line reputation and boost their workload. Each of the free services below will help you find a carpenter who is looking to build their reputation and business online by doing a good job for people at a reasonable price. And, because they know you can leave reviews about their services when they're done, for future clients to see - it's in their best interests to keep you happy.
Service magic are one such free online service, with over 25,000 contractors available throughout the U.K. waiting to provide a quote for your work. They only pass your details onto 5 tradesmen though, so you don't get swamped with calls!
Visit the federation of master builders page, www.findabuilder.co.uk find a builder.com. You can also check if a company is FMB registered, by visiting www.fmb.org.uk/check-a-member/default.aspx
The best thing about these services is that the carpenter knows you can rate the job they do when they're finished. It's in their best interests to keep you happy by doing a good job, finishing on time and keeping to all things agreed. That way you'll leave them a positive review and they can build their reputation on the program.
The more quotes you can get the better, which is why the online networks listed above are so handy. Make sure when you are describing the work you need carried out you know everything you want and if anything go into too much detail, rather than too little.
Whilst we all like to put our trust in people, verbal contracts are a disaster waiting to happen. By agreeing and confirming everything in writing both sides know exactly what is expected of them. A reliable tradesman with good intentions will happily sign a contract with you, outlining everything included in a fixed price or daily rate.
You can download two free contracts at http://www.building-contract.co.uk/ and they are both clear and easy to fill out. One is for small works, anything from hanging doors to erecting a fence. The other is for larger works like extensions, loft conversions etc.
Below are some trade bodies. You can either use them to find a registered builder to do your work, or if you have found a builder that displays one of their logos you can check they genuinely belong to that trade body by visiting one of these;
There are lots of great tradesmen who are not members of any official bodies like those above so don't be completely put off if they are not a member. The best tools on this page are the two free contracts you can download and use to avoid being ripped off.
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