9 Questions to Ask a Tradesman before Hiring

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Finding a reliable tradesman who will provide great services can be both hectic and frustrating. While there are many tradespeople in the market, there is a good chance that you will encounter some unprofessional tradespeople before finally identifying the most suitable one for the job.

With the important part that tradespeople play in enhancing the functionality and comfort of your home, there are several steps you can take to ensure that you hire a reliable tradesman. One of these steps would be to ask some questions before hiring a potential tradesperson. These questions will also cover you against any unexpected expenses and inconveniences.

How long have you been in business?
Asking how long the tradesman has been in business will help you to establish whether you can rely on them and their services. This will also go a long way to show if they have the necessary experience to handle the task at hand. Since you may not be around when the work is being done, you will want to work with an experienced tradesman.

Are your staff members qualified?
Some tradesmen hire and fire staff members frequently, affecting the quality of personnel they have as well as the quality of work performed. Qualified staff members will ensure that the repairs and renovations in your home are done without extensive damage to your property. This will also ensure that you get the quality of service you desire.

Do you have insurance against damage?
There is a likelihood that people will suffer injuries and property gets damaged as a result of the repairs and renovations. Good tradesmen should have insurance covers to settle any claims that may arise from such events.

Are you a member of a trade organisation?
Trade organisations can help to resolve disputes between you and the tradesman you hire, in case such disputes arise. Asking this question will help you to know if there will be a neutral arbiter you can turn to when things go wrong. Once the tradesman responds in the affirmative, you should find out from the protection scheme if he is a member.

Can I see your license?
Licenses are very important when it comes to hiring a tradesman. While a tradesman may be qualified and have the necessary experience to handle the job, they may not have the necessary licenses for want of professional behaviour and conduct. A license from the relevant authority will help you to establish whether the tradesman is reliable.

When will the work begin?
Some tradespersons are likely to go silent once you have agreed on the timeframe of the project. This is why it would be important to establish when work can begin. It is also advisable to have the date in writing so that you can prepare effectively for work on your property. Make sure that the tradesman sticks to the date that is agreed upon.

What is the estimated timeframe for the job?
Repairs and renovations to your home are likely to be accompanied by a great deal of inconvenience. You should find out from the tradesman the estimated timeframe for the job. This will not only help you to budget but also deal with the foot traffic in your home. The tradesman should deliver quality work within this period, except in cases where factors beyond his control delay the completion of the project.

Is the price the actual price?
Once the tradesman has provided a quote for the project, you should find out whether the price stated is the actual price. Some unscrupulous tradespersons are known to include extra charges during or after the completion of the project. There is nothing funny when it comes to surprises relating to additional expenses. This is why the quote obtained from the tradesman should be put in writing. 

What are the terms of payment?
Agreeing on the terms of payment will help you to avoid any misunderstandings with your chosen tradesman. While some tradespersons will require you to pay a deposit upfront, others will be willing to do the work and receive payment on completion. Some may also prefer cash payments while others can be flexible enough to accept credit card payments. Make sure that you agree on a payment plan that is most convenient for you.

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