Our Top Tips For Finding The Right Contractor
Updated: Nov 11, 2018
Good. Reliable contractors are hard to come back, take a look at our top tips on how we select the correct contractors for our Landlords.
1. Ask friends, family and work colleagues if they have a recommendation. A recommended contractor will instantly make you feel safer and more trustworthy.
2. Does the contractor have the correct training and certificates? i.e a gas engineer needs to be gas safe registered. Don’t be afraid to ask a contractor to send you proof of their credentials, any competent contractor will be happy to send copies.
3. Is the contractor part of a trade body or union? To be part of these the contractors normally have to jump through several hoops set by the trade body to proof they are a reliable contractor and not a cowboy. Most trade bodies will verify testimonials from previous clients which they will post, have a read through or ask the contractor for some testimonials.
4. Always check the contractor has public liability insurance cover – again don’t be afraid to ask for a copy. Any reputable contractor will have a summary overview they will be happy to show new clients.
5. Does the contractor have experience in what you want them to do? Ask for before and after photos of a similar job, this will give you an insight to his skills and the end result. If he is on a project, ask to visit site, see for yourself how he works and if the site is safe, neat and tidy.
6. Invite at least 3 contractors to quote. Make sure each contractor is quoting for the same work to give you comparisons. Did the contractor send the quote in a timely manner or did you have to chase him?
7. Have a list of questions to ask each contractor, make sure the questions are the same for each contractor so you can compare answers. Did the contractor fill you with confidence? Did they sound confident in what they were saying?
8. Always be 100% sure clear on exactly what you want. If you want grey tiles make sure the contractor is aware of exactly what shade of grey you want, even better send the contractor samples or ask where they source tiles and go see the tiles in the show room to get a feel for the colour. If the contractor lays a grey tile and the shade isn’t to your liking, they have done what you asked but not what you expected and this is where you can run into problems.
9. Always clarify exactly who will be carrying out the work. If it isn’t the person who is attending to quote make sure you get references, insurance and certificates for the person who will be doing the job.
10. Have an agreement and schedule of work which is agreed and signed by all parties. This will come in handy if there are any problems along the way.
11. Always ask how long the project will take, agreeing a start and end date in advance of the project commencing. It’s not uncommon that extra jobs may pop up, this cannot be helped as you can’t foresee what problems may arise. It’s always best to have a contingency fund in place just in case. Remember any problems or hiccups along the way can cause delays and affect the end date of the project. The contractor should make you aware of any problems straight away, along with any additional associated costs and the extended timescale.
12. Once the project has begun, do unannounced regular visits to ensure the contractor is on site and the work is progressing.
Having a good, honest, trusting relationship with your contractor will save you lots of hassle and aggravation in the future.
I hope this post has been helpful. If you need any help, please feel free to contact me using the details provided below.
0333 772 0718