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 when looking for the most professional tradesmen.
  • Your first hurdle will be to locate a trustworthy tradesman.
  • Use the HomePro "Find a Tradesman" directory service at the very top of this page to help you locate locally recommended tradesmen.
  • Our registered tradesmen have been trading for at least one year and have 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 overall 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 Companies 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 competing against a large number of other tradesmen they may 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 Tradesman" directory service (found at the top right of every page on the HomePro website) will offer you a selection of tradesman and builders in your area, all of which have proven trading history and have been recommended by other homeowners. 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 handy tips 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 if you are contacted by local traders stating that they are members of HomePro, IPWFI or even FairTrades.

Using this service is easy. If you have their specific membership ID, enter it in the Membership ID search box at the top right of this page. If you don't then simply give us a call on 08707 344 344.

All our members 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.

If a contractor 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 it has 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 contractor will provide you with documentation proving your fitting was done legally; was completed to accepted industry standards and that the local council will be notified upon completion on your behalf in many cases.

HomePro Top Tips

HomePro does not sell homeowners leads on to our members. If you contact one of our members, that is a free service to both you and them. 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 with details of a quote or arrange a time to visit your home / business to get a better idea of what's required before they can give you a quotation. 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. Time is a valuable commodity to both you and the tradesman.

Our "Find A Tradesman" 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!

Don't forget to check out Free Download "Tradesman Pre-Hire Checklist". It should help you make the best decision for your needs. Just remember that the final decision is yours to make, the checklist is only a guide to help you compare your home improvement firms against each other.

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 should also insist on receiving an Insurance Backed Guarantee from any Glazing Trade Professionals that you hire. See HomePro Insurance Backed Guarantee - our Value Plus policy, for example, would provide you with deposit protection for up to 25% of the contract value.

In June 2014 new legislation was passed which requires that all glazing installers who are members of a competent Person Scheme provide, free of charge to their customers, an IBG or Insurance Backed Guarantee, giving the homeowner added financial protection against both frame & hardware defects. The new legislation has also been extended to provide additional protection against breaches of the applicable Buildings Regulations too.

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HomePro is the trading name of HomePro Ltd. Registered in England Company Number 3833783
HomePro Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FCA Number 304449
General Enquiries: (+44) 0800 131 0123 - Membership Enquiries: 0800 131 0500 - Fax: (+44) 0800 131 0900