Build a loving relationship with your tradesmen
Ok, so we’re not talking here about a dating agency for builders however, HomeForce believes that that by matching the right tradespeople to your job you can save yourself the stress of dealing with many of the trades related pitfalls one reads of.

When is a Lawyer not a Lawyer?

It is generally accepted that while all lawyers may undertake the same basic training they will, at some stage, specialise and become expert in one field or another. Similarly a GP Doctor may refer a patient to one of many specialists or one accountant may specialise in tax while another specialises in auditing.

What is less accepted or recognised is that trades people who operate under the same general banner (Joiner, Plumber, Handyman, Electrician etc) may have differing skill sets and areas or expertise.

Finding the tradesperson with the right skill set and the right approach to your type of job can save you time, money and frustration. Admittedly though, it’s easier said than done. When confronted with a list of joiners in a telephone directory does one know which one specialises in conservatories, which in kitchen fitting and which in putting up shelves? How can you tell which plumber would be best suited to plumb in a new bathroom or which plumber will most quickly diagnose a problem with a misfiring boiler?

Symptoms of a poor match

Failure to match the right person to the job can result in the kind of complaints against tradespeople that sound all too familiar:

  • Calls not returned
  • Not turning up for appointments
  • Quotations never received
  • Being bumped for another customer
  • Expensive quotations
  • Costs and timescales increasing as the job progresses
  • Poor workmanship

Of course, it’s fair to say that there are some tradesmen who are just unreliable and indeed some jobs that throw up problems that just can’t be predicted. However, matching the right tradesperson to your job can certainly reduce the risk of falling foul of these issues.

No one size fits all.

Aside from the issue of specialism the other major factor that determines a tradesperson’s suitability to carry out a given job is the size of that job.

A tradesperson’s desire and suitability to do larger or smaller jobs can be influenced by many factors that could be down to personal preferences or financial considerations.

One tradesman may really enjoy meeting new people and so want to do lots of small jobs while another might have weaker “people skills”, and may even be shy, so would rather be able to get their head down on a longer lasting job.

From a financial point of view larger more established companies may be in a better position to carry out larger jobs where they are paid large sums at the end of a job where as a small firm or one man band may require the fast turn around and increased cash flow of multiple smaller jobs.

Here are a few other factors that might affect trades people’s preferred job size.

Small Jobs Large Jobs
Like to work alone Like to work as a team
Enjoy meeting customers Prefer to be instructed and get their head down
Relish flexibility and variety Just want stability
A need to be available for other clients A loathing of paper work and administration
Business suited to faster cash flow Can afford to wait for large one off payments
Have no facility for bulk purchase of materials Hold established credit accounts with suppliers


Finding the right tradesman for your job

So, what can one do to make sure you only ask (and that you get) the right tradesperson / people to quote for or do a job?

  • Be Prepared
    • Write down a full list of all the jobs to be done, think about sizes, the volume of work. If it’s just one large job try to break it down into component parts.
    • Think about what tradesperson and what specialist might be needed (you might be surprised by how much you do know)
  • Ask out right
    • Tell the trades person about the job and what you think you need and ask them out right if it’s the kind of job they’d be happy to consider.
    • Don’t be offended or angry if they say “no” - it’s for the best.
  • Manage your expectations
    • Don’t put pressure, even subconsciously, on a trades person to do something they aren’t comfortable doing.
  • Be prepared to pay “market rates”
    • A quote significantly cheaper than others you receive may seem attractive but may mean that a tradesperson doesn’t fully understand the work required because they lack the skills. This may lead them to encounter snags that were foreseeable and cut corners or rush work.
  • Ensure everything is included
    • You may not receive a full break down of the costs of a job at the initial quote stage but once you’ve selected the tradesperson you’d like to use there is no harm in asking them to provide a breakdown of the costs including materials and / or a schedule of works for larger jobs.

HomeForce matches its trades people to your job. If you’re not sure how to find the best person to do your job call HomeForce on 0131 315 0000, they will guide you and get the right people for your needs.