Getting The Best From Tradespeople
Tradespeople are like anyone they want to do an honest day’s work and get home to their families, they want to earn a living in the most efficient and stress free way possible. The more you do to make their lives easy the more helpful they will be. This article, which has appeared in various Edinburgh publications suggests ways for you to get the best from any tradesperson and ensure a mutually productive relationship.

Know What You Want

Planning is a vital part of getting the best result for any job or task. Before asking a tradesman to prepare a quote or estimate, be clear in your mind what work you would like them to do, even write it out before they arrive. The tradesman will have suggestions for the best way to achieve the end result as well as ways to save money, but giving the tradesman a clear brief of your requirements means they can give you a more accurate - and possibly lower - price.

Ask For Advice

Sometimes you simply may not know what’s possible or where to begin a project. Instead of requesting multiple variations of the same quote, acknowledge that you are just at a planning stage but would like some advice. If it’s just a ball park price you are looking for say so - but don’t ask for this in writing. Speak to the tradesman either face to face or over the phone or email to help you firm up your ideas. When you’ve had time to think about it, provide clear instructions.

Manage Your Own Expectations

When dealing with buildings expect the unexpected. No one can see through walls, floors or ceilings, a quotation may make allowance to deal with the unforeseeable but don’t chastise a tradesman (or expect work to be done for free) when additional work is unavoidable. Do though ensure the tradesman keeps you informed if this situation arises. They should advise you of potential additional costs and explain why the work must be done or offer alternatives.

A tradesman should tell you if he’s in anyway delayed – just by 10 minutes. A delay can be due to heavy traffic, a job over running or other uncontrollable factors. If you can, be a little flexible when scheduling an appointment, the tradesman will appreciate it. Of course, if you simply have to be gone by a certain time tell the tradesman at the time the appointment is booked.

Pay Promptly

Perhaps the number one complaint against tradesmen is that they are late. The main complaint many tradesmen have is that they are paid late. If you are happy with the work carried out make payment as soon as the invoice arrives. The next time you need a tradesperson they are more likely to come sooner if their last bill was paid promptly.

Some Do’s And Don’ts When Dealing With Trades People

DO DON’T
Provide a thorough brief on the work you’d like carried out Keep chopping and changing your mind
Ask for advice on achieving your desired outcome Expect a tradesman to act as an interior designer or architect
Think about what your budget is (and tell the tradesman) Ask for multiple variations of a quote and hope one of them fits your budget
Ask for a quote / estimate if any additional work is required Say “While you’re here...” and expect not to pay for additional work
Offer the Tradesman Tea or Coffee Be offended if they decline your homemade cakes
Be a little flexible in the window of time for an appointment Wait for more than 15mins after an appointed time before calling a tradesman
Plan work as far in advance as possible Expect a tradesman to drop all his existing appointments to come and see you.
Make prompt payment Be afraid to question parts of an invoice if would like clarification.