Choosing the Right Tradespeople

If possible, start by getting a referral from family or friends who have recently had work done.

Tradesman using a drill.

Choosing the Right Tradespeople

Always try to use tradespeople who are members of trade associations. All the associations have a code of conduct that members should follow. The most common associations include The Federation of Master Builders the National Federation of Builders and Rated People. Plumbers should be registered with GASSAFE and electricians should be registered with NICIEC, ECA or NAPIT.

Ask each trade for at least two references. Contact these people and find out how happy they are with the work and the builder’s conduct. If possible, go and view some of the work.
Tradesman using a circular saw to cut new flooring.

Beware if…

  • They turn up unannounced.
  • They insist on cash only.
  • They overstress any faults.
  • You are not given any paperwork.
  • They seem reluctant to give a business name and address.
  • They are very insistent on getting cash straight away.
  • Beware – The VAT free ‘deal’, ask them why and how.

Make sure that…

  • You insist on a seven-day cooling off period, to which the law entitles you.
  • You request a written quotation and job specification with the company details on it.
  • They have a public liability insurance certificate.

Never pay in advance. Deposits are usually only payable where specific or custom-made materials are required. Otherwise, avoid paying deposits and agree any stage payment schedule in writing. Avoid dealing in cash. Don’t pay any of the money until you have carried out a completion inspection. Defects may be identified during the completion inspection and if the contractor has moved on it may be difficult to get him back to your job.

A tradesman fitting a flood door.

If any problems arise whilst work is in progress, or you are unhappy about anything, talk to your contractor right away. If the contractor is a member of a trade association, they may have a mediation or arbitration service.

We have listed some directories and agencies as a guide to what’s available:

  • Blue Pages is an online directory of flood services and products available to help make your home more resilient against future flooding
  • Age UK is a website where the traders and businesses listed have been checked by local Age UK staff to ensure that they are qualified, insured and have a history of reliable and trustworthy trading
  • Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is the UK’s largest trade association for the construction industry, championing continuous improvement in building standards for over 75 years
  • National Federation of Builders (NFB) is a UK trade association representing the interests of regional contractors and small and medium sized house builders in England and Wales
  • Rated People is an online market place that connects homeowners with local tradespeople
  • Considerate Constructors Scheme is a non-profit making, independent organisation founded in 1997 by the construction industry to improve its image

You may also find the following pages useful:


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