Finding the good tradesmen can be a pleasant or a sour experience in equal measure.
I haven’t come across a property investor within my community who did not lose money due to engaging tradesmen with not enough skillset or those lacking business acumen.
You always have good with the bad and other way round in any domain. Property isn’t the only area where you see such experiences.
Few of the online services have evolved and established themselves as credible sources to find reliable tradesmen.
Such services in turn are encouraged and rated by us customers based on our experiences improving such credibility.
Here is a list of 5 such platforms that one can make use of, if you are looking for tradesmen.
I will have to list this first in the list simply because I used this heavily to find tradesman when I started investing in property and earlier for residential fixes.
Checkatrade prides itself on their vetting process where the tradesmen are interviewed, verified on their quoted accreditations and qualifications, hold public liability insurance, ID/Address checks and like.
The word from them is also that, they ensure any new tradesmen who wish to join are requested for at least 5 of their previous customers whom they call to understand their workmanship.
The company has created their own “The Checktrade Standard” which the tradesmen sign up to and are expected to adhere to.
From a customer point of view, you can search for tradesmen, post a job, request quotes and best of all go through their robust rating mechanism and feedback from previous jobs tracked across years.
When To Use CheckATrade:
Checkatrade gives the flexibility to homeowners to contact the tradesmen and let tradesmen quote for the jobs to homeowners.
If you are someone who are willing to put that effort to secure number of quotes and compare quotes, then this is for you.
You will have to skim through reviews yourself for all the tradesmen before you can choose one.
Given the transaction is direct between a tradesmen and customers via the website you will find lot of variations within the quotes provided, which you have to finetune with tradesmen.
Ratedpeople whilst is a similar service to search for tradesmen from a customer point of view, the tradesmen will have to pay to request your contact details before they send a quote.
In other words, from a tradesmen point of view, they can use this as a targeted lead management system based on the suitability of work required by customers.
You as a homeowner will receive up to 3 quotes which you can choose from, a best fit and subsequently will receive feedback on the tradesmen.
Having said that the website site has over 50,000 tradesmen specialising in 30 odd trades and boasts over a million jobs every year posted by homeowners.
When To Use Ratedpeople?
If you are a homeowner who would not want to be hands on choosing a tradesman and would like to keep it simple.
You are looking for serious tradesman who are actually paying some money to secure your work showing their serious intent, this certainly is for you.
MyBuilder.com is much more a match making service between the homeowner and the builder based on the work request posted.
The website quotes that it turns down over a third of tradesmen who apply to join their service based on their evaluation criteria.
The process simply involves a homeowner posting a job, followed by tradesmen responding to the request.
The control is firmly back in homeowners’ hands to review the responses and only disclose their contact details should they wish to.
Unlike CheckATrade service where your details are available to contact you, or Ratedpeople where tradesmen can pay to get your details, MyBuilder leaves that control in homeowner’s hands to disclose them.
The service relies on homeowners’ feedback and reviews as other services.
When To Use MyBuilder:
Similar to CheckATrade but with a caveat that you choose the tradesman whom you wish to share your details with.
This simple twist goes a long way securing yourself alongside the stringent review process that MyBuilder service follows.
4) Local Heroes
Local Heroes is a much more recent service that came to life within last two years and setup by (love it or hate it), British Gas.
It’s little different to other services and here you are given immediate range of cost as soon as you explain the work that needs to be done.
Further, you can choose to fix a date and time with a local hero i.e. tradesmen who will get in touch with you to provide a quote.
You are free to accept the quote or decline for free.
You are entitled for a 12 month guarantee as well should you pay the tradesmen via the Local Heroes website. Anything that is incorrect or has gone wrong within 12 months will be fixed as part of the guarantee.
There is always a case of British Gas having access to your contact details and a probable up-sell on their insurance packs if that works for you.
When To Use Local Heroes?
Personally, this is best used when you are short of time and just want to get the issue fixed. If the nature of work is small and routine fixes that needs to be done quick, then this is for you.
5) Trusted Traders
A bit unconventional compared to all above services but cannot miss this one.
Which? has been go to brand for trusted comparison and recommendation of services that any of us can think off.
They do the recommendation of trades people too nearest to your postcode.
Unlike other services, this in its simple state is a recommendation service based on customer reviews and ratings.
Type in the work you want to get done as a homeowner and your postcode, you get all the recommended trade services with complete profile and ratings/reviews along with their contact details.
Choose the one who fits your requirements based on your survey and contact them for a quote.
When To Use Which?
When you just want to relay on traditional mechanism of rating/reviews and recommendation based service that is at your doorstep, this one is for you.
This however will need a bit of your time to review the profiles an do your due-diligence and may sound a bit more manual than other services.
There are many other services that have and are coming up over time. However, which ever service you go for, you would want to spend some time on due-diligence of the tradesmen you choose before assigning a piece of work.