It can be very tempting, when you have a reasonably simple job that needs doing at your home or business, to hire an unqualified builder, plumber or electrician. The ‘odd job’ person can be quite convincing, when they regale you with numerous examples of impressive work they’ve supposedly completed. You will probably assume they are much cheaper than their qualified counterpart but this is often far from the case, bearing in mind what it might cost to rectify their mistakes. By choosing someone without the proper qualifications and experience, you are putting your property and residents at risk. It’s particularly dangerous to hire anyone who just turns up at your door offering their services; you have no idea of who they are or their intensions. Faulty wiring can cause dangerous shocks and is a fire risk. Badly done building work can collapse or cause damage to adjoining properties. And of course no one but a Gas Safe registered heating engineer should touch your central heating.
Doing It Yourself
It’s quite satisfying carrying out your own repairs or improvements, however you should always check current building regulations to see if the job needs to be approved and inspected. The vast majority of electrical work needs to be done by a qualified electrician. Even if you are capable and the work is sound, you will lack the necessary paperwork which can cause real problems if you sell your property. In addition, you are responsible if anything goes wrong. It’s fine to replace a light fitting or electrical junction box yourself, provided you rigidly follow safety protocols, however for anything else you should hire a professional.
Finding the Best Contractor
One of the most popular ways to find the right person is through word of mouth. If you know someone who’s just had their bathroom replaced, ask for an honest review based on quality and value for money. You can also find a trader through the government-endorsed TrustMark scheme. Always get quotes from three different, qualified traders and ensure they have the necessary insurance. Ask for recent photographs of work undertaken and get the telephone numbers of several customers for references. Once you have chosen a firm or individual, get a written contract, itemising as many details of the job as possible, with costs. This can avoid misunderstandings and discrepancies. It’s important to have the contractors’ telephone numbers, so you can notify them if there is a problem. Once a problem arises, ask them to rectify it immediately and get it in writing how they will fix the issue and how long it will take.
It really makes sense to hire qualified traders to carry out work in your home of business, as although the initial outlay is higher, there should be fewer repercussions, which should afford greater peace of mind.