It’s happened to us all at some time or other, the job we have been putting off because it’s a little bit too big or we’re not sure how to do it. We bite the bullet and decide to get a tradesman in to do the work for us. Which tradesman? Where do we go to find out if the voice at the end of the phone is in fact a ‘quality’ tradesman and not John Wayne with a screwdriver?
You could go to www.trustmark.org.uk
TrustMark is a government endorsed scheme that regularly checks that the registered tradesmen are providing their customers with the quality service and workmanship members of the public expect and deserve (quite rightly). Trustmark registered firms have to;
- A firm's technical skills have been independently checked through regular on-site inspections, as well as checks on their trading record and financial status;
- Firms have signed up to a code of practice that includes insurance, good health and safety practices and customer care;
- The approved scheme operator has checked and will continue to monitor the firm's quality of work, trading practices and customer satisfaction;
- Firms are able to offer an Insurance Backed Warranty;
- Deposit Protection Insurance is available for consumers in the event a firm should cease trading;
- Firms will be able to tell you about any building regulations you must comply with and may also be able to provide appropriate certificates;
- If you have a problem or disagreement with the firm, there will be a clear and user-friendly complaints procedure to help resolve the issue;
- The scheme is fully supported by Government, the building industry and consumer protection groups.
- All of these checks will give you - Peace of Mind.
When employing a tradesman TrustMark recommends you take the following advice;
- Be specific and set out a detailed, clear brief when requesting at least three quotes.
- Ask friends and family for a recommendation and check the TrustMark website to ensure that the tradesman is registered for the particular trades you require
- Use a firm that advertises using a landline phone number and be very wary of those only willing to give you a mobile number
- Seek references, speak to previous customers and if a reasonable sized job, visit previous jobs
- Don't just go with the cheapest, consider your ability to communicate with the firm and the quality of their work
- Only pay for work that has been done and not by advance payments
- If materials need to be bought in advance by the tradesman, it is reasonable that the customer is asked to pay a fair percentage of these costs as the job progresses
- Always use a written contract as it offers you protection if anything does go wrong
- Agree in writing any changes to the agreed contract value and ensure these are agreed in writing before the work is done.
If you use a TrustMark tradesman your work should be carried out to a high quality and if things go wrong (God forbid) you, through the scheme, have a means of recourse. That has to give you Peace of mind.
- Mark Jenkins
Mark Jenkins is the Electrical Course Development Manager at Access Training. If you would like to learn more about electrical work and maintenance, you might want to consider one of the many electrical training courses we offer. These are available for both DIY enthusiasts AND people looking to gain the vital qualifications needed to make the career change to become an electrician. To find out more give us a call on 0800 345 7492.