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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:35 pm 
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We all would like to be able to have a list of trusted people that we can call on in any emergency, or to accomplish any task, but the truth is we cannot. I personally use two different plumbers, one I can trust for certain jobs, one for others.

In real life, most people don't have a list containing a plumber, **, plasterer, roofer etc etc etc that are all available all the time, and that we have used before and know we can trust, and know their limitations. So how can we reduce the chances of being left with a job we are unhappy with?

Obviously, you should seek referrals from friends as your first port of call. But failing that, you may be forced into a situation where you are dealing with a complete stranger.

A starting point is to deal in writing, especially when dealing with someone for the first time. Once you have used someone before, and you want to use them again for an hours work, you might feel comfortable dealing with them more casually, but for a first job you should get something in writing.

A written quote or estimate should include several things. After reading it, and in conjunction with verbal communication) you should be able to answer the following questions -

-Is the figure I have been given a quote or estimate?
-If it is an estimate, what are the reasons it may alter, and by how much?
-Where does the job start and end? (who's moving your furniture out the way, and who's putting it back?)
-Who is supplying materials, and are they included in the price?
-What standard of materials are to be used?

Remember, it is in everyone's interest to have these things known before the job, so long as you have a competent, honest tradesman. I personally want to know exactly where i stand on all these things before I commit to a price for a job, and the client should feel the same. If your contractor is unwilling to give definitive answers to any of these questions, then you should be asking yourself why.

I don't want to get to a situation where the client receives a bill higher than they were expecting. It creates a bad atmosphere and reduces the chance of repeat business and positive refferals. A cowboy is less likely to look at it this way.

Also, when you receive your quote, look for a landline number and an address. Call the landline number to accept the quote. If the stationary contains nothing but the company name and a mobile phone number, you should be asking yourself why.

I'm sure others can add to this.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:47 pm 
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Good advice, however it should include all trades.

Good tradespeople will have their terms and conditions on the back of the quote/estimate, do read them and check payments, do they ask for cash up front for materials, do they ask for stage payments and what percentage.

With longer jobs, write down what percentage of the work is complete, and don't pay over that, including material cost.

Should have said it's quite normal to pay a deposit, don't go overboard with it, 5% is plenty.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:51 pm 
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I was talking about all trades.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:55 pm 
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I know but you titled the thread "how to avoid a cowboy builder!" :boxing:

If you ask the Boss nicely he will sticky it.


Last edited by thescruff on Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:05 pm 
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oh I see what you mean.

cowboy builders I saw as a sort of catch all term, what would you suggest? feel free to change it.

I thought if people added their own ideas etc, and a mod altered the post to include everyone's ideas, or re-wrote it it might make a good sticky.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:07 pm 
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I think it's fine as is, otherwise you would need to post it in every forum. :thumbright:

Hopefully as you say the different trades will add to it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:23 pm 
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Good idea Python :thumbright:.

When I had my loft converted we also agreed a stage payment plan, where I paid for materials as delivered and the builder also gave a guarantee with a percentage of the total held by me until I was satisfied.

He volunteered this at the start, also he was my daughters friends husband, but he did all the work including liaison with BC.


I also had a stage payment with builders the who did my extension.

John

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:07 am 
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python wrote:
We all would like to be able to have a list of trusted people that we can call on in any emergency, or to accomplish any task, but the truth is we cannot. I personally use two different plumbers,.
trades people
Quote:
one I can trust for certain jobs, one for others.

In real life, most people don't have a list containing a plumber, **, plasterer, roofer .
a list of trades people
Quote:
etc etc etc that are all available all the time, and that we have used before and know we can trust, and know their limitations. So how can we reduce the chances of being left with a job we are unhappy with?

Obviously, you should seek referrals from friends as your first port of call. But failing that, you may be forced into a situation where you are dealing with a complete stranger.

A starting point is to deal in writing, especially when dealing with someone for the first time. Once you have used someone before, and you want to use them again for an hours work, you might feel comfortable dealing with them more casually, but for a first job you should get something in writing.

A written quote or estimate should include several things. After reading it, and in conjunction with verbal communication) you should be able to answer the following questions -

-Is the figure I have been given a quote or estimate?
-If it is an estimate, what are the reasons it may alter, and by how much?
-Where does the job start and end? (who's moving your furniture out the way, and who's putting it back?)
-Who is supplying materials, and are they included in the price?
-What standard of materials are to be used?

Remember, it is in everyone's interest to have these things known before the job, so long as you have a competent, honest tradesman. I personally want to know exactly where i stand on all these things before I commit to a price for a job, and the client should feel the same. If your contractor is unwilling to give definitive answers to any of these questions, then you should be asking yourself why.

I don't want to get to a situation where the client receives a bill higher than they were expecting. It creates a bad atmosphere and reduces the chance of repeat business and positive refferals. A cowboy is less likely to look at it this way.

Also, when you receive your quote, look for a landline number and an address. Call the landline number to accept the quote. If the stationary contains nothing but the company name and a mobile phone number, you should be asking yourself why.

I'm sure others can add to this.


this could go on for a while


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:44 am 
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There are hundreds of lists for trades people, and anyone that pays their money can join one.

They are worthless and no better than sticking a pin in yellow pages, unless they come recommended by clients etc they have worked for.

The idea of the thread is for everyone to follow a set of must do common sense rules, that way the client and tradesman is reasonably protested.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:49 am 
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A quote can also change.........if extra jobs come up, then the price goes up.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:32 am 
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handyman wrote:
A quote can also change.........if extra jobs come up, then the price goes up.


Another good point Handyman.

A quote is for a set job, Alterations, extras and general change of plans is normally chargeable, for example if you want a radiator moving to another position after it's fitted.

As before, with any variation or client instruction, in writing, with a price, and in some cases the new completion date.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:34 am 
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why not
"how to avoid rogue traders"!!!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:13 pm 
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"How to avoid Rogue Multi-Traders"

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:19 pm 
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Jaeger_S2k wrote:
"How to avoid Rogue Multi-Traders"



Ouch a little below the belt there Jaeger.......but funny as F@ck.. :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:34 am 
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:mrgreen:

-- Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:34 am --

:mrgreen:

Yeah, but I was just walking by and ...............................................................

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