According to recent online polls, roofers and builders tend to be the most honest and trustworthy out of all of the different tradespeople. I didn’t believe all of the negative publicity roofers and builders tend to get from the mainstream media outlets. I conducted my own research to find out which tradespeople are the most trusted and which are the least trusted. After all, it can be quite nerve-wracking employing traders to come and work in your home. I wanted to alleviate people’s anxieties by conducting my own research by emailing homeowners from Facebook and Twitter. The response was incredible. Out of the 2461 people who responded to the polls via email, over two-thirds of them felt that they could trust roofers and builders more than electricians, carpenters, and plumbers. The results were certainly surprising, even to me.
Shockingly, a whopping 80% said that they do not trust plumbers very much, closely followed by electricians when called to do repairs in their homes. Central heating engineers were also the target of mistrust when going into people’s homes. Over three-quarters of the poll results showed people who have used the services of a central heating engineer had at least one bad experience. There seems to be a direct link between tradespeople working in your home and outside of your home. The trust factor is significantly increased when you are inviting a tradesperson into your home. If the tradesperson does a poor job such as leaving a radiator leaking or a boiler not working properly, the trust has disappeared.
Plumbers seemed to get hit quite hard in the polling results. 42% of the people who completed the polls reported having a bad experience with a plumber in their home. It is not surprising, considering anyone can take a short six-week plumbing course and then put an advert in the local paper. Even the older generation of plumbers are usually City and Guilds qualified, but these qualifications are not foolproof. On the other side of the coin, you have electricians who done better in the polls than the plumbers but were still behind builders and roofers. 16% of the people polled reported having a negative experience with an electrician while working in their home. Qualified electricians spend years passing tests and assessments to work safely in people’s homes. Unfortunately, electricians aren’t immune to poor quality workmanship and bad manners. If an unqualified electrician makes a mistake in someone’s home, the results could be catastrophic.
The least trusted trades aren’t just plumbers, electricians, and central heating engineers. The poll results revealed that the public feel very nervous about employing bathroom fitters, kitchen fitters, mechanics and drain cleaning specialists, too. Kitchen and bathroom fitters had the highest number of complaints as well as having a very low satisfaction score in terms of quality of work and punctuality. One thing the poll results clearly demonstrated was that no matter which trade people offered, punctuality was a concern. 62% of survey respondents agreed that the one thing that annoyed them more than anything was tradespeople not arriving at the date and time they agreed upon.
There’s nothing more frustrating than sitting at home waiting for a tradesperson to arrive only to be let down. 52% of the people who completed the survey had concerns about using a trader who’s services they had not used before. The main concern was them doing a poor job. 45% of the survey takers were worried about being taken advantage of because they had little or no knowledge of the trade they were hiring a person to do for them. The same 45% of survey takers were worried about being ripped off by rogue traders. As you can see from the poll results, a lot of anxiety is caused by tradespeople not turning up on time. Hiring unfamiliar tradespeople and rogue traders was another big concern. One of the best ways to overcome anxiety when hiring any tradesperson is to try and get referrals or recommendations from friends and family.
If you are struggling to get a good recommendation from friends or family, then the next best thing is online reviews. These days, if people have a bad experience with a trader, they will go straight to the Internet to leave a negative review on the trader’s website or business profile. However, even online reviews aren’t bullet-proof. The safest step to take before hiring any new trader to carry out work in your home is to ask for references. Asking for references from previous clients can feel awkward for some people, but it is the right thing to do before hiring anyone to do work on your property. The majority of property owners don’t even ask for references or even a written contract! If you want to protect yourself from rogue traders and poor quality workmanship, you need to plan ahead. Get references and get a contract if possible. It is difficult to predict the outcome of your project because every job is different. However, you can speak to former customers and get a good idea of the standard of work a particular tradesperson produces for their customers. It’s easy to feel a little embarrassed when asking a tradesperson for references but you shouldn’t. You are about to spend a considerable amount of money, and you don’t want it going to the wrong person.
Any tradesperson worth their salt won’t have an issue providing you with references. They will feel proud to show you examples of their work so you can see for yourself. The majority of trades will have trade associations that will promote good practices as well as raised standards for that particular trade. Professional roofing contractors have their very own trade association which is called the National Federation of Roofing Contractors or (NFRC) for short. Tradespeople in the building industry can join the FMB (Federation of Master builders). No matter what trade association any tradesperson is a member of, it does not guarantee that every member of the Association will do a great job. However, if a tradesperson is a member of a recognised trade association, it’s a good sign that the trader wants to work in a professional manner. Providing their clients with a high standard of work is important to them.
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