Comments: Questions for builders

Ask about (and check) their public liability insurance.
In our county (Norfolk), the County Council has a website of vetted tradesmen. Also Which? magazine has a "Trusted Trader" website. Both have been useful to us in the past for finding people with obscure skills (such as replacing the lead on a roof).

Posted by Tim W on 20 June, 2020 at 9:14 AM

Local Trusted Traders Schemes (or equivalent are indeed very useful.
Also ask if they've done anything like the specific job in hand before and ask for references from such.
Be wary of anyone offering discounts for payment in cash (though a lot of them have really shot themselves in the foot in the current crisis).

I don't think it hurts to mention there's potentially further and bigger long they realise it's not guaranteed to go their way.

Posted by NiC on 20 June, 2020 at 10:44 AM

Suggest an unannounced visit to a site where they are working at the moment. A tidy site usually shows they are organised. Stuff in a mess all over the place shows the opposite.

Posted by DGD on 20 June, 2020 at 9:20 PM

Excellent ideas there, thanks all.

It's amusing that the Which? Trusted Trader and Numberland Trusted Trader schemes have 'no members in your area'.

Tim - how would I check their insurance? They might have paperwork, but it could be cancelled. I would imagine that if you ring the insurance company they would refuse to disclose anything these days, citing GDPR.

Posted by Blue Witch on 21 June, 2020 at 6:27 AM

Insurance - true, it could be cancelled. But the existence of an in-date certificate is a lot better than nothing! (And better than "We don't really need that up here" sort of remark I've heard before.)

Posted by Tim W on 21 June, 2020 at 2:03 PM