Friday, 25 January 2008

hmmmmm...... That'll be £500 m'am!

"Blessed are those who have their afterthoughts first"

So it turns out we are all doomed to cross paths with the dodgy builder/ handyman, with me it is evident by the 7ft chimney flu hanging decoratively from the ceiling of my spare room, but for those of you who have seen it... I lied, its not an art noveau architectural "feature". No tis indeed a testament to my stupidity in hiring an architectural "hitman". So to save others from the same fate, I have compiled a list of what are now obvious warning signs...

  • AVOID the "multi-tasker" NO ONE is an expert Joiner, Electrician, Brickie AND plumber! it just ain't plausible.
  • NEVER give all the money until you've checked the work
  • FIND OUT exactly what they plan to do (more applicable to repairs)
  • AVOID the tradesman who gives you a price, then offers a "big discount", it usually means a rush job. A proper worker will look at the job then tell you the ONLY price they can give.
  • ASK QUESTIONS - if he/she sounds like they don't know what they're talkin about, more than likely they don't.
  • NEVER hire a friend, or the friend of a friend, unless you're SURE they did a good job MORE THAN ONCE before! (including a professional, well timed and consistant job)
  • Make sure you have a working contact number and address incase they take off half way through a job.
  • DON'T tell them your budget, the price should be the same no matter what you have to spend!
  • A Professional worker will NOT, smoke in your house without asking you...
  • If you see a job done well somewhere else, ask for the contact details, and keep it, you never know when you'll need it.
  • Keep the number of a good Plumber and Electrician, handy, in case of an emergency, it will stop you getting ripped off in a panic, by using the yellow pages.
  • BEWARE of workmen who are stand-offish, it makes it easier for them to walk away, try to get some friendly chatting going, its a lot harder to rip you off with a guilty conscience.

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