Specialist tradesperson or jack-of-all-trades? Choosing the right trade company for you

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You may already know someone who can always ‘fix that’. The handyman is still very much an occupation, and a multi-skilled one at that. But if you do know someone who seems to just do a bit of everything, would you want the same person who hangs your wallpaper to move a radiator? Or the person that mows your lawn to fix your roof? 

So when it comes to actually getting out there and looking for a tradesperson yourself, how are you supposed to know what skills to look for? Here’s a little advice on sniffing out the right tradesperson for you.

Multiskilled is a genuine possibility

First things first – just because someone is offering you the world doesn’t mean they can’t actually deliver. Some trade businesses are simply huge, with a longstanding reputation and many different skills under their belt. 

For instance, Findley Roofing & Building, in the North East, advertise as roofing contractors in Darlington, but also have dedicated teams for many other home improvement and maintenance services too. If the company is genuinely large, then it’s no surprise they deliver multiple services – so don’t rule out multi-skilled tradespeople entirely.

The proof is in the portfolio

If the trade company you find is a little smaller, however, but still offers a wider range of services, then see what they have in their back catalogue of evidence. While a detailed portfolio might be unrealistic, references and testimonials may be more readily available.

Along with the likes of industry-relevant accreditations, references and testimonials are what Confused.com recommend as amongst the most important factors in choosing a tradesperson. In fact, some skills are so certified that they’re mandatory in some instances.

Not so special specialists

Now we come to the tricky part – identifying the experts from the exactly-not-what-you’re-looking-for’s. You may come across a specialist tradesperson with a glowing, growing reputation on the likes of Yell, Google and Facebook – but find out that their reputation is entirely fabricated.

This is where research into independent trade recommendations can be crucial. The Guardian highlights the likes of the Trading Standard website, the Local Authority Assured Trader Scheme Network, and TrustMark as invaluable resources for finding approved traders.

Reinforcing your instincts

Of course, there are certainly other scenarios – including coming across a fresh name to the local trade business market – that you have no way of vetting. However, in these kind of instances, it is highly unlikely that the tradesperson is going to be multiskilled, as they simply haven’t been in the business long enough to develop their services.

If a newly established contractor claims to be able to tackle any aspect of home repair or improvement, this is a major warning sign that they’re not going to bring quality to the task. Also look out for contractors who can start the job immediately, and never let any work commence without agreeing a written quote that carefully details the work.

Ultimately, you want the right person for the job, every time. Don’t ever feel pressured to repeatedly use the same company for different aspects of your home maintenance. The skills you need are all close at hand, and its’ certainly worth spending a little time finding them.


Specialist tradesperson or jack-of-all-trades? Choosing the right trade company for you

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