Finding good trades, to help you out with your home renovation can be difficult.
You don't just want to grab the first guy you find in the phone book, but you also want a good result. You have heard of horror stories, such as the stories on the TV shows. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to get good trades involved in your house renovations.
You have to start asking everywhere you are involved with a trade or supply store.
We are presently renovating an older house, but have also built a new house before. I still had a list of trades from when we built our new house, but many were not interested in smaller jobs. If they are busy enough with the bigger jobs, it can be hard to find someone to come and help move a wire, or a plumbing line.
But if you get one trade in, and they do a good job, and you pay them, ask them if they can recommend another trade you may need, or the best place to get supplies. This has been the best way for the house we are presently working on.
We got a kitchen quote from a few places, and once we picked the one we liked and felt we were going to have a good relationship with, we then asked them to recommend a trade we needed for other work. With kitchen installations, they can usually recommend a plumber or electrician they like or have worked with.
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Word of Mouth is Huge
If you treat your trades well and pay them on time, then they are likely to recommend a friend or colleague that can help you out. But if you don't treat them well, when they have done the job you have asked for, you are not likely going to get anyone on a recommendation. This can work both ways!
Satisfied customers are sometimes the best advertising for trades. For example. I was given the name of a great wood floor refinisher. I had thought about trying to do it myself, but it is a big job, and I could make it look amateur. I phoned the number I was given, and a very gruff man answered the phone. Based on his phone mannerisms, I would have just hung up, but I had heard from other trades he was one of the best. So, I ignored the phone manners and had him come over, and he did a great job.
If I had just found him in the phone book, and he answered the phone that gruff, I would have moved on. But he came highly recommended, and at the end of the day, I really just wanted a nice floor. So, if I had to put up with a gruff personality I didn't care, as long as he did a good job for a good price.
This works well amongst the trades as well. Once a trade had finished, and I paid him in full for a good job, and he recommended someone else, they were excited to do their work and get paid.
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My sister, is an electrician, and most of her work is through customer referrals. But she admitted to me, if she heard through a colleague that homeowner didn't pay after a job well done, then she will steer clear of that house renovation. But at the same time, will put a homeowner at the top of the list, even for a small job, if they describe exactly what they want, and pay on time.
As with any trade or business, there will always be the scammers, and it can be a nerve wracking experience trying to get help for a home repair or a home renovation.
You are not always going to meet the good ones. But if you stick to customer referrals or friends that have had work done, and/or ask to see their other work, and talk to other people they have done work for, then you can be assured of a good job.
When we had our driveway paved, we asked to see other driveways he had done in the last few years. We took the time to visit one home owner who had his driveway paved 4 years ago, and it was still looking good. Plus this company had been in the area for many years.
A well established company helps as well. But for us, it was local trades that came recommended. Ones that lived close by, and could be there when they said they would. Their kids went to the same schools and they lived in the neighborhood. It helps for the local economy, and we got a good job done. Some of the trades we used, don't even have a yellow page listing, as they are kept busy with customer referral jobs.
If a trade does a good job, pay him, and he will recommend other good trades you may need, or give you some free advice and pointers, which helped us steer clear of problems.