Handymen, the HiredHelp guide
A good handyman will most likely have a tradesman qualification for their particular trade or be a member of a recognised body. Some of these qualifications or memberships to look out for when hiring someone are:
- The National Guild of Master Craftsmen
- FÁS Apprenticeship
- FETAC (NCVA) awards
- A National Craft Certificate
- RGI (registered gas installers)
- RECI (Register of Electrical Contractors of Ireland)
- CIF (Construction Industry Federation)
- BER assessor (Building Energy Rating)
- The CSAI (Chimney Sweepers Association Ireland)
- Association with Homebond
Where a formal qualification for a trade does not exist or has only existed for a short time insist on commercial references.
Things you should do after short-listing a few workers for the job on HiredHelp
- Try to get 3 quotations for the work from three individuals and ensure the price includes VAT.
- Discuss the type of work, payment and budget up front
- When hiring, ensure to take the identity of the person, check for references or examples of previous work undertaken.
- For a larger job you should seek professional advice from an engineer or architect before undertaking a contract.
- Agree on a working schedule in writing and agree on a specification in writing, this should be in the form of a written contract and will help if you want to make changes or if a dispute arises
- Agree on a final fixed price
- Make a payment schedule, the best way to do this is in the form of instalments upon completion of different stages of the work according to the working schedule.
- Monitor the work during each stage, this will help if you wanted something done differently and any mistake made will be easier to correct
- Keep copies of receipts and invoices for your records
How to pick out a dodgy handyman
It is safe to assume that in the interest of their business and reputation, the majority of handymen or tradesmen will carry out their jobs to a good standard. You may have heard a story or two about cowboy tradesmen. Here are a few tips to help you spot these so called cowboys.
- Avoid cold callers. These are rogue handymen who turn up at your house and point out that you need something done without you having called them in the first place. They will typically say that they can do the work for cheaper than the usual price. Remember, if you need something done, you will be the one to look for someone to do it
- The appearance of a person will let you know if they take their job seriously. A professional will usually be tidy and may have their business/name and contact details on their van
- Usually a good tradesman, more particularly a good builder, will have a number of jobs in their own schedule, they will be busy. So be more wary if you can get someone who can carry out work immediately
- A dodgy handyman will not have good references, reviews or a trade qualification
HiredHelp has a review facility and we would like our users to make good use of this, to rate all work done by persons found on our website.
The above information should only be used as a guide, it is not an exhaustive check-list.For further information on your rights when seeking services or should disputes arise over incomplete or poor workmanship, take a look on Citizens Information