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How do I find a good Kitchen Fitter?

I am looking to refurbish my kitchen. What are my best options to find a good reliable kitchen fitter.

I recently had (still going through) a bad experience with a tradesman.
I had chosen this tradesman based on positive reviews from popular internet find-a-trader sites.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to create any leads through my friends or colleagues in finding a new fitter.

There are a number of kitchen fitters locally that I can find on Yellow pages. Everyone advertises to be great. How do I go about deciding if they are good or not.
If I ask for references from previous clients, will the clients not object to being called?

Since my last experience, I have become a little paranoid :o and I want to do everything I can to do it right this time.

Replies

  • LeifLeif Forumite
    3.7K Posts
    Some good kitchen companies employ fitters who although self employed tend to work only for them, and do a good job. I bought a kitchen from a company in the south, and the fitter did an excellent job. 95% of his work is for this company. So you could try a local company to supply a kitchen, and use their fitter. Unfortunately the best alternative is probably via personal recommendation. As someone elsewhere said, if you get a tradesperson via yellow pages, they are probably filling in time between serial killings. Perhaps your neighbours know someone? Just make sure it is not a relative, as they might be carp.

    Oh, and avoid CheckATrade, the bubonic plague is preferable to many of the companies on CheckATrade.
    Warning: This forum may contain nuts.
  • Oh, and avoid CheckATrade, the bubonic plague is preferable to many of the companies on CheckATrade.
    :) I wish I had done that!

    My kitchen supplier is not local so it is not cost effective to use his fitters and other tradesmen.

    I will ask my neighbors tomorrow.
  • edited 15 October 2011 at 9:27PM
    KateLiana27KateLiana27 Forumite
    707 Posts
    edited 15 October 2011 at 9:27PM
    Never use the "rated tradesman" type sites. They only attract tradesmen who are so desperate that they need to pay to give quotes to potential customers. But you know that now anyway.

    Contact a few local companies (avoid the big chains). Get a feel for how they respond to you, how professional and helpful they are, etc. See who your local Neff dealers are - usually a good bet for quality fitters. Then get some quotes and compare.

    Also, try widening your net in getting recommendations. Ask other tradesmen, neighbours, more distant work acquaintances, people you bump into at meetings, local shopkeepers, anyone. This is how we got a lot of our personal recommendations and it's always the best way!

    Oh, and I for one would be very happy to be used as a reference for any tradesman we used, and would be delighted to speak to anyone who called up. Either they did a good job, in which case I'd want to help them get more business, or they did a bad one, in which case I'd want to stop it happening to someone else!
  • Trading standards now has their own version of a find a trader site it is called buy with confidence. I'm always wary of references because for all you know you could be speaking to the trader's mother, brother etc.
  • I have found a fitter who we think is good. I found him through FreeIndex.co.uk.

    He has given me 2 client references that I will be checking out later this week. Am I only expected to call and check? Or would people mind if I request to meet them to see their work? The mobile numbers I have been given may be their relatives...

    This person is available in some of the 'find-a-trader' sites but is not available in 'Buy with confidence'. Is there any other Govt. regulated register that I can check them?
  • LeifLeif Forumite
    3.7K Posts
    MrsJNair wrote: »
    :) I wish I had done that!

    That makes two of us, plus KateLiana27 of course.
    Warning: This forum may contain nuts.
  • LeifLeif Forumite
    3.7K Posts
    Trading standards now has their own version of a find a trader site it is called buy with confidence. I'm always wary of references because for all you know you could be speaking to the trader's mother, brother etc.

    Two rogues I employed were on the Trading Standards approved list.
    MrsJNair wrote: »
    I have found a fitter who we think is good. I found him through FreeIndex.co.uk.

    He has given me 2 client references that I will be checking out later this week. Am I only expected to call and check? Or would people mind if I request to meet them to see their work? The mobile numbers I have been given may be their relatives...

    This person is available in some of the 'find-a-trader' sites but is not available in 'Buy with confidence'. Is there any other Govt. regulated register that I can check them?

    I recently employed two cowboys (ironically their company was named after a tribe of North American indians), and they provided a list of references via CheckATrade and two reference I could ring. I rang these people, and they said they were great. But I found them to be incompetent. The people were elderly and it is possible that their eyesight was not brilliant, or that their standards were not high. Alternatively such people might be hit and miss i.e. low standards, but sometimes it looks okay, sometimes not.

    One thing I have noticed is that good workmen are interested in the job, and take time inspecting the house, because they survive by the quality of their work. The bad ones I've used (two instances) spend a lot of time charming the customer, chatting to them, saying how good the customer's DIY work is etc. My kitchen fitter was a dry Scot. He did a fantastic job, and at the end he was happy to chat, but at the start he was focussed on the work at hand, and not chatty at all.

    Sorry not to be constructive.
    Warning: This forum may contain nuts.
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