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  • FIRST POST
    • PhilE
    • By PhilE 10th Feb 18, 12:04 PM
    • 332Posts
    • 211Thanks
    PhilE
    Are there really that many bad tradesmen around??
    • #1
    • 10th Feb 18, 12:04 PM
    Are there really that many bad tradesmen around?? 10th Feb 18 at 12:04 PM
    In the last 8 months I've had a heating engineer smash asbestos in my house and cause me to vacate my property. He then declared himself bankrupt. A wooden floor company did a pathetic job of my floor. A worker from an asbestos company stole some small items from my house. A carpenter paid to repair my floorboards left them in a state.

    That's over half the tradesmen in my home within a year who've failed to do their jobs. I'm wondering if its bad luck, or if this is to be expected in the industry in this country?!
Page 2
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 12th Feb 18, 3:15 PM
    • 15,850 Posts
    • 43,878 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    I expect I'll get leapt on - but it is harder to find decent tradespeople where I am now. So I do think it does vary according to what part of the country one is in.

    There is a logical reason - I suspect a lot of "the best" move elsewhere for better prospects.

    There is an element too of "We tell it like it is" in my home city and, if we're even marginally dissatisfied, then we "move on and find someone else" and that does drive standards up - but in a smaller place then there is a lot of "Better shut up - because it's a small town and you don't know who-knows-who" and I've lost count of how many times I've been told I "should" use a local firm for something (ie just because they are "local"). I've been surprised to find sometimes just who I've been told is "good" - when...actually ...no they aren't (not by any objective standards).
    *******************
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 12th Feb 18, 4:16 PM
    • 24,060 Posts
    • 62,691 Thanks
    pollypenny
    Personal recommendation every time for us. Most of our tradesmen are young, time-served and mostly excited-pupils of mine.

    The one bad guy we came across was the electrician chosen by the kitchen firm ( local) as part of its project management. Sadly for him, I overheard him telling the tiler that he 'tries to make work'.

    Duly reported and he lost work!

    We need the garage roof replace. We have had three recommendations, one from a national firm, but I!!!8217;m wary of using them.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • jennifernil
    • By jennifernil 12th Feb 18, 4:27 PM
    • 5,037 Posts
    • 2,100 Thanks
    jennifernil
    My OH has a Civil Engineering background, plus grew up in a remote area where there were very few tradesmen available, so pretty much the only way was to learn how to do things yourself.

    At school he learned some good woodworking skills, and has always been interested in electronics/electrics , plumbing and making various things.

    As a result we have saved a lot of money over the years, as there is very little he cannot turn his hand to, and we know that the job has been done to our satisfaction.........I am a very particular "client" !

    We designed our own house about 30 years back, still living there now, main structure was built by a company but we did a lot of stuff ourselves....fitting kitchens etc, installing bathroom cupboards, TV and phone wiring, tiling, wooden flooring, painting, laying driveway and landscaping the garden, including bricklaying, and no doubt a lot of other stuff I have forgotten.

    However, we are both getting on a bit now and there will come a time when we need to call on a professional to do the work......we are not looking forward to that.
    • patman99
    • By patman99 12th Feb 18, 11:05 PM
    • 8,206 Posts
    • 9,671 Thanks
    patman99
    It might be that some tradesfolk do not know their own limitations.
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    • MikeEngTech
    • By MikeEngTech 12th Feb 18, 11:22 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    MikeEngTech
    Be careful about getting anyone without reviews online. Recommendations from friends and family might be okay but most don't have trained eyes to stop the difference.
    Massive generalisation coming but maybe try go for small limited companies with google reviews for the best service. They are normally more professional I find and you can check them out on companies house. A lot of self employed people don't even go back to jobs and only work for a wage rather than try to run a professional business and keep proper records. Look out for landlines too not someone who just works from his mobile.
    I think part of your problem is that you're looking for "tradesmen". You're not a builder. You should be looking for local businesses/companies.
    Be wary of other findarecommendedtradesman websites. They are clogged with people just starting out, they are very competitive as most go for the cheapest on them so even many with lots of good reviews are still doing cheap work and not high quality. You won't find a good, cheap tradesman.
    Last edited by MikeEngTech; 12-02-2018 at 11:30 PM.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 13th Feb 18, 7:13 AM
    • 15,850 Posts
    • 43,878 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    It might be that some tradesfolk do not know their own limitations.
    Originally posted by patman99
    That is certainly true.

    I know one of the things I've found in recent times is tradespeople telling me that they are good!!! Obviously never heard the phrase "Self praise is no recommendation"

    I can instantly think of two I've had here that frequently told me they are good and I honestly think they both believe they really are too. They didn't think of themselves as lying to me when they said that - they honestly have that opinion of themselves in their own minds and believe that they are

    Personally - I don't want tradespeople telling me they are good. I'm not used to it and, by now, have learnt that's an invariable sign that actually they are bad. I want tradespeople that just get on with the job and, if they don't know how to do a job, then admit it to me and recommend someone to me that does know how to do the job. No harm in admitting one can't do a job after all - I'm a good Secretary, but will admit that it's no good giving me a job that involves any maths (as I'll freely admit to being bad at that) and that my knowledge is a bit "dated" now (ie low level of computer skills).
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 13-02-2018 at 7:16 AM.
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    • Furts
    • By Furts 13th Feb 18, 8:00 AM
    • 4,292 Posts
    • 2,785 Thanks
    Furts
    Agree about the first point.

    Re the second - I don't think its ostrich mentality. I think it's probably more along the lines of just expecting that someone would be as good at their job as the customer was (well might have been) at theirs.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Every day, or so, a consumer will post on the Forum about an extension, or refurb. They will not have a clue about Planning, or Building Regs, or costs, or trades. Which usually means they have done zero basic research. A typical next move is to ask "builders" for advice, or approx costings, or estimates. This overlooks a glaring reality. There is no such thing as an apprenticeship in building. Which means no competent trades person who is proud of their skills can say they are a builder. Yet consumers blindly trust such folks. But in fairness to the builders, consumers expect these folks to be experts on everything imaginable, frequently to counter the complete lack of preparation and logic that is in the consumer.

    This scenario means one week the consumer considers the "builder" an expert to design and build a retaining wall and landscape their back garden, next week it could be fitting replacement windows, the next week arranging piling for an extension, the next week re-roofing a Victorian house ...

    Here the consumer is at fault for having crazy expectations about peoples skill levels and training. You might blame the builder here, but the fact is the consumer is enticing the builder into this situation with a dangling carrot put before them - "you Mr/Mrs Builder can make a profit if you agree to take this on". We live in a commercial world so of course the builder takes on the work - who can blame them over this.

    All this is a simple every day reality in life yet consumers seem happy to be completely ignorant of such realities.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 13th Feb 18, 9:15 AM
    • 25,202 Posts
    • 68,808 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    That is true. Nobody is an expert on everything and there is no such thing as a builder.

    I employ experts in their own trades and professions. I do not have all the answers, I certainly do not possess many practical skills (and hate the cold) but I do possess the ability to get and keep good people working for us.

    It is pretty hard when you only need one job doing. I know my guys do not enjoy the type of job that takes half a day and small jobs take me longer as a consequence of them not being a priority for anyone else. They are harder work than big jobs and just as likely to hit a stumbling block, if not more, than a substantial project. My guys do small bits for me on occasions because I also provide the meaty stuff. They will not be doing it for others wherever it can be helped. One customer is far, far better than many. I would never, for example, run a business that sent out people on small jobs. There may well be a market for a one stop shop for qualified trades for small jobs where the quality of tradesperson is vetted, but the hassle of dealing with hundreds of bitty customers? No way. Not for all the tea in China. I havenít looked at Local Heroes but I wonder if that is a glorified CheckaTrade. How much responsibility do British Gas actually take?

    Oh, and we are good. I have no trouble saying that I set a standard and it is worked to. It is incredibly British to have the opinion that others have inflated opinions of themselves, but people need to be aware that if you want good, you pay for it and you behave in manner that deserves good. Way too many people have little respect for tradespeople and end up getting what they expect because they expect nothing better. I do appreciate that good people are in short supply, but that also means treating them like gold.

    We have no google reviews. We even have an empty FMB page - that I pay for. You will only going to find us through a recommendation. Recommendations are good for both parties which is why the right people are often invisible. A friend of a good client is more likely to be on the same wavelength and have the right expectations at the beginning of a process. Ditto for clients, the builder of a good friend is also quite likely to be a good match.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 13-02-2018 at 9:24 AM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • kevincharley
    • By kevincharley 13th Feb 18, 8:11 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    kevincharley
    could there be a north, south divide?
    Originally posted by comeandgo
    Interesting point. Since moving to Northamptonshire we've had so much trouble with shoddy workmanship and 'no-shows'.
    To misquote Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 'when they're good they're very, very good. But when they're bad they're horrid.
    One Gas Safe plumber left a live wire exposed - almost killed the electrician. That would've been interesting...
    • Risteard
    • By Risteard 13th Feb 18, 11:06 PM
    • 822 Posts
    • 290 Thanks
    Risteard
    One Gas Safe plumber left a live wire exposed - almost killed the electrician.
    Originally posted by kevincharley
    Not that surprising. Plumbers and kitchen fitters are invariably completely clueless about electrical installation, but frequently think they are competent to mess around with it.

    This is why it should be illegal for non-Registered Electrical Contractors to engage in electrical installation work, as it is in many other jurisdictions.
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 14th Feb 18, 3:31 AM
    • 7,367 Posts
    • 3,864 Thanks
    buglawton
    I'm surprised no official survey has been done on customer satisfaction with tradespeople region by region of the UK. I suspect things are worst in London and it's commuter belt.
    • Ganga
    • By Ganga 14th Feb 18, 4:43 PM
    • 1,118 Posts
    • 572 Thanks
    Ganga
    I'm surprised no official survey has been done on customer satisfaction with tradespeople region by region of the UK. I suspect things are worst in London and it's commuter belt.
    Originally posted by buglawton
    Is it not that London and it,s area is huge compared with other parts of the UK so therefor must have more trades people so probably more bad trade people
    ITS NOT EASY TO GET EVERYTHING WRONG ,I HAVE TO WORK HARD TO DO IT!
    • PhilE
    • By PhilE 14th Feb 18, 8:55 PM
    • 332 Posts
    • 211 Thanks
    PhilE
    OP has commented about a heating engineer smashing asbestos in the home meaning OP had to vacate. The implication is OP is the innocent party and the heating engineer was a cowboy type. This may be so, but OP has (conveniently?) not mentioned their legal duties over this.

    The law is strict when one considers every consumers duties under the CDM Regs. Hence it is reasonable to ask why OP was requesting the heating engineer to be working around asbestos.
    Originally posted by Furts
    Yes Furts, it was all a conspiracy. Well done.
    • PhilE
    • By PhilE 14th Feb 18, 9:00 PM
    • 332 Posts
    • 211 Thanks
    PhilE
    Not that surprising. Plumbers and kitchen fitters are invariably completely clueless about electrical installation, but frequently think they are competent to mess around with it.

    This is why it should be illegal for non-Registered Electrical Contractors to engage in electrical installation work, as it is in many other jurisdictions.
    Originally posted by Risteard
    There's all sorts of examples I could give on this forum alone, of tradespeople doing things they aren't supposed to be and or not qualified to do.

    The consumer thinks he/she is protected because the tradesperson is gas safe etc, but if it hits the fan all the tradesperson has to do is declare bankruptcy and change their name.
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 21st Feb 18, 6:55 AM
    • 7,367 Posts
    • 3,864 Thanks
    buglawton
    Is it not that London and it,s area is huge compared with other parts of the UK so therefor must have more trades people so probably more bad trade people
    Originally posted by Ganga
    The best tradesmen Iíve had working for me were kitchen fitters who drove in from Wales every day, to Reading.
    • Zandy_23
    • By Zandy_23 21st Feb 18, 11:47 PM
    • 59 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    Zandy_23
    Ever since we never experienced anything bad with them but we take caution and only hire those that are highly recommended by friends.
    • tony6403
    • By tony6403 23rd Feb 18, 12:40 AM
    • 1,216 Posts
    • 1,018 Thanks
    tony6403
    OP has commented about a heating engineer smashing asbestos in the home meaning OP had to vacate. The implication is OP is the innocent party and the heating engineer was a cowboy type. This may be so, but OP has (conveniently?) not mentioned their legal duties over this.

    The law is strict when one considers every consumers duties under the CDM Regs. Hence it is reasonable to ask why OP was requesting the heating engineer to be working around asbestos.
    Originally posted by Furts
    This is not accurate for domestic clients..
    Here are the rules : http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/cdm/2015/domestic-clients.htm
    Forgotten but not gone.
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 7th Apr 18, 8:51 PM
    • 1,581 Posts
    • 1,014 Thanks
    AndyMc.....
    He was and continues to be gas safe, NICEIC. Informed both of the situation, neither cared.
    Originally posted by PhilE
    They tend not to listen so serial moaners.
    • pearl123
    • By pearl123 8th Apr 18, 2:21 PM
    • 1,395 Posts
    • 2,076 Thanks
    pearl123
    People don!!!8217;t serve apprenticeships any more, hence a decline in the quality of work.
    Of course there are skilled tradesmen who take real pride in their work. There are also those who will take the quickest, easiest route to line their pockets.
    • comeandgo
    • By comeandgo 8th Apr 18, 3:26 PM
    • 2,070 Posts
    • 2,817 Thanks
    comeandgo
    People don!!!8217;t serve apprenticeships any more, hence a decline in the quality of work.
    Of course there are skilled tradesmen who take real pride in their work. There are also those who will take the quickest, easiest route to line their pockets.
    Originally posted by pearl123
    Yes they do have apprenticeships, proper three or four year ones. You just have to check the qualifications they have.
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