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How To Work With Tradesmen

Working with tradesmen such as electricians, painters, and plumbers takes more than just money and keeping a constant line of communication. If you want tradesmen working on your renovation project doing the best job they can, and you definitely will because it’s your home and money on the line, then you would want to keep the following in mind:


Do your research.

Make sure you do your research on which kind of tradesmen you need for the job and who does the best work. Knowing what actually needs to be done in your home is a great start for finding the right tradesmen. If you do this, you will not just be saving yourself a lot of headache and wasted time in the future, but you’ll also do it for them.

Hire locally.

There are times when you need to have tradesmen come over the work site on a short notice. For your convenience and theirs, try to hire people who live nearby. Driving long distances costs them gas and time, while you also lose some of your valuable time waiting for them.  Also, tradesmen like to protect their local reputation - so there is less risk with a local.  And let them know that you are well connected and willing to recommend them - it's a message that a good job could  win them more business.

Create a proper schedule.

While tradesmen are friendly people, it is best if you don’t meet with all of them at the same time. They usually do their best work without distractions, including other tradesmen running about, so make sure you schedule them to have their own time at your property. This would also allow you to focus on their individual work and to spend more time discussing details with each person.

Consider they are people too.

Don’t be too demanding. Don’t be too touchy with the amount of money you’re spending, especially if it’s not that much. Tradesmen, like you, need their rest and personal time too, so do not call them over or call them on the phone beyond working hours. You wouldn’t want them bugging you when you’re spending time with your friends and family, would you?

Feed them.

Keeping tradesmen happy makes them work better. That benefits you too because you will get the best possible results out of them. Be friendly and offer them food. Providing them coffees and morning tea, snacks, and drinks on a regular basis will not just energize them, it will also keep them focused on-site. Bonus points for you if you actually eat with them. If they like you, it’s more than likely that they will do a stellar job, communicate well and keep you informed - and want to work with you again.

Pay them well.

It is understandable that you would want to cut costs in any way you can to stick to your renovation budget, but don’t even consider paying tradesmen amounts that are obviously below the worth of the job done. The best way to know what the going rate is - is to get quotes and understand the drivers of costs.  Tradesmen cannot necessarily control the costs of materials, but you are entitled to know how they charge for their time.  Pay them a fair rate and highlight you want to work with them to ensure their time onsite is efficient, so you get value for money.  This will not just make you someone they would want to work with again, but this will also encourage them to do the best job they can and in the quickest time possible.

photo credit: Mark Hunter
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