How to Spot a Dodgy Tradesman

Dodgy Tradesman

Whether you’re planning on doing an extension, upgrading or you just need to call a tradesman in an emergency, there will always be times when you need to rely on them. The hard part is choosing a tradesman you know you can trust. Even in an emergency you don’t want to be charged over the odds and you certainly don’t want a job left unfinished or completed in a dangerous way. So, how can you differentiate between the tradesmen you can count on and the ones you should steer clear of?


A good tradesman will be able to provide you with references before starting any work. You’ll usually be able to find information on local tradesman by asking local people. It won’t be long before you find out if that particular tradesman is worth hiring. Reputations have a habit of following you wherever you go, good or bad. Research the individual or company online and you may find reviews on websites or social media. Whatever you do, don’t enter into any type of contract before taking some time to look into the work they’ve done previously.

Get a Quote

Whether you’re hiring plumbers, builders, plasterers or any other type of tradesman, you need to get a quote on the work you need done. Once you have the quote, do some investigating. Is the quote a fair price? Is it around the same amount that another tradesman would quote you? Get a few quotes from a few different people and compare them. Ask each tradesman if they stick to their quotes or if there are times when the quote amount increases after the work is done. Use your intuition and try and find the balance between what you pay and the quality of the work.

Are They Too Keen?

If a tradesman is bothering you to start the job, it’s unlikely they have work anywhere else. That often says a lot. Tradesmen are in high demand so it’s not likely they’ll have spare time on their hands. Cowboy tradesmen are well known for doing quick and unprofessional jobs for a few people in the same area and then scarpering from the area for good. If your tradesman is too keen to get the job done, make sure it’s not because they want to take your money and run.

Get Details

A good tradesman will provide you with as many details as possible. You’ll be given a phone number, possibly both mobile and landline. You’ll be given a website address, email address and social media account. Some individual tradesmen even supply their bank account details for clients to pay them bank transfer instead of asking to be paid in cash. If your tradesman is hesitant about giving too many details, alarm bells should start to ring. Use whatever details you are given to look into the tradesman further. Here are some more tips on spotting a cowboy tradesman.

You can never be entirely sure that the person you hire will do a good job, but if you use your gut instinct, you should be left with quality work.

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