Why Don’t We Talk About How Awkward Hiring A Tradesperson Is?


When you have a home improvement that you need doing, sometimes, you have to call in the experts such as a tradesperson.

There are a vast number of companies to choose from, to the point it can be difficult to know where to turn. There are websites that offer you comparisons and help guides to getting the best quote – but they all forget one important thing: it’s intimidating. It’s scary. And it’s just downright awkward at times.

It shouldn’t be, but it is. You’re hiring someone into your home. This should be your decision; you’re the one with the money and everything that you want should be the paramount concern. It doesn’t matter if you’re hiring a single handyman to change a socket or a full team of roofers like Pro-Dec Roofing to completely re-roof a house – you should be in control.

Yet so often, you find yourself in a situation where it’s awkward at best and intimidating at worst. The process of going through a quote is a negotiation, no matter how big the smile of the tradesman and how witty his banter. More than a few of us are guilty of agreeing to a quote simply because it would have felt more uncomfortable not to do so – even if the price isn’t what we had in mind.

There is an innate sense of “Britishness” that stops us from haggling and debating costs. That coupled with shows like Rogue Traders – which show us the very worst of these professions – means we’re backed into a corner from the get go. So is there any way to go through a quotation and home improvement process without the awkwardness? Of course there is.

Request A Quote In Writing Only

Open the door, invite them in and show them the problem or change you wish to make. Then immediately say: “can I requests quotes in writing only? My partner/son/dog trainer wants to see them to make the final decision”. Invent whatever person you need.

Yes, you’re handing over some of the autonomy of the decision – or at least in the eyes of the tradesperson. But you’re also avoiding the moment they announce a cost and then stand, waiting expectantly, to see what you have to say.

Agree on A Price Before Anyone Comes To Your Home

Or, at the very least, a ballpark of a price. Technology is a wonderful thing, and it can provide a buffer between you and the person you want to hire. Photograph the job you need and send it to them directly, asking for a rough idea of how much you’d be looking at.

Find Someone Who Can Do Everything (Or Close To It)

One of the quickest ways to stop this being a recurrent problem is to find a handyman – someone with better-than-average DIY skills. They don’t need to have specific qualifications and they will need to call in experts for some jobs, but they will likely do it for you. If all else fails, then go with a project manager for larger scale projects. Then, they do the negotiation for you.

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