Four in ten British homeowners say they feel nervous about using a builder or tradesmen for projects around the home or garden, a study has revealed. Nearly three quarters of Brits said they feel anxious when it comes to dealing with workmen they haven’t met before, and almost half feel they are going to get ripped off.
Despite these fears, 70% never bother to check for professional credentials, and three quarters don’t even know the last name of the person they are hiring.
Less than one in four said they took up references from previous customers.
Of the 2000 homeowners polled 60% claim it’s difficult to find an honest tradesman.
Over half were concerned they would start a job but take too long to finish it and 46% thought that they would be charged more than the original quote.
In the current economic climate, a quarter admitted they were worried that a tradesman would go out of business before they had finished the job, taking their money with them.
Things listed as off-putting when it comes to hiring builders and tradesmen included dirty vans, mucky fingernails and even muddy boots.
Professional branding, a good website and offering references up-front were likely to reassure consumers.
The poll was carried out by Bradstone Assured, which has an approved network of landscapers that consumers can access online.
Spokesman Mike Leeming said: “Our research suggests that there is dwindling confidence when hiring tradesmen for work in the home and garden but this does not have to be the case.
“Consumers can take some simple steps to protect themselves, including taking up references, ensuring you get the full name and address of your builder or landscaper and checking professional accreditations.
“It’s also a good idea to ask for a list of previous jobs so you can check the quality of their work and consider bond schemes whereby your money is held by a third party to give extra security.”
But it’s no wonder people are cautious, when more than one in five of the adults polled have been a victim of a rogue trader, losing thousands of pounds as a result.
More than half of those polled said they thought TV programmes like Cowboy Builders and Rogue Traders are beneficial, as they inform homeowners of what to look out for.
But a nervous 15% said they make them feel even more anxious about employing workmen.
Three quarters of Brits seek advice from friends and family when looking to hire a tradesman, while 10% appeal for help from friends on social networking sites such as Facebook – a resourceful 13% even said they would ask for recommendations at their local builders merchants.
Of those polled, 12% said they have attempted a DIY job themselves which has ended in disaster.
But 10% said they were too stubborn to call a tradesman to help with a botched job.
And a third of Brits regularly ring Dad to come to the rescue.
Mike Leeming from Bradstone Assured added: ”There are some jobs that are best left to the professionals.
”Often it pays dividends to get a job done properly with quality products rather than trying to attempt it yourself.”
If you are looking for honest tradesmen in Liverpool or the surrounding areas, Property-Serv can help. They have a team of reliable, honest tradesmen ready to assist, with all you property repair and property maintenance needs.