If you’re anything like me and don’t have any tradesmen in your family or close circle, finding someone qualified to carry out home improvements can be a daunting task.
As tempting as it might be to hire your friend’s uncle Dave who lives down the road and has dabbled in a bit of DIY, I can’t stress how important it is to find the right person who has experience to do the job. When it comes to major works, mistakes can often cost a lot more to rectify than the initial job itself. The last thing you want is your oven blowing up and your house catching fire because Dave got the electrical wiring wrong.
When I got the quote from Wickes to fit my kitchen and saw that the fitting cost almost as much as the kitchen itself, I knew I couldn’t in my right mind go with them. I took to the internet and ended up stumbling across MyBuilder.com
I’ll admit, initially I was a bit sceptical about what appeared to be a DIY version of Tinder, but I’ve used myBuilder to find tradesmen a number of times now and have not yet been disappointed.
How it works:
Once you’ve created an account, you post a job you need doing around the house and wait to be notified of any interested tradesmen who would like to be hired for your job. If a tradesman expresses interest in your job and you’d like to invite them to provide a quote, you add them to a shortlist and myBuilder will pass them your contact details. From there, you can speak on the phone and eventually hire them, or go back to the drawing board and shortlist other potentials.
- It’s quick and easy. I needed some electrical work done and posted the job on the site. Less than 8 hours later I’d already found a suitable electrician and the work was completed the following day.
- You get a feel for the person even before you meet them based on the reviews left by others on the site and pictures of the work they completed. You can also preview their liability insurance documents where applicable to make sure they have the right cover should anything go wrong.
- It gives you access to local tradesmen which is particularly useful if your job is an emergency and needs to be fixed within an hour!
- Sometimes the tradesmen you’d like for a job can be unresponsive. This is most likely because they have great reviews, get a lot of requests and are very busy. However that does mean you have to wade through reviews for more people just to find another one you like.
Tips for using myBuilder
- Be specific – When filling out your job description be quite clear about exactly what you want done. There’s nothing worse than getting quotes at extremely different prices because each tradesman has interpreted the requirements differently.
- Do your research first – You can narrow down searches by trade type (i.e. electrician, bathroom fitter, plumber) and by area, right down to a postcode. Read reviews for different tradesmen and see how long they’ve been active for. For the most part, a tradesman with consistently positive and detailed reviews over 2-3 years can give you some confidence in their abilities.
- Invite people to quote – Once you’ve done your research you can invite people to quote, otherwise you can just wait to be notified of any tradesmen interested in your job. This will allow you to get quotes from the people you’ve deemed to be qualified for the job, rather than leaving it to chance.
- Get multiple quotes – For the kitchen fitting job, I think I ended up getting about 7 quotes all in all. Because it was a large job, they all had to come round to see the kitchen and give an accurate quote so the process took a few weeks. However after that, I was able to get a rough idea of the average cost and weed out the fitters who were either extremely overpriced or suspiciously cheap. I then went with my gut on who I’d like to fit my kitchen based on the vibe they gave off when we met. Remember the cheapest quote isn’t always the best, and neither is the most expensive)
Overall I would definitely recommend using myBuilder and I’ve had a very positive experience so far. It’s really easy to use and with careful research you might even find your go-to tradesman for life!