Trade body memberships and what they mean
In the area that this supplement serves, where there are many tight knit communities, word of mouth and recommendations are very important. We all know someone who knows someone and many advertise locally in The Oban Times business directory and via social media. The tradesmen who are the busiest are often the best choice (they are busy for a reason!) but it can get frustrating sitting on the waiting list for a site visit and quote, when you really want to get things started. If you need to widen your net, checking a tradesman sounds like a chore. But do you really know a decent builder from a dodgy one without checking?
The best way to check that your tradesman is legitimate is to check their trade association and insurances; a good indication of their qualifications and professionalism. Once you have found your tradesmen, you should check they are who they say they are: 1. Ask your tradesman what association they belong to. 2. Call the association and ask if your tradesman is a member. If the association has an online search function, then this will save you some time.
Beware – some trade associations are better than others….
Trade Association membership is a good indication that your tradesman is professional – and especially important if it means the tradesmen can sign off their work as Building Regulation compliant. This is important when you sell your home and you will need to produce certificates to prove that your work meets the national building regulation standards. It sounds dull, but building regulations are the law. To qualify, trade associations may ask tradesmen to meet certain criteria and demonstrate high quality standards. It is a good first port of call – but take note: these organisations are funded by membership fees. They will have varying levels of checks, and striking someone off their list will mean a loss of income. So while they offer some protection you can’t take them at face value. If you want to compare and contrast then look at their codes of practice to see how much protection they give you. It is also very important that your tradesman has public and employer liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance.