Trade body mem­ber­ships and what they mean

The Oban Times - - SELF BUILD & RENOVATION -

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.

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