How to Find a Tradesman

Needing a builder, plumber, electrician or another trade professional? Then you need to know where to find a tradesman you can count on. We’ll discuss the main options here.

Word of Mouth Recommendation

If you’re in no hurry to find a tradesman with the required expertise, ask around within your social circle. Let friends, co-workers and family know about the project you have in mind. Have they personally dealt with a tradesman they would recommend or been impressed by their workmanship at a friend’s home? Ask.

Remember, it’s just as important to be aware of any they wouldn’t recommend. Knowing another home owner had a bad experience is a very large red flag to consider.

In both cases, decide for yourself how much weight you’d give the person’s opinion. If your home improvement project is along similar lines, ask them if you could possibly see what was done.

Printed Materials

Before the advent of the Internet, The Yellow Pages was where almost all customers looked for tradesmen. It was handy, delivered to your door and every home or office had a copy. If you’re perusing a directory like this and especially classified newspaper ads, look closely at the ads themselves. Does the business give a non-mobile telephone number and physical address? Have they included any information on membership of respected organisations such as The Federation of Master Builders? What about their qualifications? In other words, ensure their ad suggests they won’t disappear overnight. Don’t jump in and call the first electrician you find listed just because you need an electrician. Read more ads and make an informed choice.

Online Search

If you have web access, searching for a qualified, reliable tradesman is far quicker and simpler than the previous two methods. One big advantage of an online search for tradesmen is speed. Another is that information is current. Printed material, especially large directories, can be outdated before they hit your doorstep. Businesses move and expand, phone numbers change, staff find new jobs. Friends misplace business cards and can’t lay their hands on the number.

It’s much speedier for example to use the search engines to locate a local tradesman and obtain their contact information. Waiting for a call back from a friend of a friend or sifting through pages of irrelevant classified ads is time consuming. Testimonials can be useful. However in an emergency, you need to find that professional fast. When speed is of the essence, an online search wins hands down.

Whatever method you choose, what’s most important is this: are they qualified to do the job to your satisfaction? Always check. Ask many questions. Accept nothing less than thorough, clear answers. Ask your local Trading Standards Office about them. Look for the Trustmark award logo in their company ads. Confirm the tradesman is licensed and insured.

A trustworthy, dependable tradesman happily answers any and all queries. Happy hunting! And may your home improvement project dream become a headache-free reality.


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