Friday, 8 June 2018

Finding A Tradesperson With Local Heroes

What makes you feel like a grown up? At 36 I may have been an adult for a while, but there are some events which make me feel like a proper adult. Like when I was allowed to leave the hospital with my first little human, when I received the keys to my first home and when something goes wrong in our house and I am the one responsible for getting it fixed. My first instinct is to call my Dad and ask him to help, but I have to accept he can’t fix everything and sometimes I need someone else to rescue me: a tradesperson  

***This is a collaborative post with Local Heroes, but all thoughts are my own***

An electrician wearing a hard hat working on a plug socket


What comes to mind when you think of a tradespeople? There are lots of stereotypes, but do they really match up with the modern tradesperson? A survey commissioned by Local Heroes paints a slightly different picture to what I imagined, for instance they found 80% describe themselves as sensitive and on average they sing along to 15 songs a week and have 8 political debates!

I don’t mind whether they sing or debate, but I do want them to be reliable, only do the necessary work, to do it properly and not to be overcharged. In the 6 years I have owned my own home I have had very varying experiences: 

I’ve had the plumber who did that teeth sucking thing, you know the thing, they put their head to one side then kinda suck in through their teeth to imply “Ooo it’s going to be a complicated job”. I don’t remember if he shook his head and tutted too, but it wouldn’t have surprised me. He did the job well but charged a lot. He was also the only tradesperson I’ve had who actually asked for a cup of tea. According to the survey by Local Heroes the average tradesperson drinks 16 cups of tea a week and 15 coffees. That’s more than 4 cups a day, but I wonder whether this plumber is driving up the averages as he was only at mine a couple of hours and had 2 cups!

I have used a friendly locksmith who arrived quickly and tried hard not to wake my napping child. She was efficient, reasonably priced and she gave me free advice on how to improve the security of my house. Her number is now in my phone for future work.

I’ve had the handyman who did everything we asked and at a reasonable price, but it was all just a little bit bodged and to fix it would cost too much. He also dropped the bathroom mirror he was putting up. Although he offered to come back and put up a replacement mirror up we didn’t call him back.

An Infographic sharing information from research with 520 tradepeople in the UK between 12th and 17th October 2017

What did all these people have in common? They were all recommended on a local Facebook group. When you get given recommendations you never know if they have a vested interest or how good the tradespersons is. It’s probably only a matter of luck I haven’t had a real cowboy who has done more harm than good. How else can you find someone to do the job though?

British Gas is a name I trust; they have been around a long time and it gives me confidence they know what they are doing. If there are problems they are a large enough company that they can sort it out. It means you can avoid the fear that they will suddenly stop answering their phone and leave you with a half finished job. Or worse still that the job won’t be done properly leaving your home and family at risk of harm.

On the other hand I like using small independent companies. I think it is great when someone spends years training to do a trade and then sets up their own company. There are families behind these men and women you are supporting directly and I have found the good people will go above and beyond to help fix problems. According to the research by Local Heroes 90% of tradespeople surveyed are happy in their career and I’m keen to support them. 

Image of a kitchen sink and counter top with someone tiling the splashback

Fortunately with Local Heroes you can get the best of both worlds: independent local tradespeople who are accredited by British Gas to give a guarantee of trust and quality. You can easily find your tradesperson via their website: just choose what type of tradesperson you want, what for and pop in your postcode. The website will then tell you the maximum cost you can expect (excluding parts) and allows you to add additional information that will help the local hero come prepared including photos if you want. You can even state your preferred time slot. This all helps match you with a local hero who will contact you to provide a more detailed quote or advise if they need to come to your property to diagnose the work. 

After the work is done you pay online by PayPal, credit or debit card. Paying in this way means British Gas guarantee the work for 12 months with the added bonus that you don’t have to go to a cash point to get out £100s in cash, something I am never very comfortable with.

I will definitely be using Local Heroes next time I am looking for a tradesperson.

***Disclosure: This is a collaborative post with Local Heroes, but all thoughts are my own. Includes an infographic provided for the post and stock photographs from Pixabay and Unsplash. The Local Heroes network offers a national service including plumbing, heating, drains, electrical, plastering, handymen, locksmiths, tiling, painting and decorating with more skills to come in the future.*** 

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8 comments

  1. I’m very lucky that Tom is really handy around the house but if I find something he can’t do, this is very good to know x

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    1. Ooo you are lucky, my cat is about as handy as G!

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  2. Ah - I always offer people working in our house a cup of tea! Although that's usually my Father in Law, who is fortunately very handy! xx

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    1. The perfect host, can I come round for a cuppa please?

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  3. Oh this sounds great, it's always a worry when you need someone to help and don't have any recommendations. I will be keeping this in mind.

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    1. Exactly. It's always great if you know someone who will be brilliant, but it's hard to know where to turn when you don't.

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  4. Oh I'll have to have a look. We have a couple of leaky taps so need a plumber!!

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    1. I hope you don't have a water meter! I'm worried about how much water we must waste and dreading having to get a meter

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