A Good (Trades)man Is Hard To Come By

It’s been a while since I last published a post. In the meantime, my wife an I bought our first house. Buying a house was a major educational experience for us. I will probably dedicate a few posts to the lessons we learned.

The first, overwhelming lesson was how hard it was to find good tradesmen. From cleaners, to internal designers, builders, decorators or electricians – we failed on all fronts. Every single tradesperson was an utter disappointment.

The worst thing for us was there was no lesson we could learn: every tradesperson we spoke to had good recommendations and sounded highly professional. Yet, one after the other, they let us down. Some wouldn’t turn up to the first meeting booked for evaluation. Others would turn up, only to never be heard from again. Those that did get back to us with a quote ended up doing such a terrible job we had to hire someone else to fix their mistakes.

Renovating our kitchen and living room, which should not have even taken a month, ended up taking over four months. We’ve spoken to friends from around the world since, and it seems their experience was similar – although not quite as terrible as ours.

We did end up with a couple of take-aways from our experience:

  1. Never pay the full amount until the work is absolutely done. Any loose ends you expect to be tied after the last payment is made are likely to remain unattended.
  2. Keep a list of the best tradesmen you’ve worked with. This list will prove priceless. Finding good tradesmen is hard. Don’t make yourself go through that pain a second time if you can avoid it.

What are your secrets for finding good tradesmen? And why are there so many incompetent ones? I’m looking forward to hearing about your experience!

Published by eranboudjnah

A software consultant and tech lead. Passionate about optimizing as many aspects of my life as possible, to free time for what really matters.

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