How to choose the right tradesman

When looking for a trusted tradesman, most of us will probably ask family and friends for a personal recommendation first, but if that fails, where do you turn?

Choosing a worker who is a member of a professional organisation with a code of practice and official complaints process is a good start, and means you get extra protection if something does go wrong.


Top Tip:

TrustMark is the only Government-endorsed scheme for all trades working in and around the home. It brings together 30 trade associations, from air conditioning engineers to window installers. You can search tradesmen local to you on the Trustmark website.

Here are more trustworthy sources for some of the most in-demand trades:


1. Builders



The Federation of Master Builders is the UK building industry’s biggest trade association. Members must have the standard of their work inspected before they are accepted, and they must sign up to a code of practice and dispute resolution process, so you have comeback if you are unhappy. The FMB website also has a free Find a Builder service, where you can post details of your building project, and local members will quote for the work.


2. Electricians


The Registered Competent Person Electrical register is a list of certified electricians, who are regularly checked to make sure their work is up to standard. You can search for an approved electrician in your area on the website.

3. Plumbers and Heating Engineers

fitting a bath


There are two main trade organisations for plumbers: the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors and the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering. Members of both groups have to maintain high standards of workmanship and customer service, and follow a code of conduct. Both also have an online database of qualified plumbers that you can use to find a tradesman in your area.


4. Carpenters

tradesman carpenter


If you’re looking for a carpenter, the Institute of Carpenters has an online directory of its members in your area. It only approves members who are qualified, or who can prove their knowledge in a rigorous interview process, and have good references.

5. Decorators



The Painting & Decorating Association is the largest trade association for the UK painting and decorating industry. All its members either hold painting and decorating qualifications, or have a minimum of five years' experience. They must also be fully insured. Visit the website to search local members.

Swinton Insurance is not liable for any of the views expressed by tradesmen within this article. 


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