Wednesday, 16 March 2011 7:22 PM
Home improvement jobs such as decorating can seem overwhelming when you don't know where to start - especially when it comes to hiring a trusted tradesperson.
At the best of times, this is a frustrating experience - at the worst of times, particularly if you have recently moved to a new and unfamiliar area, you may feel like you have no idea where to begin.
Home repairs and redecorating are becoming increasingly important in tough economic times, as moving home is a more difficult option for many people.
If you are looking for someone to help you finish a decorating job - or simply want some advice and inspiration - it is important to do some research. The web is a great place to begin your search for the best local person in your area for the job - and you can even choose home improvement professionals based on their reviews from other clients.
You may also want to use the internet to help you find essential information about decorating tips and safety guidelines. And if you are not sure of where to start when it comes to carrying out DIY jobs around your house, there are plenty of online guides to help you get started.
So what should you look for when it comes to choosing a decorator? One thing to bear in mind is that are several types of tradesmen to choose from, whether you want someone with basic wallpapering and painting skills or a professional with a more creative and complex approach.
Firstly, you should make sure you identify exactly which tasks you want the professional decorator to do - perhaps make a list you can consult while you're ringing around for quotes.
Once you know what it is that needs doing, you can find the perfect decorator for the job by using search engines or one of the specialist websites available that help homeowners with DIY tasks find the right tradesman.
Feel free to inquire into qualifications when asking for quotes - after all, if you have a big job that needs doing you will want only the best person to make sure everything is completed to a high standard.
You may also want to ask whether the decorator is a member of a professional organisation. These trade associations tend to impose their own codes of conduct and rules on tradesmen and so you may be more likely to be satisfied with the decorating job in question if someone from one of these organisations carries out the work.
The environment is increasingly playing a role in how homeowners go about their DIY tasks and decorating is no exception. You may want to check whether your chosen decorator uses eco-friendly paint and wallpaper paste and whether they run their businesses in a sustainable manner that minimises both waste and carbon emissions.
Reviews and recommendations from other people who have used the tradesman's services - whether they are your friends and family or complete strangers who have left their comments about the professional's work online - are a great way to find the right decorator.
Customers are usually more objective than the tradesmen themselves when it comes to describing the quality of their work and are well-placed to note the decorator's strengths and weaknesses - as well as whether they offer value for money.
Price is likely to be one of the most important factors you will base your hiring decision on, so make sure you get quotes from several different recommended tradesmen and compare costs as well as reviews from other customers.
Different decorators will charge for their time in different ways, so make sure you bear this in mind when comparing quotes.
For example, some tradesmen might charge an hourly rate, while others will give a fixed price for the entire job. It's worth asking whether the cost includes the price of materials as well as labour to ensure you know exactly what you are paying for before work begins.
Whether you are after someone to help with basic decorating tasks or if you have a bigger, more specific one-off job in mind, Rated People can link you to someone who can get the task done.