Top Tips to Ensure you are not Overpaying Tradespeople

Whether in person, on phone, or by email, good relations with tradespeople begin from the very first time you contact them. This greatly determines if you are going to maintain the workman to help you sort out other repairs within and around your home. It is in this regard you need to ensure that you carry out proper research to avoid spending more for a lot less in return.

Here are some top tips to make sure you are not overpaying tradespeople:

Put it into writing

The best time to avoid a payment dispute with a trade is before you agree to use their services. Make sure you put into writing whatever you agree on regarding the work to be done. Never rely on oral assurances especially when it is done as by the way in a conversation. Every homeowner should have a budget in place that works for them. It is critical that you agree to a detailed contract which includes the starting time, materials, cost, price, including how the payment will be done. And if the contract bears a significant sum, you can seek the services of a solicitor to guarantee that no overpayment is done.

Carefully analyse and evaluate the contract

In any case, you receive a contract that is prepared by the tradesperson, or their company, carefully analyse and evaluate the contract. Make sure you understand everything that is put on paper and if you find some difficulty getting some of the clauses, seek a legal advice. Once you are satisfied that all is well, sign it in front of more than one witness. But, if you wish to change a section in the contract, get it in writing and sign it with two or more witnesses.

Don’t pay for the work before it’s completed

It is important not to pay for the work before it’s completed, even though a deposit of 10% can be done to assure the tradesperson that you are going to pay. If you are unsure of the pre-payment plan, you can get hold of the trade association and seek any clarification you may have. Paying the whole amount before the job is done would end up costing you even more in matters when the trade decides to abandon work before it is complete. This means that you’ll have to pay another person for a job you already paid for, hence more pay.


Qualification is also a fundamental factor in determining the value for your money. Ensure you check that they have references and are ready to share the contact details of previous clients so you can compare notes on how much they got paid for a particular job. You can also ask a friend, family, or neighbour who had similar work done by the same trade.

Compare different quotes

Experts recommend getting three written quotes, but remember to confirm if you’ll get them for free or at a price. These quotes should be for the same job so it would be better to ask that the estimate is itemized, particularly into materials and labour as well. If you would like to get some fast quotes from local tradesmen in your area then you can use services like myjobquote, rated people or mybuilder.

Lastly, the tradesperson should carry insurance with a cover that is sufficient for the work. Apart from ensuring that you get value for your money, this also ensures that no overpayment is done in case you have an issue with the tradesperson.

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