#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 17°C Thursday 16 September 2021

Getting work done on your home? 5 things you should know before hiring someone

Keeping your household safe is now a legal requirement.

shutterstock_476298817 Source: Shutterstock/Dmitry Kalinovsky

MAKING MUCH-NEEDED ADDITIONS to your home can be a daunting process, whether it is electrical work, painting or construction that needs to be carried out.

What not everyone will realise however, is there are very strict regulations in place to protect consumers and to ensure that the work to their home is safe and of a high quality.

In the process of hiring someone? Here are five things that are essential to book first.

1. Make sure that they have all the legal qualifications

shutterstock_511744705 Source: Shutterstock/Supachai sopaporn

A vital way of ensuring safe and high quality work is conducting a very thorough background check. If it’s a company you’re using, check for it at the Company Registration Office. What’s even more important however, are their qualifications.

It is now illegal for anyone other than a Registered Electrical Contractor (REC) to carry out most electrical work in your home or to portray themselves as being registered, and they must issue you with a certificate to show the work is of an approved standard.

2. Find recommendations from family and friends

shutterstock_567304057 Source: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia

Once you’ve double checked that the contractor you’ve chosen is either a registered REC (or if they’re doing gas works, a Registered Gas Installer), it can still be tough to figure out which one to pick.

Consequently, it’s worthwhile asking family, friends and even on social media for recommendations about tradespeople, and if possible to visit their home to see the work that they carried out to make sure you are happy with its quality.

3. Seek out examples or references from the contractor

shutterstock_526822402 Source: Shutterstock/Jat306

If your own social circle hasn’t lead to any particularly skilled leads, any qualified contractor should be able to provide references from previous clients that you can then contact and make sure they were happy with the work that was carried out.

Putting in the time to pick the right person before you get the work done can prevent headaches later with any type of home renovation, whether it’s electrical, paintwork, electrical or plumbing. They may also have relevant examples of their work.

4. Know your rights (and don’t feel forced by cold callers)

shutterstock_445040029 Source: Shutterstock/ronstik

Along with the right to ask for proof that your electrician is registered with Safe Electric, and all the basic rights you’re entitled to when buying any service in Ireland, there are specific, additional rights when it comes to people who offer service at your door.

If a salesperson representing a tradesperson calls to your home uninvited and you buy something for €50 or more, they must give you a written cancellation form and cancellation notice, while you can cancel the contract within 14 days.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

5. Check your home insurance policy

shutterstock_536553811 Source: Shutterstock/Africa Studio

Another important step to take before you arrange tradespeople to visit your home is if both their liability insurance and your own home insurance covers them for damage to the property.

This should also cover an increased risk of break-ins if your security may become compromised by the need for doors to be left open or if you need to move out of your home while the work is completed.

6. Try to get a written quote before work starts

shutterstock_548283439 Source: Shutterstock/Syda Productions

Unfortunately, an estimate is an educated guess with no legal standing so is worth little more than the paper it is written on if the costs go up and you want to object.

To ensure you are both on the same page before the work begins, get a written quote which is binding unless you make changes to the job’s requirements. Look for as much detail as possible in the quote and that VAT is included to avoid any nasty surprises.

Make sure you’re protecting your household by checking any electrician you hire is registered under Safe Electric. It is illegal for anyone other than a Registered Electrical Contractor (REC) to carry out electrical work in your home or to portray themselves as being registered. To find a suitable REC click here.

Source: Journal Media Studio/YouTube

Sponsored by:

Safe Electric

Read next:

COMMENTS (18)