Two years ago we bought our home. To say it needed a lot of work is a huge understatement, it was a total renovation project, needing a new boiler, new windows, a lot of structural work as well as complete redecoration and lots of other little jobs. Given that the hubby and I are not the most DIY minded it was a huge undertaking, but we promised each other at the beginning that we wouldn't worry about it, we would get tradespeople in to do all the jobs, from the big to the small. What we didn't anticipate was that it would be so difficult to find a reliable local tradesperson for all the different jobs. We spent so much time researching and looking up different people to change doors, do the electrics, plaster, decorate, sort the drains etc. etc. We spent so much time asking friends for recommendations, vetting workmen and getting quotes, the process itself was quite exhausting, without even doing the DIY ourselves!
I've recently discovered a great new service which is going to revolutionise our DIY lives - Local Heroes - which is a British Gas innovation. Local Heroes is a network of skilled independent tradespeople, who whilst they are not employed by Local Heroes / British Gas, they are accredited by them and they guarantee any work they do for 12 months. You can trust the Local Heroes name and it's association with British Gas as a guarantor of trust and quality service.
The service modernises the process of looking for a reliable tradesperson and what I love most about it is that it connects you with independent tradespeople in your area, so you can still support the little guy - you get the best of both worlds, you are supporting small local businesses whilst having the security of the backing of a larger reputable company. In the process of looking for reliable local tradesperson you will find that many stereotypical myths associated with tradespeople are dispelled and that the industry is more up to date and modernised than you would think. Local Heroes have put together this interesting infographic which helps to dispel some of those stereotypes and gives you an idea of what a modern tradesperson is like.
I can confirm many of these - I know that I have made cups of coffee and tea for workmen but never really more than 3 a day which is about the same as I drink so not a real effort to make a couple extra. I have met workmen who are really passionate about their jobs and it is clear to see that they really enjoy what they do. Only last week we had a tradesperson in restoring our victorian flooring - it's a specialist job and he clearly took great pride in his work. One day he even brought his teenage son with him to teach him a little about the job, I think in the hopes that he will take over the business when he is older.
I can imagine that the modern tradesperson might well have 8 political debates a week, I certainly have had many interesting discussions with people who have worked on our house and current affairs and the news is a great conversation starter while you are making that cuppa! I've also been amazed at how sensitive the tradespeople I have encountered are, they have looked out for me, carrying heavy shopping into the house or the pushchair over the stairs. I've known many of them do the school runs for their children and I've heard some lovely stories about their families. From my experience a lot of the statistics shown in this infographic are very true.
Having used a variety of different tradespeople over the last couple of years I have a good idea of what a modern tradesperson means to me. To me it means accepting payment in different ways, having a website where we can see their previous work and customer reviews. It means turning up on time and communicating effectively and being polite and tidy.
Using this new Local Heroes service would give me real peace of mind. Using a tradesperson that has been accredited by a nationally reputable company and the accompanying 12 months guarantee on their work is very comforting and assuring.
The network offers a national service and covers a wide range of trades and services. The list includes, but is not limited to plumbing, heating, drains, electrics, plastering, handymen, locksmiths, tiling and decorating and the list of services covered is ever expanding. I'd definitely encourage you to take a look if you are looking for a local tradesperson.
Disclosure - this post is in conjunction with Local Heroes but all thoughts are my own.