Shared repairs and maintenance

Employing tradespeople

When repairs are needed try to get a professional opinion on the work involved and the cost. If the problem is straightforward you can go straight to a tradesman. If the problem is complicated, or significant, you may also want to employ someone to manage the work being carried out. 

There are some important questions to ask when meeting tradespeople and getting quotes:

  • Have they done this type of work before
  • Do they belong to a trade body
  • Does it have a guarantee or a complaints service
  • Do they have proof of indemnity insurance
  • Can they provide references from past clients and can you speak to them about the work they had done
  • Are they VAT registered and if the quote includes VAT, as this will affect your final bill.

Ask friends and neighbours if they know someone they trust. Be wary of people who phone or knock on the door, especially if they want you to sign you up on the spot. Beware of flyers through the door, especially if they only have a contact phone number.

Finding tradespeople

There is no list of recommended contractors. We cannot recommend individual traders.  However, we recommend using tradespeople who are members of professional trade schemes or can be found on the Trusted Traders scheme and the following resources can be useful for home owners to find reputable contractors.

Edinburgh Trusted Trader 

Backed by the City of Edinburgh Council and supported by Police Scotland, this scheme can help you find honest and reliable traders who have been fully vetted by Edinburgh Trading Standards.

Visit the Edinburgh Trusted Trader website to start your search for a reputable tradesperson.

Federation of Master Builders 

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) members must have a minimum of 12 months trading, pass an independent inspection, have public and employers' liability insurance and sign-up-to a code of practice.  Search for a builder in your area on the FMB website.

If you have a dispute with an FMB member find out about the FMB conciliation scheme.

Get it in writing

If you hire tradespeople you will need to set out the working arrangements in writing. You should agree in advance

  • a fixed price that can only be increased if agreed with you in writing
  • to keep 5% of the cost for six months after the end of the work to pay for defects the builder does not fix
  • a start and finish date only to be exceeded for factors beyond the builders control.

You should also identify who

  • will be their main site supervisor
  • will give instructions on your part
  • you can make complaints to.

The agreement should also state

  • tradespeople will respect health and safety regulations and only use the materials set out in the quotation
  • the builder will get all consents, like building warrants, consent to site a skip in the road, scaffolding permits
  • which areas of the site are not to be used for building works or storage and will be marked off with tape
  • whether they will need access to water, toilets or power
  • how clean things should be and how anything damaged during the work will be repaired or replaced.

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