Fans of BBC’s The Apprentice will know that it relies on hapless contestants making comical errors in the weekly tasks. Last night was no exception as Lord Sugar set a task for the teams to set up a handyman business. What ensued was an excellent example of how tradespeople are taken for granted.
Elle made the first blunder, claiming that you don’t actually need knowledge to be a tradesperson. She explained, “You just need to convince people you know what you are talking about”. Anybody who has been on the receiving end of shoddy building work will know how far from the truth this is.
“I can paint, it’s easy”, beamed Mergim, before ruining a shopfront with a terrible paint job. Attitudes like this are insulting to tradespeople who spend their lives learning their trade. Many tradespeople invest in training courses, while others spend years as apprentices before going solo. They take pride in honing their talent until they can consider themselves a proper craftsman in their field.
Elle’s team learnt the importance of visiting a job before pricing it. After giving a quote over the phone for a painting job, they arrived to find it was much bigger than anticipated. This is why a visit is so important to a professional tradesperson. Their experience will be able to give you a realistic and competitive price.
When it comes to quotes, you can rely on a professional to give you an accurate breakdown of costs for a job. Both teams made a complete pig’s ear of quoting, giving “finger in the air” quotes which ultimately came back to bite them. No homeowner likes to be given a surprise bill at the end of a job, yet another reason why choosing a professional builder is so important.
Scott made the ultimate error of over-promising, telling a customer that he could give them a complete garden makeover in a day. Consequently, a full makeover turned into a bit of weeding, leaving the homeowner thoroughly unimpressed. Professionals will give you a realistic timeframe for a job.
A group of contestants took part in the refitting of a theatre in East London. Any good building firm knows the value of providing a single point of contact for a project. This way the client has a regular line of communication to discuss the project and any changes or issues that occur. This team however, decided to pass the back to one another from quoting through to the actual work, which must have been confusing for the poor customer.
Both teams took to touting door to door for work and surprisingly some people agreed. We can only assume that the client who had her shelf broken by Mergim regrets that decision! Never hire a tradesperson on your doorstep, due diligence should always be carried out before hiring. Checking online reviews is a great way to find out the work history of a tradesperson.
In the end, Lord Sugar fired three people, a result we have to agree with given the poor quality work on display. Last night showed that being a tradesperson takes knowledge and skill. We hope that it helps homeowners to take their choice of tradesperson seriously for their next home improvement.
If you are looking for a professional tradesperson, post a job on MyBuilder.