Prior to fitting a loft ladder or boarding a loft, we always provide a job-specific quote, either in person or from photos. We like to make sure that every quote is accurate and that customers have considered all the options. Nine times out of ten the customer awards us the job. During Covid we are finding that there are more firms offering loft improvement services – in difficult times, tradespeople diversify! Customers should beware and know what they are getting for their money, so we’ve drawn up a handy checklist of what to look for when choosing a tradesperson for a loft job.
Recommendation, recommendation, recommendation
We are not going to teach you to suck eggs – we all know that a recommendation is best. But we are also all open to being swayed by the idea of a bargain. Not all loft contractors are the same. Make sure you get a solid recommendation. Really you should be hearing the same name come up from several sources.
If no-one in your network can make a recommendation, then online local groups, such as Facebook’s Stratford Forum, Redditch Recommendations or the Bidford Forum are a good place to ask. Again, see if the same name comes up a few times. Check out your potential firm’s Facebook page – take a look at the number of customer reviews and how recent and regular they are. Also check that the firm’s own posts are accompanied by photos showing real life installations.
Talk to potential contractors and ask questions. They should be happy to answer them and to tailor the job to your home. You might not need a heavy duty timber ladder if you are storing smaller items. You might not need to board all of the loft. A good contractor will suggest what is right for you and your budget.
You don’t want to end up employing a cowboy!
Loft firm checklist
- Are they experienced in lofts and carpentry – not all lofts are the same and contractors need to be able to do more than fit a standard kit
- How long have they worked in your area and where are they based? You don’t want to go with someone who is intensively targeting your town for a period and then is gone.
- Where do they source their loft ladders from? We use tried and tested ladders from a trade only supplier. We know they are top quality because we’ve fitted them on hundreds of jobs.
- Is the price they quote what you will pay? Check that it includes all materials and VAT with no hidden extras.
- Ask to see photos of recent jobs or if they can give you the details of a recent customer who is happy to talk to you.
Oh and did we mention recommendations!