Finding Tradespeople in the USA
Whether or not you’ve bought a property that requires some renovation work, at some stage you will need to enlist tradespeople to help complete work on your US property. Here are our top tips for finding tradespeople in the USA…
Ensure they are operating legally
Before you employ anyone to work on your property, you need to ensure that they are legally qualified to complete the job. Check that they are registered with the necessary official bodies, and ask to see licences where necessary. You will also need to make sure that the tradesperson has their own insurance policy to cover them in the event of an accident whilst at work. The last thing you want to be liable for is a bogus tradesperson being injured whilst working on your property without insurance.
Before you employ anyone to work on your property, you need to ensure that they are legally qualified to complete the job.
Although the Yellow Pages is all very well, when it comes to inviting someone into your home to complete renovations, which can take some time, it’s wise to ask those you trust for recommendations. Ask around at any clubs or societies that you’ve become a member of, reach out to your neighbours and fellow expats, and get online to search local forums. Any tradesperson you opt to employ should also be able to show you examples of their previous work, and will be comfortable putting you in touch with a number of happy customers.
In the USA, it’s quite common for homeowners to prepare a “concierge package” for new buyers or tenants. This is essentially a folder full of information about the property, which often includes things like their recommended utility providers, and local contractors.
If you weren’t given a concierge package, and you’re yet to meet anyone to seek recommendations from, you should consult your real estate agent. As an expert in the local area, they should have a whole roster of reputable tradespeople that they can recommend to you.
Where possible, try to hire small local businesses to do the work rather than big companies.
Why it’s best to use local tradespeople
Where possible, try to hire small local businesses to do the work rather than big companies. Not only does this demonstrate a willingness on your behalf to help out people in your local community, but you’ll also find that these smaller businesses will match the prices offered by bigger businesses to secure the work. Choosing a local tradesperson also means that they’ll have local area knowledge, including where to purchase the best value materials, any regulations that must be followed, and what materials last the best given the weather.
Before they start
If you know exactly what needs to be done, you can usually get a quote from the tradesperson over the phone. More often than not, you will have to pay a basic call-out fee in addition to the cost of the parts, and the cost of hourly labour. This call out fee is usually between $60-$100.
Make sure that you outline clearly, in writing, exactly what work is to be done. You will be expected to pay your bill upon completion of the work. Do ensure that everything has been finished to your satisfaction before paying your bill.
When insuring your life in the USA, it will prove beneficial to take out insurance on major household appliances like water tanks, air conditioning systems and anything else that could prove costly to replace.
Download your free USA property guide
Our guide to buying a house in America is readily available online, but you can also a PDF version to view when you're offline or print. Simply fill in the form to the right and you'll be able to download your free copy.
- Ask the right questions
- Avoid the legal pitfalls
- Find your property
- Avoid losing money
- Move in successfully