People in this trade are the ‘least trustworthy,’ according to homeowners

Last year we revealed that a third of Brits wouldn’t let a tradesperson use their toilet or offer them a drink. Now, research suggests the public’s suspicion is targeted at some trades more than others.

Beyond the day job, tradies have a lot to contend with. There are some things you’d rather do without – whether it’s tool theft, a dizzying rise in fuel prices, or even homeowners who don’t trust you.

But new research from consumer group Which? reveals that some trades need to work extra hard to overcome the public’s fears. It also names the tradespeople who homeowners trust the most.

38% of people don’t trust people in these trades

A survey of 1461 Which? members revealed that 38 per cent don’t trust builders or roofers when employing them for the first time.

The survey also uncovered people’s biggest fears when hiring a tradesperson. The top worry? Not turning up on time, which was chosen by just over six in ten people (62 per cent).

The other anxieties were poor workmanship (55 per cent) and being ripped off (46 per cent). There are a lot of misconceptions out there about tradespeople, so it’s extra important that you do what you can to reduce these fears when meeting new customers, particularly if you want to secure repeat business.

4 in 5 people trust these tradies

At the other end of the scale, electricians are overwhelmingly trusted, with 80 per cent of people saying they have confidence in the sparkies they call.

Just below electricians in the consumer group’s net trust table are central heating engineers and plumbers (who incidentally have high levels of satisfaction in life).

The most (and least trusted) tradespeople

Trade Net trust
Electricians 80 per cent
Central heating engineers 75 per cent
Plumbers 73 per cent
Carpenters 72 per cent
Decorators 70 per cent
Plasterers 68 per cent
Glaziers 65 per cent
Mechanics 64 per cent
Tilers 61 per cent
Kitchen fitters 58 per cent
Builders 53 per cent
Drain and sewer services 50 per cent
Roofers 48 per cent

What does this mean for tradespeople?

There are simple things all tradies can do to put the public’s mind at ease.

What’s more, there’s a big opportunity for tradespeople to win more clients than their competition, simply by taking steps to build and maintain a great reputation in the long-term.

Our top tips:

  • If you’re a member of a trade association, display this prominently on your marketing materials (including your website, if you have one), as it can give customers confidence. If you’re not, research your options, as becoming a member can give you credibility – as well as easier access to advice and support

  • Displaying information about your qualifications in your marketing can give your customers confidence, too

  • Go one step further than the rest. Of course, good timekeeping is a must, but be sure to communicate clearly with your customers. Talk them through your quote, and let them know quickly if the work’s going to take longer or cost more (or, better, whether you can do it for less). Be available if clients need to contact you and answer promptly

  • Your tradesman insurance policy can show customers you’re serious about your responsibilities, so keep your documents handy and be prepared to show them to your customers if they ask

  • If you can go above and beyond your remit, news of your skill and credibility may travel fast. For example, perhaps there’s an extra bit of work you’ve noticed needs doing – could you do it without charging more for labour? And collect and display testimonials, as these are a great way to prove your credibility

Let us know your experiences with homeowners below.

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