In an alarming statistic, more than one-third of British adults have admitted that they didn’t check their gas engineer to make sure the work was done legally. You can check this through looking at the Gas Safe Register. This official gas registration body shows that the gas engineer that you have hired is legit. Under United Kingdom law, all gas engineers must be under the Gas Safe Register. This improves the safety of the United Kingdom because someone working who isn’t registered can become a threat.
Despite the Gas Safe Register, the United Kingdom has looked into 2,000 illegal gas work jobs within the last three years. That should tell you the extent of the problem. Investigators looked into this further, and they learned how an estimated 69 percent of the completed jobs were dangerous to the inhabitants because of how faulty gas work happened that often.
Questions to Ask Your Gas Engineer
1. What types of gas appliances do you have qualifications to work on?
If the gas engineer replies that they can work on all gas appliances, that should come as a big red flag. No gas engineer will be competent and qualified to work on all projects. You must check what work they are qualified to do before you choose them. Engineers will have different qualifications, such as:
- Natural gas and LPG
- Domestic and non-domestic
- Cookers, boilers and fire
2. Can I see your GasSafe ID?
For any gas work that you might have had done at home, ask the engineer for his GasSafe ID. In this way, you can look at how long they have been on it. If they give you an excuse that they don’t have it on them at the moment, ask them for it later or refuse to hire them. Most true professionals will carry this on them when they go to do jobs to prove that they’re safe to use. The card should show a picture of the person, and it should show the date of registration and the expiration date.
Keep in mind, however, just because someone has a GasSafe ID doesn’t mean that they will be qualified to work on your appliances. You have to ask this as well. Look at the back of the card, and it should tell you everything they’re qualified to work on.
3. Do you have insurance?
You should always ask this question before you allow someone to work on your home. If they don’t have insurance and something bad happened, you could be on the hook for it. In addition, insurance says that you won’t be held liable if the contractor gets injured. You begin through asking your potential gas engineer for his insurance carrier. Be sure to get the phone number and the name of the agent. In this way, you can confirm everything to make sure that your gas engineer has what he says he has.
4. Can you provide me with past references?
In this way, you can learn what kind of work the gas engineer may have done in the past. You want to ask for references that had a job similar to yours. When you go to check references, you should use them as a way to verify some of the facts mentioned on the resume.
Check their reviews online, Facebook, Google My Business, Trust Pilot, Check A Trade
5. How long does the work take and what happens if it takes longer?
You want to know the gas engineer’s schedule and how long the project will take. In this way, you have a basic idea for how things should proceed. You might encounter a few things along the way, but it should happen in a way where you have peace of mind. Never pay the gas engineer in advance because it doesn’t provide him with any incentive to finish the job, and many cases have occurred where the contractor took the money and ran.
Never pay the full quote in advance – 50% upfront is typical for large jobs, but not for regular services or repair.
6. How much will the project cost?
Before you ever agree to work with a gas engineer, you should first understand how much he will charge for your project. After he gives you an estimate, you should check online to see where the pricing sits for the project. Beware of projects that come in at drastically below the estimate, as these will usually be used as bait to lure in unsuspecting clients.
An estimate should give you the best professional assessment for how much the project will cost in total. The estimate will take multiple factors into consideration. Always get the estimate on paper because if the gas engineer chooses to charge you more than the initial pricing, you can take it to court. In this way, you don’t have to prove your word against his. An estimate generally must be professionally reasonable, but having the estimate on paper gives you proof.
7. How long have you worked as a gas engineer?
Usually, you will want a minimum of two years of experience to ensure that your gas engineer has enough experience to handle the job, but you may even want him to have more than that. More experience means that they will have encountered a larger variety of problems, and they will have learned how to resolve them.
8. Do you belong to any reliable trade associations?
Most of the illegal gas engineers will advertise their work through the local newspaper and unreliable directories. You should remain ever-aware of this fact when you go to hire someone. Check with some of the dependable local directories. For example, TrustMark is a government-endorsed scheme, and they help to clarify all the trades in and around the home. Thompson Local and Yellow Pages, Check A Trade will also check for registration.
9. How does the payment system work?
As stated before, never give an advance to contractors, if that’s the requirement, find someone else. Any reputable gas engineer won’t ask for an advance. Nevertheless, you should still have the payment terms drawn up in the contract so that everyone understands what is required of them. You want to know how much is due, and you want to know when it is due. This depends on either specific dates, or it will depend on the completion stages of the project. You can also negotiate this, and we’d recommend doing it based on completion stages because it is safest of all.
These are some of the questions that you may want to ask your gas engineer. Through asking these questions, you can get the best picture for how to proceed. You want to ask these questions because it can help you to avoid some of the crooks working in this business. In addition, knowing some of the red flags will keep your money safe. You want open dialogue during the interview process because a gas engineer that asks questions will be on the lookout for your best interests.
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