Searching online for a Belfast Builder

Having had my own online building company in Belfast for some time now has helped me appreciate how difficult it can be to find decent help to complete some of the building work I have around Belfast. Sometimes, I need a few additional plasterers to tackle larger work or bricklayers to keep a contract running to schedule and have to resort to using trades people on a trial basis to test how well they work.
Finding good trades online at the moment is like playing roulette. If you Google Builder Belfast or Bing for a Bathroom in Belfast, your likely to be faced with many directories filled with lists of builders and allied trades, hoping to get hold of your “hard earned tax dollars“.
Before the Internet, the Northern Ireland edition of the Yellow pages or the Belfast Telegraph was the favoured means to finding information for builders in the Belfast area. My first building and renovation website focused on building work enquiries in the greater Belfast area. Most new clients found it by a simple Google search for “Builder in Belfast”, “Bathroom Installer near Belfast” or similar. As few other builders had websites in 2004 (especially here in Belfast!), it was easy to find my building company online. Today, any reputable builder worth their salt will have joined this information revolution and produced some form of website to advertise their craft. Finding them however, well that’s another matter. This once simple task, has become a case of information overload, complicated further by the ease at which even cowboy builders can have a glorious and professional website.
I will be shedding some light on how to search, find and choose a builder using the Internet. I will discuss using online trade directories, what to look out for on a builders website and a few tips on choosing the right person for the job from your desktop.