Your Property Committee will normally be responsible to the congregation for organising maintenance and repairs carried out by tradesmen and for ensuring that the work is done efficiently, economically and to as high a standard as possible. Mistakes made in taking on and relying on poor and ineffective tradesmen and in arranging for and checking their payment may not only risk harm to the building but also, over time, affect the financial solvency of your church.
For regular maintenance, small repairs and occasional emergencies it is much better to have an arrangement with a local plumber, electrician, joiner and perhaps jobbing builder than to go through a tendering process every time a problem arises.
If you do wish to invite more than one quotation, it may be sufficient for the Property Committee to describe the necessary work but be ready for the responses to note items missed or other areas of difficulty. Most important is not to accept immediately the lowest quote but to look for the one offering best value. That will often not be the cheapest.
The best way, however, of finding such tradesmen is by personal recommendation. Check with neighbouring congregations of all denominations and with members of your own congregation.
Some, such as asbestos removers, will need to have appropriate qualifications and all must carry correct employer's and third party liability insurance.
Once you have established a good relationship it may then be useful to make a formal agreement regarding future work. This should cover an hourly rate and an annually updated mark-up on the cost of materials plus VAT where applicable. Ask to be billed on a labour plus materials basis so that you can more easily check invoices. Extra costs for emergency call-outs should also be agreed and annually reviewed. Agree payment dates and stick to them.
In this way you will be in charge of a series of rolling annual maintenance contracts, offering much more confidence than some more haphazard method of engaging and employing people to work on your building.
For major repairs, renewals and restorations you will need professional guidance and direction, using a tendering process and the formality of proper contracts and agreed procedures. ( See Professional Help module)