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Straight-talking tradesmen popular with homeowners

Speaking clearly and having a ready smile are among the most important attributes for British tradesmen, according to a survey of homeowners.

However, the top requirement for a tradesman is someone who knows what they are doing and can explain their plans, according to the report by home emergency group HomeServe. Seven out of 10 people said they required a clear explanation and 42 per cent listed jargon as a major turn-off.

The biggest complaint uncovered by the study was tradesmen who left a mess (72 per cent), while six in 10 did not want unhygienic workers.

HomeServe Memberships CEO Jonathan King said, "Being a plumber or electrician is often about more than just the technical skills of the trade. When people let an engineer into their home they want someone who they'll feel comfortable with, and if a job is going to take several hours that means someone they can talk to.”

However, staying on top of training and industry developments is also important because more than half (53 per cent) said they didn’t care what their tradesman was like so long as he got the job done. Some 84 per cent said they would refer a good tradesman to friends and family, while 18 per cent would be happy to pay 10 per cent more for the ideal engineer.

The number-crunchers found that the perfect tradesman is 41 years old and speaks in a friendly Yorkshire accent. Scottish and local accents were also popular with people in the survey.

Actor Ross Kemp, singer Gary Barlow and TV’s Professor Brian Cox came top of the list of celebrities people would like to see at their door to fix a household problem. The list of favoured female celebrities was topped by TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp.