For many homeowners the New Year marks the perfect time to move home but as founder and CEO of consumer resource, Checkatrade, Kevin Byrne points out, moving house isn’t always necessary to get your dream home. “A major reason many people cite when looking to move home,” observes Kevin, “is that they need more space. However with a bit of creative thinking it is often possible to maximise the space they have.”

Checkatrade can find easy access to local tradesmen such as plasterers, plumbers and electricians

And with the costs of moving averaging £12,000, homeowners could save themselves money and time by looking once again at their current property. The most obvious way to add space is to undertake an extension. Whether single or two storey, an extension when balanced against the costs of moving, which include estate agent fees, stamp duty and solicitor’s fees, could be a cost-effective choice.

If a major building project, such as an extension, feels overwhelming, there are other options available including rethinking the internal layout of the property. With a little redesign, reworking the internal walls can create a more usable space and can be a cost-effective way to maximise space.

Of course, a lack of space isn’t the only reason for moving house, with job relocation and moving within a school catchment area often cited as reasons. If moving is the best option getting the property ‘sale’ ready can not only ensure a swift sale but could add £££’s to the sale price. Taking the time to repair leaking taps, damaged kitchen cupboards or adding a lick of paint to living areas are all quick ways to boost sale appeal.

Homeowners can find easy access to local and reputable builders, plumbers, joiners, plasterers, electricians and gardeners along with a whole host of other trades at Checkatrade, taking the hassle out of finding the right tradesperson for the project.

“Moving is regarded as one of the most stressful life events,” concluded Kevin, “but with Checkatrade at least finding a trusted, local tradesperson is hassle-free.”

Every tradesperson featured on is fully vetted, with strict background checks undertaken before a tradesperson can become a member. Real-time reviews are featured on the website helping homeowners get an accurate view of the quality, service and value for money a tradesperson offers.

Checkatrade helps combat the UK’s rogue trader problem by continuously vetting and monitoring local tradespeople such as builders, plumbers and electricians as well as service providers. The idea was born in 1998 after a tornado hit the small West Sussex town of Selsey. Traders poured in from across the country. Unfortunately, some ripped off the inhabitants of the town. Local businessman, Kevin Byrne, realised there was nowhere to check out the traders’ credentials and the company that became Checkatrade was formed.

Since then, Checkatrade has grown to employ 296 staff. It has more than 23,000 genuine trade members, growing by an average of 300 new members every month. Over the past 12 months, Checkatrade certified tradesmen carried out a combined estimated total of £2.7bn worth of work, with complaints at just one in 200 on workmanship, compared to the national average of one in five.

Every customer review is read by before being made live. spotchecks or verifies approximately 55% of customer feedback to ensure the jobs and ratings are genuine. In the last 12 months, more than 12,000,000 people visited the website to find a recommended, vetted and monitored trader.

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