Why use your local plumber, electrician or builder?
In rural Spain "word of mouth" accounts for alot - the same as it does in the UK. The main difference is though that back in England you are unlikely to have that very same tradesman buy you breakfast in the local bar after he has completed his work.
The nature of our cave renovation project required that we needed a plumber, so off to the town hall we went to seek a local feller who knew what he was doing. The man we ended up with was nothing short of superb - in his standard of work, timekeeping (yeah unusual I know), hospitality and advice, oh yes and price - unbelievable.
Down on the coast and in built up areas it will be different so my story here may sound unique, in a rural area though local spanish tradesmen are a safe bet, I am not saying dont be carefull because it is more than wise to be - and remember "word of mouth" The reasons a local tradesperson in a rural village is unlikely to pull the wool over your eyes are as follows:
*He/She will probably see you at least twice a week
*He/She knows your are a foreigner and may have foreign friends moving to his village = more possible work for him
*It is not in his/her interest to gain a bad reputation in his/her local village
*His/Her cousin probably has a different trade, more work to pass on....
etc etc and this is just the tip of the iceberg. From the local plumber we employed we have gained valuable information both on the area and on local tradesmen. Our front door (hand made and an absolute cracker!) came from a relative of his, we have been introduced to bars which we did not know existed, have been invited to his house, had a contact for firewood, given fresh chickens (yeah, chickens - while my mum was here, couldnt believe it!) and a whole host of other valuable information. As is the hospitality in rural Spain....
Of course all of this depends if you speak Spanish or know someone who does - see link www.helpunlimited.bravehost.com my partner does speak Spanish which has been our save and grace although you can get by without - just. I have just had a converstaion with some good friends this afternoon (thanks for a good afternoon!) and it was agreed that if you can speak Spanish thats all the better, if you cant thats fine too but as long as you try, and if you cant speak the lingo and dont bother to learn either well...
Some of the joys of living in rural Spain are the challenges - the ones you make yourself, I personaly do not speak good spanish (at all) but I do try which is highly appreciated by the locals particularly in the local shops (just make sure its quiet!) when you go in!
So a little off the subject there - excuse the rant! Do use local tradesmen - however you can get them organised (friends, translators or otherwise)it will make the world of difference to your "settling in process" You just never know what you might learn.
Agree?/disagree?/offended!? - Let me know!
Local tradesmen? - know one? Post it here! Huescar/Galera/Castillejar/Cullar.......