Hiring a tradie is easy with these 7 tips. Consider each point to make the right choice!
1. Check your tradie’s qualifications.
Research claims that a third of the population fails to verify their tradie’s qualifications. Don’t be part of the statistics. Is the tradie able and authorised to do the job? Ensure your tradie is qualified.
If you must, request to see their credentials during the initial meeting. These include their:
- Licence (where required)
- ABN registration (see https://abr.business.gov.au/ to verify their business)
- Trade certificates
- Years of experience
Use only licensed tradies for all jobs related to electrical, plumbing and building, among others. Otherwise, you might suffer financial losses and be subject to sanctions from your local authority for not complying with the rules.
2. Ask for written quotes.
Don’t rely on verbal estimates. Ask if they provide itemised quotes to help you see what they are charging for their work. This gives you an overview of what components of the project you can include or exclude.
Be wary of:
- Tradies who are reluctant to provide a breakdown of the project cost
- Quotes with hidden charges
- Vague details
Better to consider a business that offers clear pricing lists than gives pure estimates. At HIREtrades, consumers who post a job can receive up to 3 free quotes from interested tradies. Whether you’re renovating a kitchen or extending your home, always ask for written quotes.
Are the pricing specifics closely matching with other contractors’? Clarify the details provided by the tradie and choose which fits your requirements.
3. Verify insurances.
Regardless of the size and difficulty of the job, it’s advisable to hire a tradie with appropriate insurance. Don’t assume that your prospective tradie is insured.
You may also want to read: Don’t hire a tradie with no insurance!
- Is the tradie willing to provide written proof of insurance certificate(s) upon request? Ask to see the document before deciding who to hire.
- Does the tradie have Public Liability Insurance? This trade insurance protects your property from any damage caused by the job and covers third-party accidents.
- Are the insurance packages up-to-date and appropriate?
You’ll have greater protection when you hire a tradie with valid insurance.
4. Request for customer references.
Online reviews help to validate your tradie’s claim. Know more about the quality of their service by reading client feedback and asking for customer references. It won’t harm to ask your tradie for a list of previous clients.
If you hire a local builder for your renovation project, chances are, the previous customers are just around your vicinity. If so, you can visit the site and get feedback from the client about their work.
5. Look for the best value for money.
High charges don’t always equate to quality. Some tradies may charge a fortune but provide unsatisfactory work. Others charge less for their service, but the results match your requirements. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to look for value first, then price.
If, for instance, you’re hiring a painter, consider other aspects other than the price. One factor to examine is their work quality. Are they detail-oriented? Are they using quality paint products and techniques? Be wise about how you spend your money on home improvement jobs. Don’t always go for the cheapest services. Prioritise quality and efficiency of work. This helps to maximise your investment returns.
6. Clarify upfront charges.
It’s not wrong for tradies to ask their customers for up-front deposits. But be careful when a tradie insists you to pay more than 10% of the overall cost (for smaller projects).
In Victoria, the Domestic Building Contracts (DBC) set a certain percentage of deposits to pay for building works.
- No more than 5 per cent for projects exceeding $20,000
- No more than 10 per cent for contracts with less than $20,000
Depending on your negotiation with the tradie, you can agree on the amount to pay from the initial stage until the work is completed. Before entering into contracts, clarify the terms and agreement on deposits and progress payments. This will save you from facing potential disputes.
7. Know your rights.
When hiring tradies, it’s important to get yourself familiarised with your rights. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) lists all that you need to do when inappropriate actions are undertaken by a tradie you have involvement with.
Hopefully, these tips will help you to enter into contracts with reputable tradies. When hiring, look for:
- Good credentials
- Written quotes
- Valid insurances
- Customer references
- Quality workmanship
- Fair upfront charges
- Work accountability
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