Need some help? Here's some tips for hiring top tradies

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: You are entitled to know what you’re getting, and for what price, before you commit to a tradesperson.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: You are entitled to know what you’re getting, and for what price, before you commit to a tradesperson.

Reliable, valuable tradespeople are arguably the most integral part of any home project.

Here are nine tips on how to find them.

1. Ask to see their licence

Most tradespeople are required to carry a licence that verifies their position. Trades such as electrical, plumbing and building also require formal qualifications. An exception is sub-contractors, such as tilers, who can work for someone who holds a licence.

2. Don’t compromise on insurance

There are two types of insurance tradespeople should have: if a tradie gets injured on the job, their income protection will cover their own losses, but their liability insurance will cover any damage that occurs to your property during work.

3. Insist on a written quote

Ask for a written, itemised quote, no matter the value of the job. This gives you recourse if things go wrong. For larger jobs this should be a contract (requirements vary between states). Confirm whether your quote is fixed or merely an estimate, and whether it includes GST. Always get multiple quotes from different suppliers and ask why the prices differ.

4. Verify any reviews

Some service providers may post fake reviews to ensure potential clients will discover glowing reports from multiple sources. Try also contacting those who have left reviews for the tradesperson and ask them for more details on the job.

5. Value professionalism

Some traits to be wary of are a lack of communication and regular tardiness, as well as tradespeople who don’t provide a clear timeframe of their arrival. Their general manner can also be a good indicator of their professionalism down the track.  

6. Never pay upfront

Final payment should not be requested until the job has been completed and you are satisfied with all work in accordance with current regulations. Payments for materials, however, are reasonable. 

7. Request a completion date

A completion date should be provided by the tradesperson before works begin and should only be strayed from due to unavoidable conditions such as weather delays.

8. Beware of cash jobs

Be wary of any tradespeople who insist on cash payments with a cheaper price tag that excludes GST, as this can be a huge risk for your insurance. It’s important to receive a tax invoice or receipt for the work completed.

9. Know your rights

If works are unfinished or not complete to a satisfactory standard, your tradespeople should be held accountable. The first thing to do is raise your concerns with the tradesperson or company. You can also withhold your final payment until the agreed work has been completed to standard.