There are so many factors to consider when hiring a new tradesperson that it can often feel quite overwhelming. We’ve all heard tales from friends and family members about shoddy work, getting ripped off or being outright scammed by a tradie, and it’s easy to worry that the same might happen to you.
Thankfully, by asking the right questions and doing your research thoroughly, you’re far less likely to put your bank balance and home at risk.
Here are the three most important factors to consider before you hire someone to complete work on your home.
1. Is The Tradie Experienced and Qualified?
Before you pick up the phone and hire a tradesperson, do your research on the company or person you’re looking to hire. Do you know how much combined experience the business has? Is the business a member of Master Plumbers and Master Electricians Australia? If so, you can rest easy knowing that the business is part of a reputable industry association which maintains consistently high standards.
Other things to check include a valid licence number, which you can look up online, and written warranties and guarantees that will assure you that their work is compliant and won’t result in issues down the track.
Established businesses should have a 1300 number and a website, with genuine reviews available to view online. If you’re especially concerned, you can ask if the business runs police checks on its employees before hiring them, to give you added peace of mind.
Some jobs require a compliance certificate as per the regulator, so if your job does, make sure to check that they provide one. Check that their work is covered by insurance so that if something goes wrong, you’ll not find yourself further out of pocket.
Is the tradie’s pricing fair?
Fair pricing means no hidden charges, with solutions that fit your budget. Does the business provide a fixed price before the work starts? This will help guarantee that you are well aware of all pricing upfront, protecting you from any nasty hidden charges. Make sure you have a good understanding of the business’s pricing structure before the work begins, and don’t be afraid to have frank and honest conversations about your budget and expectations.
Fair pricing should also be regulated and standard across the company, meaning that you should be able to see the pricing come out of a company pricing catalogue, and not simply pulled out of thin air. This is especially important when it comes to the purchase of specific parts since the average person isn’t likely to have a frame of reference for how much these should cost.
Trustworthy tradies will understand that not all customers have unlimited funds to spend on work, and should provide tailor-made solutions to suit your budget level. Some companies might even offer interest-free payment plans, which allow you to pay for the job over time and avoid being hit over the head with a massive upfront bill.
Is The Tradie Organised and Professional?
Customers should expect organised, professional service from their tradespeople. This includes coming out within a timeframe that suits you and giving you a courtesy call before arriving at your property.
Ideally, tradespeople should arrive in your property in company uniform, or at the very least, driving a company-branded vehicle. When they’re done, you should expect them to leave your home clean and tidy after the work is complete, and remove any old parts from the property.
Finally, in our age of COVID-19, it’s vital that all tradespeople are taking the proper COVID-safe precautions and that the business and its staff have completed the COVID-19 infection control course.
With every question answered and all licences, warranties, and insurance in place, you’ll be able to hire your chosen contractor without concern. As long as you’ve done your research thoroughly, you can rest assured that your hard-earned dollars are being spent on a tradesperson you can trust.
About the author:
Early in his career, Zak Saboune recognised that being a skilled tradesperson wasn’t enough in today’s competitive world. Zak’s strong belief in reliable on-time performance and predictable, honest prices led him to found Service Today, a professional home services company offering services including emergency plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling.
Have you ever been scammed by a tradie before? Tell us in the comments below.