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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.

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  • Great advice.I never had any issues with tradie.

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  • Living in a small community we are restricted with what tradies are available. We got one if for a quote and he said all the things he would do and then said he wouldn’t be available as he was leaving the area. We heard through the grapevine of another person who does the type of work we wanted done and he has since gone on to remodel our whole house. His prices were very fair and has now gone on to be one of our best friends. He even drove me up to Perth (6 hours away) so I could be with my husband who passed away 8 days later. He now calls to see if we are okay and we visit him when we are allowed to.

    Reply

  • And I’m all for getting 3 tradie quotes before choosing one too – just to get a feel for different prices and inclusions.

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  • Definitely ask if they are registered. I was given a referral for a guy. The 1st question I asked him when he arrived was he a Registered Builder. The answer was No. So I showed him the door. I should have asked him this before making the appointment.
    As far as receiving phone calls before arriving (on time, Ha) I can’t say I have had this.

    Reply

  • I’ve had some terrible experiences. People who won’t return my calls, others who don’t show up at the appointed time. It’s hard because tradies are in high demand so we have little choice in the matter

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  • No, luckily we’ve never been scammed ! Actually, we’ve met several tradies who go on top and beyond

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  • So much helpful information. We are currently looking at getting somethings done around our house so was a good read to be able to know what to ask

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  • I’ve had good tradies and also the shoddiest of them all. What separates the good from the bad, is that the bad are always money-hungry. Having been near some of those with a poor mindset, if you ask why they got into the trade and the answer is money, they will not care about worksmanship. Sad to say but an ethical mentality isn’t taught or encouraged these days

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  • It’s definitely hard and as a female makes it even harder

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  • I’ve never been outright scammed, but I’ve certainly not always been happy with the standard of the work.

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  • Good advices. But you can’t trust anyone

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  • Very wise. Unfortunately there are a lot of immoral and unethical tradesmen out there like the man who employed my hubby. Very very sad that it’s so hard to trust.

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  • This is why we havent built our deck yet. 15 years on and we still haven’t done anything. You never know what kind of job you’ll get. I like word of mouth from friends and to see the work already done first hand. We are not experienced enough to try it ourselves. This is a good read.

    Reply

  • Pricing always gets me as I don’t know what is fair?

    Reply

  • A good article ,as with all professions you can get the good and the bad.

    Reply

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