Ask anyone who has ever done home renovations about dealing with tradies, and then stand back for an avalanche of tales about the jobs that did not go to plan.
However, there are always two sides to every story. It can often be how the customer deals with the tradie in the first place that makes the difference in a project that’s a success and one that goes off the rails.
“The biggest mistake is probably made by the consumer not really knowing what they want or not briefing a tradie properly in the first place,” says Donna Hole, Head of Trade Service at hipages, Australia’s number one site to hire tradespeople.
“Then there are mistakes around budgets, locking in a written quote, adding extra aspects to the job – all of which can blow out a budget or leave the job uncompleted.”
Hiring the right professional help can make all the difference
Hipages is the country’s go-to site to hire tradespeople, offering comprehensive tradie profiles, job quotes and a wide range of customer reviews.
“A tradesperson who presents themselves well, is contactable and on time will be good to work with – these are the important elements to consider before hiring,” Donna adds.
It comes down to asking the right questions, establishing good communication, setting clear guidelines and taking note of first impressions that really count before the job is even assigned.
Licence – No plumber or electrician should be allowed to go poking around in the walls of your home without a licence. While not all trades require a licence, plumbers, electricians and builders do. All tradies on hipages are guaranteed to be licensed for the jobs they are being considered for.
Insurance – Tradies should have both income and public liability insurance, and its public liability that covers your property in the case of any damage during the project. Always ask to see a certificate before committing to hiring a tradie.
It’s in the details – A clear explanation of the renovation or repair job will help the tradie understand what’s required and to estimate what it will cost. A picture can paint a thousand words, and hipages allows photos of the potential project to be uploaded.
In writing – Always ask for a written quote with a breakdown of inclusions and exclusions before hiring anyone. This is the starting point to discuss extra costs that might emerge over the project. Each job posted on hipages can receive three quotes to allow comparisons, and an onsite cost guide provides an estimate of what dollars might be involved on a variety of projects.
Never pay in advance – Any tradie who asked for full payment before the job has commenced should be a red flag. On small projects, a 10 per cent deposit of the total cost is fair, and on larger projects, consider a 5 per cent deposit. Payment plans as the project progresses are also advised, but final payment should only be made upon completion and when the consumer is satisfied.
All tradies on hipages are guaranteed to be licensed for jobs they are being considered for
Value professionalism – When the tradie appears professional and the person you want to work with, ask some more questions – will it be the 1st year apprentice completing the job or the owner of the business? And if apprentices or contractors are to be involved, can they be guaranteed to act with the same standard of professionalism? The hipages Trust & Quality team ensures all listed tradies work with the expected expertise.
Valid reviews – Never take tradies’ online reviews at face value. Check the authenticity of reviews by looking into who posted it, do they have a profile picture, have they left reviews elsewhere and does it seem genuine? All hipages reviews are verified as written by previous genuine customers.
A completion date – Request a completion date before the job commences, so both the tradie and the home owner knows what the expectations are, and then can factor in any changes due to weather or unforeseen circumstances. This gives everyone a target to work towards. Donna Hole says this could be the key discussion to have during the process.
“The most important question to keep a project on track is to ask for a completion date,” Donna recommends. “It will give everyone a guide of the duration the project needs.”
What’s your best tip when dealing with tradespeople?