Last Updated Jun 14, 2017 · Written by Philippa Land
Hiring a tradie is the most important part of your home maintenance or renovation venture. Working with the right people can make or break a project and influence the parameters of your budget. So how can you hire the right tradies to make your renovation run like a stream and not a leak?
We’ve got below the top things to check before hiring a tradesperson, and some pro tips on how it can all be done for you.
The most important element to check is the license of any tradesperson before accepting a quote. A lot of tradies will have a license number along with an ABN featured on their business card, website or directory listing. It’s a great idea to check these license details are up to date and valid for the full duration of your planned renovation, which you can do on Licensed trades. Whilst not all trades require a license; plumbers, electricians and builders definitely do. Trades with a license need formal qualifications acquired through Tafe by completing an apprenticeship.
There are many trades you may not expect which also require a practitioner to be licensed including painters, plasterers and tilers. While there are exceptions for sub-contractors where they work for someone with a license, check if the trade you need is required to be licensed.
Pro tip - Did you know there are different thresholds for licenses in every state? It's important to know when a license is required for a job. On hipages we check licenses out when tradespeople join our platform and we check this weekly to ensure licenses are consistently valid.
Tradespeople should have 2 types of insurance to cover their work, both income and public liability insurance. Income will cover the tradie if unable to work, public liability will cover your property in the case of any damage caused during the project. Insurance should be up to date and bona fide for the whole of your renovation project, so it’s worth asking to see an insurance certificate. Public liability insurance is essential, and something that a consumer should check before committing to hiring. If you are in a situation where a tradesperson has come to fix a toilet and broken the basin in the process, you’ll be glad you checked the insurance beforehand.
Having a clear description of what you want for a renovation, or need in a repair job will help your tradie know exactly what is required and give a fair quote. A project can be held up and quickly become complicated if decisions continually change, or can be hard to quote if details are vague and too slim.
Pro tip – on hipages you can load up photos of your house or problem to be fixed, giving your tradie a full visual description of what you need.
It’s important to ask for a written quote to give you a breakdown of inclusions within a price before hiring a tradie. Like with any purchase, it pays to shop around before committing and having a written quote can help give you bargaining power if there is a major difference between quotes. A written quote should outline what is included, and stipulate what is excluded (such as materials). This gives an idea of what extra costs could pop up over time, as well as the opportunity to ask about any omissions from the quote.
Pro tip – With hipages you can receive 3 quotes with each job you post allowing for easy shopping around from one job description. Check out our cost guides which give an estimate of prices.
You should never pay in full for a job not commenced, so be cautious of a business who requests this. For small projects, a deposit should be about 10% of the total cost including labour and materials. Larger projects over $20,000 may have a 5% deposit and will pay with a progress payment plan. Final payment should only be made once the work is completed and the consumer is satisfied with the job.
Pro-tip – With hipages you can organise payments for your project through the app. The secure system has no transaction fees and makes it easy to pay with your credit card. You will be given a receipt for any payment which will be recorded against the job in the app.
It creates a bad first impression in any profession to be tardy, not dressed appropriately or to be hard to communicate with. The same is true for trades and is an important element to consider before hiring. Choose a tradesperson who is a professional, arrives on time, has apprentices or contractors who exhibit the same values. Ask who will complete the job when you are enquiring so you know who to expect on arrival.
Pro tip – On hipages our recommendations are validated from genuine customers, so you can be sure that hipages tradies are complete professionals. Before tradies join with us they make a pledge to act with the utmost professionalism and our Trust and Quality team ensure that this high level is managed and maintained.
If you are searching for a tradesperson online check that any reviews about them are legit and written with some authenticity. Reviews online can be relatively easy to post and might be embellished or not from actual customers. It can be beneficial to check the reviews and the person that posted, have they left reviews elsewhere? Does it seem a real profile? Is there an image for their profile?
Pro tip - On hipages recommendations are verified as written by genuine customers. When viewing a tradie on hipages check their validated recommendations on the tradies work. Our Trust and Quality team manage any consumer feedback and ensure that the tradies on our platform are of the highest quality and professionalism.
To ensure your job is completed and within a reasonable amount of time, request a completion date before the job commences, there may be changes due to weather or unforeseen circumstances. But a job should not be abandoned because a better one came up. Have a completion date agreed to before commencement of the job, and if needed you can agree to alterations.
Pro tip - Save yourself the hassle of doing all of the above yourself, find a tradie on hipages.