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Maintaining a home

7 questions to ask when hiring a tradie

24 September 2018

This article has been written by hipages, a platform that provides a better, smarter way to connect you with trusted, local tradies to get your home improvement job done well.

You’ve been avidly watching The Block, scouring Pinterest for inspo and trawling through kitchen and bathroom showrooms on the weekend. Now you’re ready to renovate. Congrats!

The next step is to search out the best and most reliable people to help you achieve the renovation of your dreams, and that means putting together your Tradie Dream Team.

Whether you just need a simple maintenance job or you’re embarking on a full house reno, it’s important to choose your tradies with care. Skill, reliability, experience and qualifications are key to getting the job done right.

There are a few ways to source a tradie for your job, and online services such as hipages can make it easy. They can connect you with local handymen, builders, electricians, plumbers and more.

Connect with a hipages tradie

A few simple questions and clicks, and you’re all set to receive multiple quotes from professional tradies in your area.

Experts such as hipages suggest shortlisting at least 3 tradies for your job and then asking them a few set questions to get further insights.

Finding the right tradie for your renovation

If you're about to contact builders for your home renovation or update then these 7 handy questions can be a good place to start.

1. Do you have a licence?

Tradies are required to carry a licence to verify their qualifications. To acquire a licence, they must have completed a TAFE certificate and an apprenticeship, which can take up to four years for some trades. Each trade’s governing body in your state should have a list of registered contractors on their site, where you can confirm whether your chosen tradie’s licence is current.

2. What experience do you have undertaking projects like mine?

Especially if there’s something particularly complex or unusual about your project, make sure your chosen tradie has the expertise and experience to carry it out successfully.

3. Are you fully insured?

Your chosen tradie should have income protection insurance to cover any losses on his or her part and liability insurance to cover any damage to your property during the project. Public liability insurance is compulsory and protects against third party injuries and property damage caused by the tradie.

4. Will you give me a detailed, written quote?

Even for smaller jobs, it’s important to get an itemised written quote from each tradie as a recourse if anything goes wrong. For larger jobs, you should receive a contract. Make sure you check whether the quote is fixed or an estimate, and whether or not GST is included.

5. Can I have the phone numbers or emails of 2 previous clients?

Speaking with previous clients over the phone will help you confirm that your chosen tradie is reliable, easy to communicate with and has the expertise to complete your project to a high level. This person, after all, will be hanging around your home, possibly for weeks, so you want to know they’ll be easy to get on with as well as good at their trade.

6. What are your payment terms?

Some trades will require upfront payment for materials. For jobs worth up to around $20,000, you may need to pay a deposit of up to 10 percent. Most projects over $20,000 will require a five percent deposit with set progress payments throughout the term of the project. Final payment should not be made until you’re completely satisfied with the work.

7. Will you provide a completion date?

Your tradie should provide you with a completion date before work begins. Any changes to this date should only be due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather delays, not because the tradie suddenly decides to take a holiday! Knowing how long each job will take allows you to book the trades required for your project in the order in which they’re needed.

Once you’re armed with that knowledge, you can begin your final decision-making process and choose your tradie team.

Cheapest doesn’t mean best

Don’t just take the cheapest quote and go with it. A little extra research can often make all the difference. You want the right people at a fair price, not necessarily the cheapest people.

It’s a time-consuming process, but you want to ensure that your dream reno becomes a reality.

Buying a new home?

Many people find themselves torn between renovating an existing home or buying a new one. Consider your options and remind yourself of the home buying process.

Visit the Home Buying Guide

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hipages makes the process of hiring a tradie and managing a home improvement job easier. You can describe your job with a photo, get up to three reliable quotes from trusted, local tradies and arrange payment all in one place. Join over 2 million Australians who’ve changed the way they tradie.


The information is intended to be of a general nature only. Please make your own enquiries.

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