Tips and resources

5 tips when employing tradies

  1. Ask if the tradie is registered with your state or territory licensing authorities and get a copy of their number and details. Call the authority to confirm. If you employ an unregistered tradie, you will not be covered for work done, damage or injury whilst the tradie is on your property, so check all credentials in advance. We've put together a list of the main state and territory authorities.
  2. Be as clear and specific as you can when describing the job you need doing, including the scope of work, when you need the job completed and if you are getting other quotes. This helps the tradie prioritise the job and determine whether they can meet your requirements. This also lets them know that you are comparing prices, which gives them the opportunity to offer their most competitive quote.
  3. Get a copy of the job details in writing before work commences. A quotation sheet or invoice should be fine for smaller jobs, such as installation of a couple of power points. A more detailed contract is essential for larger jobs such as restumping, or a bathroom renovation. Keep a copy of the agreement handy in case any disputes arise while the work is being carried out.
  4. When getting quotes there are three types of replies:
    1. the tradie who gets back to you well before your deadline
    2. the tradie who gets back to just before your deadline
    3. the tradie who doesn’t get back to you at all.
    The first tradie is keen for the job; the second tradie wants the job but may be busy which could mean they are good and in demand; and the third… forget about them.
  5. When the tradie is carrying out your work, resist the urge to hover and chat unnecessarily as this may delay or impede the success of the job, but don't be afraid to ask questions or raise concerns if you do not feel that the work is progressing as agreed. Feel free to offer the tradie a cool drink or cuppa as a courtesy.

Bonus tip:

We were once told by a fantastic tradie that you have to match the skills with the job, which of course is common sense, but often difficult in reality. Who has the time to check over the tradies full CV and then understand if their experience is relevant to your job?

The answer is to ask a lot of questions like, “how will you go about x”, “what would your solution be regarding y”. Through conversation, you’ll be able to get a better sense of whether the tradie is confident and knowledgeable.