Finding a tradesperson can be frustrating and confusing: How can you be assured that a tradesman’s work is of high quality, they can be trusted, and they’ll give you a fair price?
Finding a tradesperson to finish a home project or repair a building, plumbing, or electrical issue is becoming a nightmare for many households due to the war in Ukraine, the aftermath of the pandemic, and the general negative economic outlook.
However, regardless of how many tradies are available for work in your area, you will still need to perform your due diligence.
Word of mouth can be extremely valuable when looking for a tradie. Indicators of a good operator include things like communication, presentation, punctuality, and insurance.
Questions to Ask When Looking for a Tradie
The first step in hiring a tradesperson is to perform some basic online searches and visit the websites of tradies in your area.
Positive online reviews, a professional website with images of their work, and a clear pricing structure are all solid indicators that the provider is a professional.
How difficult is it to get in touch with the tradesman?
It should be simple to locate the contractor’s contact details, and they should respond to any queries you have quickly. Their level of professionalism during communications is something else to be aware of. Ideally, you should look for someone who you can establish a bit of rapport with. This individual may be working in your home, after all.
Look for someone with the right skills
Understanding which trade is necessary for the job you have available is also crucial. In some cases, the skillset you require will be immediately evident. For example, if you’re looking to have a new tap installed, you’ll need someone with plumbing skills. However, in other cases, it won’t be quite so straightforward. For instance, who should you call if you want a fence building? A carpenter? Landscape gardener? Handyman?
Will the tradie do the work themselves?
Some of the tradies you may encounter will actually be planning to outsource the work as opposed to doing it themselves. They will inform you that they can do any type of work. However, in reality, they will be planning on outsourcing the aspects of the job that they do not have the skills for. This can raise the cost. Therefore, you should look for a tradie who has the appropriate skillset for your needs.
Is the tradesman reliable?
Online reviews are a fantastic indicator of the quality and reliability of a tradie; however, word-of-mouth is superior.
Ask your friends and family for recommendations on providers you can trust. While you can trust online reviews to some extent, you should always exercise some degree of caution when interpreting online reviews.
Basic Research You Should Perform When Looking for a Tradie
Has the tradesperson got the right insurance coverage in place?
One of the most important things you should be on the lookout for when choosing a tradie for your needs is tradie insurance.
One of the most crucial factors in hiring a tradesperson is insurance. Public liability insurance can be a basic requirement because it will pay for any property damage the tradesman might cause in the process of performing his or her duties.
When in doubt, request to view the insurance documentation. If they do not have insurance in place, but you still wish to work with them because they tick all the other boxes, advise them to get a trade insurance online quote.
Licenses and certifications
Does the tradie have the right licenses and certifications in place to do your job?
Different trades and states have different license and registration requirements.
You should actively seek a licensed tradesman if you’re planning any significant home improvements. In some cases, you may be legally required to hire a registered builder, depending on the magnitude and nature of the project.
Trade associations and memberships
One of the greatest places to start, aside from the appropriate licenses, is with industry organisations, such as the National Electrical and Communications Association, the Housing Industry Association, the Master Builders Association of Victoria, and the Master Plumbers Association.
This can give you some assurance that a trade will be trustworthy and that you will have some level of support if something goes wrong.
Tradies who are members of these organisations have paid to join them. As such, they will be more motivated to offer a high-quality service and market their membership.
Although some types of tradies will not need to have a license, they should still have some basic level of training and experience.
Basic experience requirements can differ by trade. As such, you may need to do a bit of research to find out what type of credentials you should be on the lookout for.