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Questions to ask of your tradie

You need to call in a tradie right now! But before you commit and hang up the phone, there are a few questions you should ask to make sure you’ll be getting the best outcome.

1. When will you get here?

This can be a tricky one. Tradespeople have a reputation – deserved or not – for rarely turning up on time. But if you have a burst water pipe that’s spouting hot water everywhere or you have to leave for work, you need to be able to ascertain that they will arrive quickly or at least when they say they will.

2. Will you provide a written quote?

You want to know up front what you’ll be paying, and not have sudden ‘unexpected but essential’ charges added at the last minute, so it’s important to get a detailed quote in writing before the work starts. Don’t settle for anything less than company letterhead and be prepared to ask questions about any details that are unclear. If the job isn’t to start immediately, check how long the quote will remain valid.

3. Do you add charges for after hours?

Emergencies can occur anytime – weekends, holidays or in the middle of the night; so you need to understand what it will cost you to call on your tradie out-of-hours. It might be worth subscribing to an emergency handyman scheme for those unforeseen occurrences, as they usually guarantee a rapid response 24/7.

4. Are you licensed?

Some trades (such as garage door installation or repainting a deck) are not required to have a licence. However, if someone working on your property should be licensed and isn’t, you might not be covered by insurance for work done or damages incurred. Check with the Building Commission or Department of Fair Trading in your state to find out what sort of work requires a licence as it can vary.

Most trades do require registration for the specific work being contracted so if you’re talking to a handyman about replacing the wiring in your home, make sure he has a valid licence for the job. Ask to see it – don’t take his word for it. Any decent tradie will not only have certification but be happy to show it, including affiliation with an industry association such as Master Builders Australia or HIA.

5. Are you insured?

You don’t want to be liable for accidental damage to the tradesperson or your home, so make sure anyone carrying out work on your property has adequate insurance cover. Ask for a copy of the policy and ensure it is current. It should cover at least public liability and damages and if they plan to use subcontractors, those need to be covered as well, either by the tradie’s policy or their own.

6. Is your work guaranteed?

Electricians and plumbers are required by law to provide a Certificate of Compliance for work they do; but most tradesfolk want your continued custom so will talk to you about what they’re doing and give you a guarantee of their work, including warranties on repairs or new appliances. They will probably also tell you how to look after the appliance so it works better and lasts longer.

A good tradie is pure gold, so take your time, do the research and ask the right questions to ensure you find the right one for your job.

About Adam Nobel

CEO | Principal
M. Bus, Grad Dip Adv, B.Int Bus, LREA


0417 007 001

Adam is the founder and Principal of Hugo Alexander Property Group. With a previous career in advertising, 22 years experience in property investment, and 16 years in Brisbane real estate, he knows the market inside out to ensure his clients grow their wealth faster.

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