If you’ve recently purchased a home, congratulations are certainly in order! Owning your first home is a major life milestone, and one that you should be immensely proud of achieving. However, with home ownership also comes a whole new set of responsibilities: maintenance, repairs and improvements.
If you’re a DIY expert, this may be a walk in the park for you. However, if you’re like the rest of us, chances are you’ll need to hire a tradie to ensure that your new abode remains in tip top condition. So, how do you go about choosing the right person for the job?
Here are 7 tips for hiring tradies as a new homeowner.
1. Check That Your Tradie Is Licensed
The first and most important step in hiring a tradie is to ensure that they are licensed. This is one of those non-negotiables that you should never scrimp on, as it’s the difference between hiring someone who just happens to know how to fix a few things and someone who is fully qualified and experienced for the job. Different trades will require different licenses — for example, electricians, plumbers and builders typically have distinct licenses. It’s always a good idea to ask for proof before hiring a tradie, as this will eliminate any worry and give you confidence in their legitimacy.
2. Don’t Compromise On Insurance
Another major factor to consider when hiring a tradie is insurance. This is another aspect you don’t want to compromise on as it plays a major role in covering losses in the event of accidents, injuries or damage to your property. A good start would be to ensure that your tradie has comprehensive liability insurance to cover third-party damages and injuries, as well as workers’ compensation insurance.
3. Be Wary Of Online Marketplaces
Finding a tradie online can be one of the easiest and quickest ways to find the right person for the job, but with convenience also comes the downside of not knowing if your chosen tradie is trustworthy or qualified for the job. This is why you should always be wary when scrolling through online marketplaces such as Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace that tradies may advertise their services on.
To ensure that you’re choosing the right person for the job, always make it a priority to ask for proof of licensing, insurance, and references before making any concrete decisions. It’s also a good idea to arrange an initial meeting in person for a quote and to suss out if your chosen tradie is the right fit for your needs.
4. Dive Into Online Reviews and Recommendations
As mentioned above, reviews and recommendations serve as a great tool for guidance when hiring tradies. Fortunately, many websites such as ServiceSeeking, Trade Critic or HiPages provide valuable insight and feedback from real clients, allowing you to get a sense of a tradie’s skills, reliability and professionalism. In this day and age, many tradespeople also have a Google, Facebook and Instagram presence, making it that much easier to access reviews from a diverse range of clients.
5. Ask For A Written Quote
As a new homeowner with dozens of expenses on your shoulders, finding a reliable tradie is important, but so is snagging a good price. The last thing you want is to end up with a bill that requires you to remortgage your home (yikes), and this is why asking for a written quote from a few different tradies is always a good idea. Firstly, a written quote eliminates the possibility of unexpected price changes along the way, and sourcing quotes from a few different tradespeople will allow you to compare costs and make a more informed decision.
6. Don’t Pay Upfront
Have you found a tradie who is asking you to pay for the entire job upfront? If so, run away. It’s important to remember that reliable and trustworthy tradies will not require you to pay the entire cost of the job upfront, but rather, require a reasonable initial deposit, with the rest of the sum paid once the job is done. For larger jobs that cost more than $5000, expect to pay up to 10% deposit. For smaller jobs, around 10-20%.
It’s also a good idea to ensure that payment terms are clearly outlined in your contract, including details about what your deposit covers and when subsequent payments are due. This way, you’ll be able to ensure that the quality of work is up to your standards before handing over the entire sum, protecting your investment and peace of mind.
7. Always Know Your Rights
Are you aware of your rights and entitlements when hiring a tradie? In Australia, consumer rights are protected by the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), which guarantees certain standards for goods and services. This means if the job is not done right, or to your satisfaction, you have the right to withhold payment or seek a remedy through your local state’s consumer protection agency. While in most cases you won’t have to resort to such measures, it’s always good to be fully aware of your rights and the avenues for resolution available to you in the rare event of dissatisfaction or subpar service.
And there you have it — everything you need to know when it comes to hiring tradies with confidence as a new homeowner. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well-equipped to make informed decisions, ensuring a positive and successful partnership with the tradies you choose. All the best!
This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Digital Next.