Sydney and the Southern Highlands

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How To Choose A Tradie


Choosing the right tradie, whether it be plumber, electrician, tiler etc, can be a daunting process. You often hear many horror stories from people who have hired the wrong tradesperson leading to an increase in stress, money and time taken to complete the job.


As with all jobs, the best tradesperson is someone who is appropriately qualified with the correct license, is professional, has great communication skills and has a great reputation for producing great quality of work in a timely manner. By being ‘picky’ in which tradesperson you choose, you can maximise the chances of the work being completed on time, work done correctly and at a good price.


When deciding which tradesperson is right for your job it is vital to ask questions. To help you decide we have put together what we believe to be some of the most important questions to ask.



Do They Have A Contractor License Number?


When hiring a building contractor or tradesperson for services such as residential building, electrical, plumbing, drainage, gas fitting etc it is vital that you check that they have a valid contractor licence. While many trades require formal qualifications such as a TAFE certificate, it is of utmost importance that you check their license as a license can be revoked as a result of a breech. Checking a licence number can be done via the Service NSW website (if you are in NSW) and you can find the direct link by clicking here.


In Australia, depending on which state/territory you live in, the rules and regulations regarding certain services (such as plumbing) vary in what homeowners may or may not be able to do themselves. Failure to abide by the local state law means that you, as the homeowner, may be legally penalised. For example in NSW, you legally need to have a license to undertake plumbing work, particularly plumbing systems that could directly affect the health of the household. This includes sewer lines and drinking water supply.



Do They Have An ABN?


An Australian Business Number (ABN) is a unique 11 digit number that identifies a business or organisation to the government and community. While an ABN is not mandatory for a tradie, it does make it easier to verify their business.


Checking an ABN is as easily as heading to the Australian Business Register website where you are prompted to enter the businesses ABN. You will then be able to see if the business was and is still currently registered.



Are They Insured?


Another important question to ask a tradesperson before you hire them is ‘are you insured?’ Public liability insurance is compulsory. It is vital as it will protect you against third party injuries and property damage caused by the tradesperson. Without public liability insurance, the tradesperson may not be able to pay for any damages, replacement or repairs they may have incurred. This leaves you, in many instances, with a big repair bill and an uncompleted job.



Do They Have Any Other Qualifications or Certificates?


Don’t be afraid to ask the tradesperson if they have any other qualifications. It is a big deal asking a complete stranger to come on your property. At Exeter Plumbing we completely understand and respect that inviting a stranger into your home can be daunting. For instance, for added peace of mind all of Exeter Plumbing’s employees have a current police check and working with children check. This is just one example of an extra question that you can ask which may help put your mind at ease.



Are They Easy To Communicate With?


Open communication between the tradesperson and the customer is essential. This ensures both parties know exactly what the other party needs and allows clear expectations to be set. This in turn minimises stress and anxiety for both the tradesperson and the customer. Do not be afraid to ask questions or say when you don’t understand or like something. Peace of mind is vital.


We also advise to make sure when you choose a tradesperson that you have more than one form of contact for them. Do they have an email? A mobile number? Active social media? Did they answer your call or return a message in a timely manner? The more communication avenues you have the lesser the risk of the tradesperson becoming ‘unreachable.’


While these tips do not guarantee a smooth sailing between you and your tradesperson, they can help you minimise the risk of picking the wrong one.