5 Essential Tips For Hiring A Reliable Tradie

5 Essential Tips For Hiring A Reliable Tradie

. 3 min read

At some point in time, every homeowner needs the aid of a reliable tradie. It’s easy to consult an online directory to find someone for home maintenance services. But how do you know if they're reliable, fully qualified and stay on top of their public liability insurance? There are easy answers to these questions, and we've gathered them within this helpful guide.

From hot water systems and wiring repairs to air conditioners, gas fitting and beyond, here are five essential tips for helping you find a reliable tradie.

1. Read Online Reviews

One of the great things about the internet is that it gives everyone a means to be seen and heard. You can use this to your advantage when looking for a reliable tradie by checking online platforms for reviews from previous customers.

Product Review, Yellow Pages and Google are some of Australia's leading review platforms. So, your best bet for finding reliable home maintenance services is going for tradespeople or businesses with positive reviews.

The reviews on these platforms provide a trustworthy sense of how a business treats its clients, providing valuable insight when you're looking to book in a professional. When searching for reviews, you should always go beyond a five star rating and read the feedback. You're looking for three things in particular. We'll refer to them as the Three Ps.

2. Look for the Three Ps

The Three Ps refer to price, punctuality and professionalism, and these are what you should be looking for in online reviews.

Price is simple. Make sure your local tradie is not ripping off his customers. Due to inflation, the hourly rate or complete quote provided by tradespeople will likely increase every few years. So it's reasonable to expect a tradie's rates to be higher than they were a few years ago.

Also, beware of surprisingly low prices. This could indicate that someone is not a qualified tradesperson but a handyman, or they may be cutting corners to beat a competitor's price.

One of the most significant issues customers experience with tradies is their punctuality. It's common for reviews to highlight that their tradesperson arrived late or failed to show up at all to complete the home maintenance services.

Look for reviews that highlight the prompt arrival of technicians. It is common for jobs to run longer than expected, so at least look for a reliable tradie who provides courtesy calls and informs customers well in advance.

Arguably the most important of the Three Ps is professionalism. You want to find a tradie who will be courteous, complete the work to high standards, and clean up after themselves. You want someone who respects you and your property. And these are all things to look for in reviews.

3. Request a Written Quote

Whether it's a quote for a minor repair or an estimate for large scale home renovations, always ask for it in writing. According to the Australian Government's Business department, written quotes are essential, as they provide a physical record of the agreed price and protects both you and the tradie against misunderstandings and unforeseen issues that could arise down the line.  

It's even better if you can find someone offering fixed price quotes. This is an incentive some businesses use to promote transparency. Basically, a fixed price quote ensures that the tradesperson accepts the burden of costs even if unforeseen expenses arise. The more well known trade businesses offer this incentive, and it's a more efficient approach than the traditional tradie who charges by the hour.

4. Check Appropriate Licenses

Before accepting a quote, you must make sure the tradie is qualified for the home maintenance services. In most instances, it's illegal for a handyman to carry out aspects of plumbing, electrical, gas fitting and air conditioning work, among other trades. So checking the license will ensure they are qualified and legally registered to do the job.

There's a great website called Metropolitan Plumbing. It's an Australian resource that indexes over 50 licensing authorities for over 1 million professional sole traders and companies. Simply search for a name or license number, and the website will tell you if a tradesperson is suited for the work at hand.

5. Public Liability Insurance

Online directories provide a great place for sourcing tradies, but the businesses and tradespeople themselves manage insurance. So, make sure you hire someone who's covered.

Public liability insurance is compulsory for all tradespeople and will protect you against the risks of injury or damage that a tradie may inadvertently cause by working on your property. Without suitable insurance, you could be left to manage the costs of damage or injury yourself.

There is no national body that reveals to the public whether a tradesperson has up to date public liability insurance. There are state based indexes and public registers, but you could always ask to see the appropriate insurance information before a tradie commences work. They should email you a copy in advance and carry a backup print out when arriving on site.

So, start with reviews, request written quotes and check the required licensing and insurance before agreeing to anything. And by using this information, you should be well informed and able to make a better choice regarding home maintenance services completed at the hands of a reliable tradie.


Part of the expertEasy writing team, Laura is from the UK and has a keen interest in Business, interior design and decor, home improvement and thriftiness in all things around the house and garden.

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