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How to choose a suitable tradie

8th Feb '24 • By Rohit Mankame

Choosing a suitable tradesman can be daunting. Learn how to choose the right tradesman for your project and how you can save you a fortune!

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Choosing a suitable tradie can be a daunting task and can often cost a fortune if not properly researched beforehand. Builders, carpenters, painters, electricians and many more are collectively called tradies. Finding the right team of tradies can be the difference between your renovation being a success or not. So, how do you go about choosing your tradie?

Steps in Choosing a Tradie

1. Find a professional 

Choosing a suitable tradie can indeed be a daunting task, and the key to a successful project lies in thorough research and careful selection. When embarking on this journey, start by seeking advice from friends and family who have had positive experiences with tradies.

Additionally, explore recommendations from local suppliers such as paint stores, tile shops, and electrical outlets, as they are likely to endorse reliable professionals in their respective fields. Suppliers and contractors do not want to be affiliated with tradies or builders who are unreliable, so they generally recommend only those who can be counted on.

2. Get quotes

To ensure you make an informed decision, ask potential tradies for detailed quotes, providing them with the same comprehensive project description. Obtain estimates from at least three different tradesmen, allowing for a fair comparison of costs and services. Discuss and agree upon a fixed budget before commencing the project, including a breakdown of labour and material expenses, project timeline, safety measures, waste disposal arrangements, and working hours.


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3. Agree on a fixed budget

Prioritise signing a contract with your chosen tradesperson to formalize the agreed-upon costs and terms, providing clarity and preventing any unexpected changes. Confirm that the tradie has proper insurance coverage, including general liability insurance to safeguard against accidents and potential legal issues. Additionally, check for their licenses, especially for occupations that require specific certifications, ensuring the tradie has the necessary qualifications for the job.

4. Sign a contract 

In the quest for a reliable tradie, patience is key. Avoid rushing into decisions and refrain from providing cash deposits without a clear agreement. Communication is crucial, so choose a tradesperson who is willing to discuss your project thoroughly. Finally, if you have any doubts, take the time to view their previous work and ask for references to ensure you're making a well-informed choice.

A valuable tip is to include a clause in your contract specifying the process for handling unforeseen issues or changes to the project scope, ensuring transparency and minimising disputes. This proactive approach can save both parties from unnecessary stress and financial implications. Additionally, leverage online platforms like for quick access to reputable local experts. These platforms often provide reviews and ratings, offering additional insights into a tradie's reliability and quality of work. Taking these extra precautions will contribute to a smoother and more successful collaboration with your chosen tradie.

tradie with orange jacket

5. Make sure that tradie has insurance 

Verifying your tradie's insurance coverage is crucial before commencing any work. Assume nothing when it comes to insurance, as even the most skilled professionals can encounter mishaps. Confirm the tradie's coverage and read through the details of their insurance certificates. Ensure they include general liability coverage for accidents and physical harm caused by third parties, along with provisions for potential legal actions.

6. Check their licences

Certain occupations, such as plumbers, builders, gasfitters, refrigeration, and air conditioning professionals, are legally required to hold licences. Regardless of the job's complexity, insist on confirming your tradie's licence, promoting peace of mind about their certification and experience. upholds rigorous quality management procedures to guarantee the competence and integrity of all companies for their respective roles.

7. Do not rush 

Refuse to succumb to rushed decisions and avoid unnecessary cash deposits, which are typically not required. If upfront payments are necessary, establish a clear agreement on how and when they will be made, ensuring that both parties adhere to the agreed-upon terms. Demand receipts for all transactions to maintain a transparent financial record.

Effective communication is paramount, so if a tradesman seems unwilling to discuss your project thoroughly, consider alternative options. If at any point you feel your instructions are not being followed, halt the work and communicate with the tradesman until you are satisfied with their understanding.

tradie with red helmet and blue shirt

Tradie FAQs

Are you licensed for the job?

A licence gives you peace of mind that they have the right certification and experience for your work, so get in the habit of asking the question.

Do you have references I can follow up?

A good professional will be qualified in their field and have valuable experience. The person you choose should also have references.

Can you provide a quote?

Take the time to obtain more than one quote. Speak to your professional so you can familiarise yourself with them and their work. 

These questions will help you get rid of the bad eggs and enable you to recruit the right person for the job. 

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