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Find a Tradie: 5 steps to finding a reliable tradesman

Whether you just need a lightbulb changed or you’re doing a full re-wire, having to find a tradie who is reliable is critical.

We have all been there, waiting at home for hours for a tradesman only to have them not turn up at all. It makes your blood boil. Or they do turn up and do a really shonky job. Read our top 5 tips to find a tradie in Brisbane that is reliable and will do that job you want.  

1. Be Clear About What You Want Done At the Start

There is no point getting a large commercial plumbing company out to quote on unclogging your toilet. They wont want to do it and will let you down.

Clearly explain the job you want done and ask the tradesman if this is the sort of work they normally do. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Find out examples of similar jobs they have done in the past. If they don’t sound like a good fit move onto the next one. Importantly, once the job starts do not change the plan, it will confuse everyone and hold the job up. To find a tradie that is right for you, be clear about what you want.

2. Find a Tradie that is LEGIT

If you have gotten a quote that seems too good to be true, maybe there is a reason. Your tradesman may not have the right qualifications for the job. If it is an electrician, do they have a contractors license? If you are having an air conditioner installed check if the tradesman has an Arctick license. Find a tradie with the right license and insurances. 

3. Ask for References

Laorence Nohra, CEO of tradesman service provider Tradebusters, says the most common complaints she hears about tradesman are that they don’t show up on time, don’t return quotes, or the work doesn’t meet expectations.

You’re well within your rights to ask a business if they have regular customers who can provide references. Check out the businesses website for testimonials and projects they have done.

“The bigger the job, the more homework you should do,” she says. “So if someone is potentially doing an extension on your house, you want to see some other projects first and speak to previous or existing clients.”

Find a tradie with good references. 

Read what people say about Dawson Electric

4. Find a Tradie who will give a Proper Quote or Set Price

Companies should be able to give you a set price for most maintenance jobs and a firm quote for larger projects so there are no surprises.

A detailed quote is both key to making the arrangement go smoothly and weeding out the good tradies from the bad.

Ms Nohra says alarm bells should ring if quotes don’t feature an ABN or licence number, in the case of building work expect more than 10 per cent deposit, or are vague about the work that’s going to be done.

“By not being clear in the description, they could potentially hit the customer up for a little bit more halfway through the job,” she warns.

“Or painters, for example, might not include how many coats they’ll do … someone who’s trying to cut corners might only do one. Most tradies say what’s included, but really good ones, especially builders, will always include the exclusions – so what’s not included in the quote.”

Find a tradie who gives firm quotes. 

Why choose Dawson Electric? We offer free quotes and fixed pricing.

5. Get it in writing

A written contract is your best protection against a dodgy tradesmen. If you are in the Property Maintenance game negotiate fees with your local Brisbane tradesman before they begin work and get them in writing. Then there are no surprises later.

Mr Richards agrees that a solid written contract or quote is your safest bet in making sure the job is done on time, on budget and exactly how you want it.

“It’s often the first thing that’s skipped if the job is relatively small, but that’s where the problems often occur,” he explains.

“We’ve seen many issues where 90 per cent of the time it comes down to a lack of communication between the contractor and the customer. A contractor should sit down with a customer and research what their real needs and desires are, as opposed to someone who’ll just give the cheapest price. If they’ve trimmed their price right back, you’ve got to ask what they’re shortcutting to be able to do the job for that price.”

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