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Our fellow renovator, the renovation queen herself Cherie Barber, shares valuable insights on how to maximise your chances of finding a good tradie so you don't get caught with the bad.


Say no to tradesmen who cold call or door knock

If you’re visited out of the blue by a worker claiming to be an experienced local tradie, you need to say no. Good tradies do not need to cold call or door knock.

Use tradies from established companies

Make sure they have an office address and landline phone number on quotations. Be wary of firms only willing to give you a mobile number. In the event of a sole trader without an office set-up, never make advance payments as you run the risk of the tradie bolting with your first progress payment.

Where possible, get Personal Recommendations

Ask family and friends if they’ve used someone who has carried out work for them that was competent and trustworthy.

Check the tradie's credentials

Ask if they are licensed an make sure to check it yourself by sighting their licence with your own eyes. Verify the tradies name stated on the licence, license validity and if it's the right license for the work they are doing.


Request a photocopy of your tradies' insurance policy. You need to sight this with your own eyes. All tradies need to have a PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE to cover them against accidents or mishaps that can occur on site and an INCOME PROTECTION INSURANCE - which covers a tradie for a portion of their income while they recover from an injury. Sometimes both of these insurances can be rolled into 1 combined insurance policy.

Ask for their Construction Industry OH&S Card

All tradies are required to carry their Construction Industry OH & S Cards with them, at all times, while on site.

See an example of their work

Don’t ask for references or accept 3 references they give you. Instead, ask if you can see the job they are currently working on or the very last job they completed. If a tradesperson does not allow you to do either of these things, alarm bells should start ringing.

Ask for a written quote

Trade quotes are a normal part of a trade’s person’s life. If a trade’s person is not willing to provide this, it signals a lack of basic professionalism.

Watch more of this in detail here.

  • Barbara

    2 yrs ago, I could NOT get ANY tradie to do small job of re-grouting shower recess. The only bloke who agreed to do it charged me $665. and took 2 days. What a Rip Off!! I was recovering from BOWEL CANCER surgery and still having Chemotherapy. Needless to say, I got Ripped off by an expert, and the job was crap.
    WHY do tradies advertise "No job too small" then refuse to even quote on the small job? This is how so many pensioners like me get ripped off by liars and cheats. When is the industry going to get tough on these blokes?

  • Scott

    Sorry to hear that, Barbara. That's just awful. I suggest you seek the services of a reputable group like Hire-a-Hubby on your next project, especially if you cannot afford to be let down.

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