If you don't have a recommendation, you'll be flying blind and getting a tradie you don't know.
If you don't have a recommendation, you'll be flying blind and getting a tradie you don't know.

How not to be ripped off by a tradie

TRADIES. Love 'em or hate 'em. Regardless of which one it is for you, any homeowner knows they need tradies somewhere along the way.

But how do you make sure they are not ripping you off?

I'm about to embark on home renovations to give me extra storage space.

But what really bugs me with tradies is working out whether I'm getting done like

a dinner on cost.

While price isn't everything, these are the things I think about before engaging a tradie.

WORD OF MOUTH

Nothing beats a good old- fashioned recommendation;

if someone says a tradesperson is good there's a fair chance you'll have the same experience with them, too.

And if the tradie knows you got on to them through someone they've done a job for there's a good chance they won't rip you off.

GET QUOTES

If you don't have a recommendation, you'll be flying blind and getting a tradie you don't know.

I recently used tradie website hipages to find a carpenter and plasterer.

A first-timer to the website, I was quickly lined up with three tradesmen all willing to give me a quote for my job.

I gave two of them a go.

But I was left concerned with the first quote - the man dropped his quote by $1000 on the spot when I told him I had another quote coming in at half his cost. It felt to me like he was trying his luck at ripping me off. How can the price fall by $1000 on the spot?

In the end I went with a third quote from a tradie who was recommended to me.

 

REGISTERED

Check with government consumer services that whoever you are using is a registered tradesperson.

It sounds obvious but a lot of people don't do this.

Nothing is worse than getting a tradie in only to realise when it's too late that

he or she isn't a registered tradesperson. And trust me,

it happens.

If their work is shoddy, you won't have a leg to stand on if they are not properly qualified and registered.

 

PAYMENT

Everyone knows tradies love cash. But regardless of how you pay them, make sure you get receipts and keep track of what you are paying and when.

This helps you keep on top of the costs and helps remove any chance of mucking up

the payments.

I always make sure I never pay the remaining balance to the tradie until the job is completely done.

This is vital because if there's a problem with the job and you need it to be fixed, you might struggle to get the tradie back if you've paid them in full.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth