The Australian Bureau of Statistics said Australia’s consumer prices index jumped 0.8 per cent in the three months to the end of December 2013 – more than twice as fast as expected apparently underpinned by increases in fruit and vegetable prices and the cost of domestic and international travel. Of course they forgot to mention that the real reason for the increase is that anything needing lots of petroleum, which has increased in AUD terms as the Aussie battler has declined by 15% against the USD, is now more expensive.
Great, let’s grow and eat own veggies and explore the local neighbourhood to spare servants of the people some grey hairs whilst keeping interest rates down. Unfortunately, there are other economy indicators like the unemployment rate and real salary trends that point towards leaner times. That’s when unexpected house expenditure can put extra strain on household budget.
Remember that any problem is an opportunity to learn to do things better. So let’s learn to choose our tradies better.
How to choose a tradie?
Here are some important tips on how to choose a good tradie.
- ABN. Check that your trade contractor is registered at: http://abr.business.gov.au/ . Make sure that company name matches that on your quote.
- Licenses. Many different tradesmen acquire their skills through apprenticeship and professional education programs. Tradesmen who have not completed apprenticeship in Australia are required to confirm their skills through obtaining Australian Recognised Trade Certificate. There are also licensing associated with particular trades and high risk work. You can find more details on the Western Australian Department of Commerce site . Do check the license number against business name with appropriate licensing authority to escape disappointments.
- Insurance. Ask for a copy of public liability insurance. This is in case you property gets damaged and tradie is low on cash.
- Experience. Ask how many years of experience the tradie has. Is this job typical for them?
- Awards, memberships and references. Memberships in trade’s top associations, professional accreditations, business awards and testimonials that can be verified speak volumes in favour of sound job performance.
- Professional quote. Detailed written quote that lists both included and excluded items is a prerequisite for transparent, clear and professional engagement.
- Rate. Obtain several quotes to understand the market average and so you don’t pay too much! Remember that accreditations and memberships cost money. So, if you are going for top of the pack reward them for their excellence – you might save on call-backs and inconveniencies. Don’t forget to ask about the terms of payment.
- You. Providing a well defined job, time and budget will significantly increase your chances of getting the best tradie for the job. Develop relationship with good tradies you’ve found. Needless to say, pay your tradie on time.
- Emergencies. Keep a record of tradies you have used in the past. You never know when you will have a plumbing or electrical emergency!