Thursday, 25 October 2012

How to choose a Tradie.

I am lucky I have not had much to do with Tradies over the years of home ownership.  Basically we let our old house fall down around us knowing that we would eventually be knocking it down.  But more importantly the HOTH is a qualified sparky and will try his hand at anything if he thinks he can do it and my dad is a plumber. 

However we have been using people left right and centre the last few weeks and here is how I came to use them.

WORD OF MOUTH.  The amount of people you speak too even if they are not friends as such is huge.  And most people are happy to recommend or warn against.  My list of people I speak to has grown massively since having kids!!  Even our doctor weighed in on something one day!!  Plus I love to eavesdrop!!  Amazing what you can learn while being nosey!!

We have a great local paper that comes out once a month packed with a directory of local businesses and I can pretty much guarantee I know someone who has used them and can give me their opinion.  Also the same names are there month after month and the same vans/utes/cars.trucks are always around.

So here is my list from the last 6 months
  • tree lopper- local paper
  • plumber- local paper but is actually a family friend
  • tv antenna- local paper but we have used him about 6 years ago plus I have heard good things before and after using him.
  • vertical blinds- local paper and word of mouth.
  • patio cover- word of mouth plus we had seen his work.
  • concreter- local paper plus word of mouth
Some helpful hints with finding a good tradie
  • First contact- do they answer the phone professionally?  I f you have to leave a message do they call you back in a few hours?
  • Do not be afraid to get a few different quotes especially if it is a big job. 
  • Do you like them.  Sounds silly but if they turn up and you don't get a good gut feeling I would go with your gut.
  • Do they turn up looking and acting professionally?
  • Do they offer advice or their own insight?  This can be helpful as it can force you to look outside the box.
  • Do they know their stuff?  Things like needing council permission etc can be costly and time consuming if it is not right.
  • Do they have examples of their work?
  • Do they try to up sell something you don't need?  Eg when we got our new Aeriel the guy tried to get me to install a splitter as we have 3 tv points however we only have 1 tv and will only have 1 for a long time so I do not need a splitter just yet.  I see his point but unless we win lotto 1 tv will do just fine!!
  • Ask as many questions as you like. 
  • We always ask time frames, when can they start, how long will it take?
Another really useful tool is the website Product Review Australia.  I will do a separate post about this but basically type in whatever and see what people think.  Not everyone on there is a whinger but most people go on there to complain.  I don't think a lot of smaller businesses are listed but it cannot hurt to look.

I think that just about wraps it up.  If I have forgotten anything or you can think of something please let me know.  Thanks Mums take Five for the question!!


  1. Great post -- I always go on word of mouth, best advertisment ever.

    1. Thanks. Word of mouth should be taken more seriously.

  2. ah very good :) we've done all that i think. even sent away a tradie about a month ago ... hmm that job is still waiting. we need a few of them and its so hard to get the job done from turning up or unreasonable quotes. so frustrating. we just found a good brick layer through the local paper.
    Good work Ann :) now got to think of a curve ball for next time :)

    1. Hope you found it helpful!! Good luck getting your work finished!!


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