Expert insights to help you find the best tradespeople
Doing your Due Diligence
Picking the right tradespeople for your renovation can be one of the trickier aspects of renovating, and many investors can find themselves tripping up on the finer details.
Renovating for Profit’s Cherie Barber says that she usually works with tried and tested tradies. However, there are times when she branches out of her usual geographic area for a renovation and sometimes she has to hire in new tradies.
While she does check local papers, she points to referrals as a big consideration. “I then always go and check out their work. I always go and see the job that they are currently working on. There’s no point in taking three [written] references as how do you know that really was the job they did?’’
Lourence Nohra, CEO of Tradebusters, a company which sources tradespeople for renovation projects details an example of a client who took the common first step of asking for a quote. “People look at quotes and want to make sure they’re getting a good competitive price,” she says, “but they’re looking at prices that look cheap, but they didn’t include this or that item.”
These items that aren’t included can be more important and basic than you think - they’re not always additional extras. The client asked for a quote from a tradesperson for a bathroom renovation. It came in $5,000 cheaper than the other quotes she had sourced.
However, “she had issues with this other quote that she didn’t immediately recognise,” Ms Nohra explains.
After going back to the tradesperson with these queries, the finalised quote was $2,500 more expensive than the others. “It’s a tactic used by some tradespeople to get the job, but they subsequently say other things are extra [costs].”
The Type of Person
When it comes to anyone you are working with, getting along is crucial. “The integrity and the character of a person does mean a lot,” says Ms Barber. “If they look and sound dodgy, they probably are. Normally you can get good first impressions of people.”
Trust your gut. Often, the personal qualities of the person doing the work can be the issue.
Mrs Nohra said: “When they’ve been recommended to me and I hear about them, usually I have a telephone interview,” she says of the first process. Then, a face to face meeting occurs and references are sought (including talking to previous customers over the phone).
Quick Rules of Thumb
- Keep everything on paper
- Ask more questions
- Be organised
This article was written by Smart Property Investor Online for myljhooker.com.au