Who do you trust? Tips on finding a tradie

A third of Aussies aren't checking the licenses of tradies they hire


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BRIGHT SPARKS: Electricians are the most trusted tradies, according to a new report.

BRIGHT SPARKS: Electricians are the most trusted tradies, according to a new report.

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Baby boomers most trusting when it comes to tradies. But how do we know we're not being taken for a ride?

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WHEN it comes to getting work done around the house, baby boomers are leading the way when it comes to taking proper steps to finding qualified tradies.

Despite Aussies spending billions on trade services, many are putting themselves at risk to find qualified tradespeople with a third failing to check the licences of the tradies they hire putting them at risk of dodgy home improvements work.

But good news for baby boomers - research from on-demand tradie app Hipages has found people aged between 55 and 64 are the most diligent at checking the licences of the tradespeople they hire with 71 per cent saying they do, compared to the national average of 68 per cent.

The Tradie Trust Index report also found baby boomers the most trusting of tradies (60 per cent) and Gen X are the least trusting.

People in regional areas are more trusting tradies (57 per cent) compared to their suburban (54 per cent) and metro (50 per cent) counterparts and women trust tradies (57 per cent) more than men do (48 per cent).

KEEP CHECK: People aged between 55 and 64 are the most diligent at checking the licences of the tradespeople they hire according to Hipages.

KEEP CHECK: People aged between 55 and 64 are the most diligent at checking the licences of the tradespeople they hire according to Hipages.

The survey also found that electricians are Australia's most trusted tradies and when it comes to finding a tradesperson, word of mouth is still one of the top ways people choose a someone according with one in eight consumers trusting word-of-mouth recommendations.

Annually, Australians are spending a combined $73 billion on tradie services of which approximately $3.4 billion is spent hiring tradies to fix DIY gone wrong, according to Hipages.

Hipages chief customer officer Stuart Tucker said the key to fostering a trusting two-way relationship is "an honest and open line of communication".

"It's also advisable to formalise all details of a job in writing, particularly with the amount of responsibility that is transferred onto a tradie."

He said consumers' sense of trust is closely tied to response rate and cost.

"When hiring an electrician, it's more often an emergency situation with your local sparky coming to the rescue.

"Almost 50 per cent of an electrician's jobs are emergency or ad hoc. It also doesn't hurt that sparkies are some of the most commonly hired tradies in Australia with the fastest turnaround quote times in the industry."

He said there are three steps homeowners can follow to ensure the tradie they hire has the appropriate qualifications for the task at hand:

Request the licence

Before a tradie starts any work, request to see their licence (where required) and check it's valid for the value of the planned project. Not all trades require a licence, and the rules vary from state to state, though trades like plumbers, electricians and builders always require formal qualifications. 

Ask for examples of work

Take a look at previous projects to get an idea of the standards you can expect and if the work aligns with your plans. According to the hipages Tradie Trust Index just under three quarters of consumers check how reputable a tradie is by reviewing examples of work before hiring them.

Read online recommendations

It is also worth reading online reviews or client feedback. On hipages, customers can leave ratings and recommendations, with tradies also given an average star rating based on client feedback. Recommendations provide reassurance to potential customers, with 46 per cent of consumers trusting online testimonials.

  • Hipages is an Australian app where homeowners can receive up to three quotes from local tradies for jobs posted to the platform. All tradies listed on the platform are appropriately licensed for their category, verified regularly by hipages.

Read more: Dodgy tradies out in force: Consumer Affairs Victoria warning

Read more: Know how to spot a scam

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