If you are not in the building game it can be a daunting task finding the right tradesman to do the job you require.
Here are a few pointers to help you sort through the good from the bad.
You should be able to measure the level of enthusiasm just by the tone of voice and the attitude of the tradesman or contractor.
There are a lot of good quality tradesmen out there, the only problem is that most of them are busy enough and quite often don’t even have time to quote for new work.
I personally do my quoting after hours if I can as it allows me to focus on the job at hand during the day. Quoting a job is time consuming and a lot of operators out there simply can’t be bothered doing it if there are enough “easy jobs” out there.
Qualifications are a must.
If your contractor is not licensed then don’t use him. You will have no guarantee of the workmanship done by an unlicensed worker. All quoting jobs over $3,000 must be licensed under the Queensland Building Regulations.
Unfortunately there are a lot of operators out there that do work that is not up to standard and the client has no recourse for action. The Queensland Building and Construction Commission has a license search that is a must for anybody about to engage a contractor. http://www.qbcc.qld.gov.au/
Attitude and communication is probably the first thing that will make you realise whether you are dealing with the right person. I think the gut feeling is usually pretty accurate when it comes to dealing with people in general. If the contractor sounds like he is not interested in the job then he more than likely isn’t.
What can sometimes happen is that he will either not turn up to inspect the site, inspect but not bother to quote or quote the job with a high price. It’s always a good idea to gauge the enthusiasm as that will also be the level in which the job will be done.
Do your research.
The more you know the better you will be able to describe what you want done. At the same time it is important to engage a contractor that can offer you other options and possible solutions that can either cut the costs or improve the aesthetics/quality.
I find that there is a 50/50 mix of clients ranging from people that don’t have any idea of what materials or how a structure is built to the owner builder that has picked up a very good level of construction knowledge along the way. The internet is a great way to find out about the different materials and methods available.
Quality over quantity.
The works you require done usually have quite a few options of what materials can be used. I often am asked to “do this the cheapest way possible” This is understandable as building is not cheap and materials can dramatically range in price.
Quite often in not just the building game you get what you pay for. I would say that close to 30% of the work I do is in some way replacing of repairing works that were either built poorly or using inferior material or the wrong material for the wrong job which often leads to things not being as strong as they should be (retaining walls are a very good example of this).
Listen to the advice of a good tradesman often his profit with not depend on how much the materials cost you so it is worth considering the options.
Resale value of a property can be increased with the quality of the building. It is very easy to see when a renovation or repair has been done “on the cheap”