How To Avoid Tradesmen Scams

No home renovation is complete without a dodgy tradie story. Either it has happened to you, or someone you know. Shifty tradesmen who try and take you for a ride – either by doing a below average job on your home (if they turn up at all!) or taking close to a year to complete a simple three-month job.

But don’t let other people’s horror home reno stories put you off. There are plenty trustworthy tradies out there – you just need to know what to look for. Here’s our advice on how to avoid getting duped...


- Are you fully licensed?
- How long have you been in the business?
- How many times have you done this particular type of job?
- Will I need a permit?
- Are you covered with insurance? If so what kind?
- Will I pay one big sum at the end or bits in stages?
- How many jobs do you currently have on the go? (If it’s too little, be wary, if it’s a lot, be aware he has to share his time with all of you!)
- Have you ever had a claim against you?
- Can I get three references of your most recent jobs?
- Are you able to come and see me and my place beforehand?


While looking people up in your local classifieds is fine, going with recommendations from friends and other tradesmen or builders you have used is the best way to go to avoid disappointment.

Get everything in writing – especially their quote for the job.

Most builders work with stage payments, but make sure you’re 110% happy with the workmanship before handing over your final instalment.

Tradies are notorious for taking their time on a job, so it’s a good idea to give them a realistic timeframe and deadline for the job.

Review their work. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and follow them up for feedback on the tradie’s work.

Go with your gut instinct. Do they seem trust-worthy? Do they sound like they know what they’re doing?

Don’t leave them at home alone. It might sound self-explanatory, but you’d be surprised how many people think just popping out to the corner store for 5 minutes is not a big deal.

Websites like Quiz My Biz are a great way to read people’s feedback on the tradie/builder you have in mind. Do a background check now!

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