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How to identify tradie green flags

Full length of construction worker using tape measure while working. Female engineer is in reflective clothing. She is crouching on floor at construction site.
Everyone wants the best for their home, but how do you know if you've hired the best? (Source: Getty)

Most tradies are extremely professional, deliver great results and do great jobs. Whether it be quoting at a fair price or finishing the job on time.

If you haven't dealt with a lot of tradies or don’t have a lot of knowledge in the field of work you need assistance for, it can be easy to get confused around what constitutes a “good” tradie.

For those unsure of where to start, here are a few green flags to identify that can help save you some hassle down the track.

1. Good first impression

As they say, first impressions count.

Anything from arriving on time, giving you enough time to dwell on an offer or quote, and being realistic about the job on hand, will help you feel comfortable with the tradie being in your home and confident they will get the job done to a high standard.

Professionalism in any job is paramount and tradies are not exempt from this.

2. They provide a quote

No quote = no deal. You should want every minor, nitty-gritty detail, which means the more detail on the quote, the better.

A woiman wearing hi-viz and protective helmet makes notes.
Expensive quotes don’t always mean higher-quality work. (Source: Getty)

A good tradie will provide a detailed quote, ensure it is priced appropriately for the job and, upon completion, will give you a receipt.

Expensive quotes don’t always reflect a higher quality of work, nor do cheap ones reflect poor quality.

It's crucial that you are as specific as possible about what you need done and ask for all costs to be disclosed up front to ensure there are no surprises.

3. Reasonable pricing

A good tradie should never request a hefty deposit up front. In some cases this might mean they don't have enough cash flow to handle the project.

As a general rule, a reasonable request for deposit should be around 5-10 per cent of the initial quote. Anything over 30 per cent may be a cause for concern that the tradie might not have the cash flow to fund the job.

It's also essential to get more than one quote from similar tradies in order to compare and contrast the best offer for the job and for your budget.

4. They arrive on time and are organised

Skilled professional tradies show up at specified times, respond to your approaches and contact, work tremendously hard and produce great-quality work.

Punctuality in the trades business is important, because it helps to build a solid reputation and develop client relationships.

<em>(Source: Getty)</em>
(Source: Getty)

Of course, in some cases, everyone gets caught up with work and life doesn't always go to plan. Nonetheless, the tradie should communicate with you that they’re running late or will call to reschedule when required.

The best tradies will keep disruptions to a minimum, always turn up on time and finish the jobs as soon as possible.

5. Happy to show licence

A major green flag is when a tradie isn’t reluctant to show you their licence in order to prove their qualifications.

If you are being extra cautious and are not 100 per cent convinced, you can always ask to see photos from a previous job or for past client references.

Seeking recommendations from friends can also be a safe bet, because going with someone you know you can trust will reduce concerns.

Overall, most tradies will leave you with a fond memory. If you look after them they'll look after you and will keep coming back to perform quality maintenance on your home.

At the end of the day, you want to hire someone who respects your time, values your hard-earned money, meets your needs and takes care of your property.

Greg Madigan is head of Growth & Partner Success at Sorted Services.

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