Finding the best trades-people for your reno

Finding good tradies to renovate your property can be like pulling teeth sometimes. Many don’t get back to you quickly. Others hand you ridiculous quotes. And some go weeks over their promised deadline.

Having unreliable trades-people can cause real problems which can blow out your costs and turn a profitable job into an unprofitable one. And that’s why you need to make sure you get the right team of trades people on your team from the outset.

But how do you separate the great from the not-so-great and make sure you don’t end up getting ripped off and taken advantage of?

Here are a few tips…

Tip #1: Find reliable, well priced trades people by asking other renovators (friends/family/work colleagues etc) who they have used with successful results. Ask for testimonials and talk to those people to get their feedback (both positive and negative). You could even go on-line to property forums and ask other members for their recommendations.

Tip #2: Get pricing from several trades-people from each profession (plumber, electrician, tiler, painter, etc) and never have them turn up to price your job at the same time.

Tip #3: Giving the same brief & specifications to each person from the same trade (eg all 3 plumbers or all 3 electricians) gives you certainty that you are comparing apples with apples.

One of the biggest challenges when working with trades people is communication. Getting your ideas across to them and ensuring they understand and execute exactly what you want, can be a minefield.

The best way you can overcome the myriad of communication problems, is to write down every single detail about what you want them to do. That is; define and articulate all the things you want them to do/renovate, which colours, finishes and products/materials to use, dimensions (if necessary) and anything else to ensure you get what you want from your renovation.

In the construction game, this is called a ‘scope of works’ and it’s an official list of what you want your trades-people to quote on and then ultimately do for you.

Can you imagine a large construction or renovation project happening without an official specification? Never! And even though your project may be on a smaller scale it’s still so important to ensure you don’t waste any money or time through miscommunications and mistakes.

The reason you need to have this all written down is three-fold;
1) You can identify exactly what you need to buy and what work needs to be done so you can get fixed quotes on your renovation up front
2) You can give your list to various trades-people knowing that you are comparing apples with apples when deciding which company to use
3) You have a finite list of all the things you are going to do to the property – and you don’t fall in to the trap of blowing your budget due to last minute add-ons

If this all sounds a bit over-whelming, then rest assured a Renovation Action Plan is your life-saver – because it is exactly what I have described above. An area-by-area, item-by-item list of all the things you should do to your property – written by a qualified designer and renovating-for-profit expert (with 20+ years experience).

It gives simple and clear instructions about what to do to your property and ensures each and every tradesperson has the same instructions.

Everything is laid out in the Renovation Action Plan including instructions about colours, finishes, fixtures & fittings so everyone knows exactly what needs to be done. What’s more, they read off the same document so there are never any inaccuracies from misinterpretation.

This helps eliminate gaps and overlaps, and ultimately mistakes and extra costs which could set you back thousands upon thousands of dollars.

So if there is one thing you do to ensure your renovation runs to plan, make it a clear and concise list of the renovation specifications you want – whether it’s your own list or a Renovation Action Plan prepared for you by Hotspace, it’s your ticket to a successful, profitable reno.

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