As the partner of a tradie, and someone who regularly spends time with tradies (Callum’s friends), I often hear the gripes and groans of tradie life. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret…look after your bloody tradies!
This seems like obvious advice, but apparently basic manners are lost on some people. If you want your trades to bend over backwards for you, work extra hours and on the weekends, subject themselves to extreme heat and cold and do a great job, treat them with a little courtesy and respect!
The general rule of trades is that they are always late – their jobs run over, they talk to a client for longer than expected, they are stuck in traffic driving between jobs – have a little patience and allow a fifteen minute grace period. Of course, if no one shows up with no explanation, it is perfectly acceptable to let them know you’re ditching them! I’m not saying accept bad customer service but try to understand that stuff can happen that can cause delays.
Are you sitting inside in the air conditioning while your trades are outside working in forty degree heat? To maintain relationships, why not pop outside and offer some cold water or an ice block? It is little acts of thoughtfulness that will go a long way!
It is a lot easier to get work done if you know what you're after – before getting your quotes, have a pretty solid idea of what you require, this will help with the quoting process and save going back and forth. If you have a budget in mind, be up front and say so, this will allow you to work together straight away to reach a mutual agreement rather than one party being left feeling disgruntled.
Before your trades arrive, make sure you think ahead and clear a space for them to work. Like an artist who needs a blank canvas, your trades need a clear work space! Move the clutter, furniture, mess or any other obstacles out of the way. Your tradie will have allocated a certain amount of time to your job, having to move sh*t out of the way will cause delays and throw their day out (refer to point 1).
It is also wise to plan ahead of time if the space needs to be prepared for the work to commence. For example, if your tiler is coming to re-silicone your shower, don't have a shower right before they arrive. It might even be worth asking your trades what preparation you need to take to ensure that work can commence immediately.
Companies like hi-pages make it really easy for the everyday person to access multiple quotes for their work. It is also really great to help moderate prices and feel comfortable that you’re not being taken for a ride. I think it is okay to let the people know who are quoting that you will be seeking a few other quotes, this will probably persuade them to stay competitive. Once I’ve decided who I’m going to use, I always let the other people know that we won’t be using their services this time and why – it is helpful for them and doesn’t leave them either waiting for you or bugging you for an answer.
Leave them Bee!
According to Callum, it is really off putting to have someone hover around, asking questions and just generally getting in your personal space while you're trying to work. Please, if you have called in the experts, let them do their job in peace.
And to my final, and probably most important point. If you have received a fair quote, and had the work completed, pay your bill! There is nothing more frustrating than having to chase people for money and listen to phony excuses as to why it has not arrived in your bank account. Four out of five small businesses fail in Australia due to cash flow issues, so do your part and pay when the job is done. If you have arranged a cash payment, make sure it's there when the job is finished.