Sunday, 24 May 2015

Renovating ? Now is not the right time.

Thinking of renovating ? Now is not the right time. Because of this crazy over fuelled property boom,
tradesmen are in short supply. I recently had work done on my house, it was a total drama just 
trying to find people. Everyone is so busy, the prices have gone up while service has come down. 
Its a problem trying to find reliable carpenters for less than $55 per hour plus GST. 
Also be careful when you hire someone,many advertise their services for say $60 an hour, they 
come see the job allowing you to assume they them selves will do the job, then they outsource 
the work to other sub contractors for $40 an hour, they make $20 per hour commission. 
So please ask who ever you talk to or meet, if they are actually going to do the work 
themselves or if they are sending out other people ? Are those other people direct 
employees or self employed.  
It's a good idea to get a tradesmans licence number to look up their work history on the 
"Office of fair trading. " or similar website. I've learned the hard way not to take people on just 
face value anymore, because there is value out there ! 
Few people know, late last year the laws where changed, a carpenter does not need to be 
licensed to carry out work for jobs less than $5000. This has left consumers surprised or 
vulnerable to problems with little protection. 
Hiring tradesmen by the hour is a never ending story. They want $60 an hour cash, 
plus an extra 10% in GST if you want a tax receipt. That's $528 a day ! Ridiculous !   
They start a bit late, finish a bit early, disappear some times for hours or long lunches. 
Very disappointing. Insist on an invoice before payment, especially for cash, other wise 
you'll never see one. Gone are the days of  days pay an honest day's work. 
I've noticed nowadays many trades people just want the money. 
One tradesman billed me $1600 for building materials, but only showed $800 in receipts. He claimed he spent that money, but I googled what was there and couldn't see that amount. Sometimes getting a list of what they want and buying myself at Bunnings then getting it delivered if it's to big to fit in a car
Is faster and cheaper all over if that's  ok with the tradie. I've been billed up to an extra 2 hours for the time it took to buy the materials....yes that's another $120... 
Another problem with tradesmen is they might start  a job saying it may take one week. You may think it's 5 days worth of labour, but it may take them 3 weeks to finish because they take on so many other jobs. They will come for one day, then again disappear for several days, then come back to do 2 days, then go away again. It's one frustrating delay after another. 
More problems, be careful with under estimates. You might be told it's 5 days worth of labour, then it may end up as 8-10. Tradesmen under quote time to get the job, then once you've started you're stuck. They don't care because they're in such high demand. 
Randomly looking for tradesmen online is like gambling or online dating, we really don't know 
what we will end up with. I try to find locals near my place who aren't too far away, because 
if they're not travelling long distances they may have a better chance of wanting to continue. 
Word of mouth is very important, or finding out who your neighbours use, but in such 
an impersonal world, who knows who our neighbours are ! 
We can blame this crazy property boom for all this. Every day I pray for a crash to bring 
some reality and balance back when it does happen.  

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