Securely assesses the renovation boom and how to pick a good tradie

With Australia experiencing a reno boom, tradies are in strong demand and home owners are forking out dollars to have kitchens updated, bathrooms redone, walls repainted, and more.

The reno boom has created huge opportunities for tradies and increased the issues being faced across the board between tradies and customers due to things not going as planned.   

Andrew Squires is the CEO of a groundbreaking new app called Securely, the Tradies app, that has just launched to provide tradies and customers with a safe platform to manage payments. 

Payments are made through Securely into an escrow account and released to the tradie when the job is completed satisfactorily. Securely also provides a third party resolution service.

Securely’s Andrew Squires’ assessment

“People are staying home, cancelling holidays and spending on home improvements. Undertaking renovation work is lots of fun until something goes wrong.” 

“Unfortunately we are seeing a lot of situations where home owners are experiencing issues. These range from concerning to really serious,” Squires said. 

“One elderly couple paid a tradie $7,000 upfront to work on their home and as soon the tradie received the money in cash, he disappeared and they haven’t been able to find him.” 

“Other people say they have paid a tradie to upgrade their kitchen and the project was a disaster. They paid 50% upfront and think they will have to pull the whole kitchen out again and find someone else to redo it. The tradie is refusing to give the money back.”

“We have also been contacted by tradies who have undertaken work for people, spending a lot of money on timber and other items, and the homeowner is refusing to pay the final monies.”  

“Thankfully, Securely, the Tradies app, is now able to provide tradies and homeowners with a safe and easy platform for the payment of monies that protects both parties.”

“The key for home owners is to ensure that they select the best tradie for the job initially.”

Squires provides some tips to help home owners select the best tradie and avoid issues. 

Do your research

“I know that this approach sounds sensible but the reality is that research is more important than ever. If you are looking for a tradie, search multiple websites,” Squires said.

“Unfortunately there are plenty of fake reviews on the internet.”

“Explore independent sites to find real reviews. Look at the negative ones first. These will give you an idea of the real issues people have experienced.  Most reviews tend to be good ones.”

“Look up the builder register in your state or territory. In Queensland for example, the Queensland Commission for Building and Construction has an online register of licenced builders and tradies and their history including any enforcement penalties.” 

Ask for referrals

“Most people have engaged a tradie before and can share feedback on their experience.” 

“Put a call out to your friends, family or work colleagues.  This is the best way to get recommendations and contact details for tradies that have done good work,” Squires said. 

Scope out what you want done

“To ensure you know the work you need to do, scope out the area and look at all the options available to you. Go to display homes, building centres, talk to people and get ideas.” 

“By exploring this approach of a simple research, when you get price quotations you can be specific about what you want done and avoid being sold work you don’t need,” Squires added. 

Get at least three quotes

“It is advisable to get at least three quotes and if you feel you need more, get more. You need to be completely comfortable with the quotes and suggestions,” Squires explained.

“Ensure the quotes have the tradie’s licence details, their ABN and contacts. Ask for a detailed breakdown to understand the quotes easily. You need to be comparing apples against apples.”

Communicate via email

“While it is great to discuss things in person and this is a good way to build rapport, ensure essential information is communicated via email,” Squires added.

“This ensures that key information is captured in writing and provides a basis for managing the job moving forward and any issues during the process so there are no surprises.” 

Agree in writing

“Different states and territories have different requirements when it comes to engaging a tradie or builder to undertake works. This includes contracts, upfront payments and insurance.”

“Make sure you gain awareness of the requirements and ensure that you follow these guidelines and if the tradie doesn’t want to follow good practice, find another tradie.”

“A good tradie will ensure that the requirements are followed and further still ensure a clear outline of milestones and specify when funds should be paid,” Squires said. 

Don’t pay cash

“Ensure you make payment through a proper platform such as Securely, the Tradies app.”

“This ensures that payments are transparent, accountable. The processes manage the funding when works are completed and you have a resolution service available,” said Squires. 

“Monies are kept in escrow to ensure the tradie is paid and you are refunded if necessary.”

“The ATO doesn’t like cash transactions and things can become risky when you deal in cash. Keep things above board and use a safe payment platform. While it can be a time-consuming process to find and engage the right tradie, it is worth the effort to ensure things go well.”