• Sean Hersee

Don’t Fall Victim to The “Tradie From Hell”!


I’ve been asked many times to repair the mistakes of shoddy workmanship; the result of homeowners trying their hand at the delicate craft or cowboy tradies who should know better. That’s how I know that making the right choice of tradesman, right from the very start is so important because not only are your stress levels tested, but choosing the wrong tradesman can also cause costs to blow out massively. Here are my five tips for getting it right!

Qualifications, Licenses and Insurance You wouldn’t let an unqualified surgeon work on your body; so why let an unlicensed tradesperson work on your house? This seems like a simple check, but so many people don’t do it. There are many handyman painters out there that are not licensed or insured. The reason they aren’t licensed is that you need a trade certificate to acquire a license, which requires four years of refining your craft and learning under a qualified tradesman. If a painting job is over $5,000 in New South Wales, you are by law required to have a Painting and Decorating license. If your painter is uninsured, and an accident occurs where someone is hurt, or there is damage, all costs, fines and court bills are your responsibility. Don’t take the risk – check your tradie’s documentation.

Reputation, Reviews and Testimonials The painter you want is the one that Susan told you about four months ago. We all have a friend that is a “Susan”, she loves to tell you about how good her project went and if you were to get anyone you have to get them. Susan might talk too much, but she is right. If you are hiring a painter, you want to know that someone else has already had a good experience. Newcastle has great word of mouth, so if a business has done a great job or a really bad job, it tends to get around. We live in a digital age where it’s very easy to get Google/Facebook out and find a business, and it’s been reviewed. If a company is like SAGE Painting and has had a 5/5 star rating for many years, you know you are in good hands. You can’t remove bad Google reviews, so it’s a good standard to go by. Another great indicator of quality work is that they will display testimonials on their website.

Can you view their past work? Asking if they have photos of previous work is a great way to see their workmanship and can also give you great ideas for your project. These pictures are usually easy to find on their website, Facebook page or Instagram. And some painters just won’t see it as something that they want to do, but you should still be able to ask for references of ex-clients that you can talk to.

Are they the cheapest? This is one of the biggest mistakes made in the whole trade industry: Clients like yourself will get three quotes and then assume that they are receiving quotes for comparable work, so pick the cheapest. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The saying “you get what you pay for” is what most people hear after they have gone for the cheapest quote and things have gone wrong.

Do they guarantee their work? Ask for a guarantee. Quality painters back themselves and their work so are always willing to provide a money-back guarantee. Make sure it is in writing as this is the only way that matters: a verbal guarantee isn’t worth very much. SAGE Painting offers a 5-year workmanship warranty. We guarantee the work won’t peel, flake or blister for five years as a result of faulty surface preparation or application of the coating system. Get it in writing and make sure that your warranty is detailed like ours.

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