A tradesperson is someone who has obtained a licence from the office of Fair Trading to work in a particular field in the home building industry. For example, the term tradesperson includes all licensed concreters, bricklayers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, roofers, plasterers, tilers, painters, fencers and gasfitters.
Tradespeople can obtain an individual licence by demonstrating that they have reached a certain level of training and technical skill or else have acquired relevant work experience in their chosen field.
Tradespeople (if they work for themselves) or the company they work for are referred to as sub-contractors. You should only engage the services of a sub-contractor. If a tradesperson carries out work for you, when they do not have their own business or without the authorisation of the company for whom they work, their work will not be covered by the standard industry insurances and warranties.
Sub-contractors can contract directly with homeowners and renovators or they may be sub‑contracted to work on a project through a builder. In either case, they must hold a licence from the Office of Fair Trading (or equivalent in other States), and the scope of that licence must be for the type of work for which they are contracting.
How to find a Sub-contractor
If you do not engage the services of a builder, you will need to organise the work of tradespeople, i.e. sub-contractors, on your project. For larger projects you will be required to register as an Owner Builder (for more information, see the section on Owner Builder).
But before you start work, you will need to find the tradespeople. You could try the following approaches:
You could also call the
- Ask other people for their personal recommendations
- Ask other people in the industry
- Ask the relevant industry association for a list of contractors working in your area. Most types of tradespeople have their own
association that you can contact, such as the Master Plumbers and Mechanical Contractors Association.
- Housing Industry Association or The Master Builders Association.
- Look for advertisements on television, radio, in home buyer magazines or your local newspaper.
- Look in trade directories
- Look in the telephone book, especially in the Yellow Pages.
- Look up online service directories on the Internet
Once you find a tradesperson, and before you sign any contract, don't forget to:
Ask to see their licence, making sure that it is current, in their name or business name and that the tradesperson is licensed for the type of work you want done, and
Call the Office of Fair Trading or any Fair Trading Centre to do a licence check.