Using Unlicensed Tradesmen Is Not Worth The Risk.
While it is everyone’s aim is to keep costs down and save a buck or two, hiring an unlicensed tradesman has too many negatives and possibilities of problems, to risk.
The unlicensed tradesman may be very capable to perform the job and may have references from past jobs that are very positive but this person hasn’t shown any effort to put forward the effort, study and cost required to be licensed. This is the first evidence their work ethic isn’t up to scratch. Also they’re far too risky to entrust the large amount of money you are about to invest. Remember a licence does not guarantee quality or timely manner, it does give the homeowner help and assurance if something goes wrong.
These Licensing and insurance requirements are in place to protect the consumer. It’s also evidence that the contractor has passed the state exam to show they know enough about business and building practice.
If a homeowner hires an unlicensed tradesman, they become an employer and the tradesman becomes the employee. Basically the homeowner is the contractor and with that comes all the ramifications. This implicates insurance issues such as liability and workers compensation.
The home owner won’t be fined for hiring an unlicensed guy as you are not breaking any law, unlike the the tradie who is. The home owner becomes responsible not only for the work the unlicensed person does but for any damage they may cause to your property or to the property of others. Most dangerously the owner become responsible for any injuries the tradesman or his "family members" might suffer on your job.
Steps to take when gathering quotes
- Contact the tradesman and inquire about their level of experience
- If you feel they are appropriately experienced and licensed (Check licence classes) and will be able to perform a quality service you should organise a time for them to come out and inspect the site
- When they arrive at your house immediately ask them to provide their licence number, ABN and if they are covered with insurance.
- If they fail to provide any of those 3 key items do not go further with the quotation, these people are often unskilled, unqualified tradesmen who are trying to make a quick profit at your expense, this is the type of person you will generally find via signs placed illegally on street poles.
- Make sure to explain everything you wish to be done in full and keep this same explanation to repeat to each tradesman who is supplying a quote so you can receive quotes that are for the exact same works by each tradie (apples for apples).
- Make the choice of tradesmen based upon the quotations given and the feelings you have about each tradesmen, make sure you feel comfortable with that person! Remember you are inverting a lot of money in these projects and you want to feel safe in handing over money for services
So think again what your really gambling with and could end up paying by saving a couple hundred dollars on a job. It’s just not worth the risk!