5 LEGAL THINGS YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE YOU BEGIN RENOVATING OR BUILDING
There are just lists upon lists of lists on the internet about the best way to choose a builder or trades person. It is very important as that choice will affect the entire job and sometimes your peace of mind for a long time to come. There is nothing worse than getting someone in to do a job, paying them and finding the walls are not plumb, the tiles not straight or the floor not level and then you get to see it every day for a very very long time.
1.IN QLD ALL CONTRACTORS MUST HAVE A QBCC LICENCE In Queensland ALL contractors and builders doing works over $3300.00 must have a QBCC (Queensland Building and Construction Commission) licence number which can be checked on the QBCC website where all licence classes are listed against the contractors, builders etc. this number ensures they have the basic level of knowledge to complete your work.
Exceptions to the $3300.00 rule are for Plumbing and/or Drainage, Gas Fitting, Termite Management which has no lower limit exemption. A full list can be found on the QBCC website.
For my money I prefer someone has a licence number any way – even for $3300.00 job – a bad job is a bad job either way.
2. NOT ALL LICENCES ARE EQUAL Most importantly you must check their qualifications! Just because someone has a QBCC number does not mean they can do any or every job. For example, a tiler cannot waterproof unless he has a waterproofing licence but is able to do tiling and vice versa. A carpenter cannot build a house unless he has a builders licence.
Only builders can build houses but not all builders can build all levels of houses/properties. Check the qualification level before you begin or sign a contract and if you are unsure call the QBCC to confirm their licence covers the works they are going to do.
3. INSURANCES CAN BE VOIDED BY NON-COMPLIANT TRADE This is vital as if you do not use a correctly qualified tradesman to do your job, it may affect your household insurance. If you are in a body corporate the same thing can apply and hence quite often the body corporate managers want to know what you are doing and who you are using.
If your plumbing leaks because you got the local gardener to do it on the cheap, the insurance company is not going to be overly impressed with your project management skills and claims are likely to be declined.
4. A QBCC NUMBER DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE GOOD OR EXPERIENCED TRADESMEN While the QBCC number is a great start it does not guarantee a quality or experienced tradesman. There are minimum requirements however you must still complete due diligence and get references and see prior work where possible. Not all work is the same.
A master tradesman is a wonderful thing but they are not everywhere to be found and the QBCC is not a watchdog for rubbish trades however they can be of help if a job goes wrong or there are issues.
5. NOT ALL TRADES ARE EQUAL EITHER If there is one thing, I have learned in the building industry it is that there are still ‘cowboys’ out there even with licences.
I think the biggest difference I notice is with carpenters. Two young guys (yes, I know that is sexist, but this is only an example) get an apprenticeship to do a carpentry trade. One goes to work for a roof framer and the other for a high-end builder. At the end of their 4 years Young Person Number 1 who went to work for the high-end builder can frame walls, do roofing, lay a slab, build your kitchen cabinets, lay your timber floors level, build walls that are plumb, complete your deck around the pool, hang your doors, fit windows and make you a lovely side cabinet.
Young Person Number 2 can do roof framing and is amazing at it (or not) At the end of their apprenticeship they are signed off and they are both qualified carpenters. But I know which one I would want to have do my specialised timber ceilings and parquetry floors!
Again (and always) get references and check out work of the same calibre you are wanting to get done.
A side note that not all builders and subcontractors are dodgy but not all are good.
Not all are cowboys and not all are honest but there are great and talented subcontractors and builders to be found and most are wonderful humans as well.
Don’t judge the people or the industry as a whole by a couple of stories of lesser trades.
Omni Builders, in Cairns, is a complete building service with exceptional attention to detail. If you can picture it, we can build it.
Your residential or commercial construction will be a smooth, stress-free process, resulting in stylish design and uncompromising quality.