You know how this story goes: hours spent scoping prospective tradespeople via the Web, Yellow Pages and word-of-mouth; a few more hours spent calling them or trying to have them call you back (they often don’t); followed by a full-day when you’re housebound awaiting their visit to view and quote your job.
If you’re lucky, a few pleasant tradies will show up on time leaving you a selection of quotes from which to make your informed decision. It’s likely you’ll be blown away by the discrepancy in cost for the same job, which will leave you wondering about the reasons why, or if the cheaper quote must necessarily mean poorer workmanship.
It’s a jungle out there, in Tradiesville.
Thankfully the trials of employing tradespeople just became a little easier with the recent release of a report published by the tendering website ServiceSeeking.com.au.
The report collates 70,000 real home renovation and repair quotes over four years to reveal the highest, lowest and average costs of tradepeople and contractors supplying home repair and renovation throughout Australia. For the first time consumers are provided with all the data to make an informed decision about tradespeople and costs.
March 2010 figures show such handy data as the average hourly fee for general plumbing ($66.79, up from $64.27 last year) and the average hourly fee for home handy work (currently $48.58, a marked increase on 2009’s average rate of $45.68). It also quotes the average hourly cost of carpentry as $56.65 (up from $55.66 per hour last year).
The report shows some decline in the average hourly rates of some trade work between 2008 and 2009. It suggests the upward movement of prices in 2010 reflects the strengthening economy and a surge of renovations after a quiet 2009 when many people chose to postpone spending.
There’s a state-by-state analysis too, which confirms regional discrepancies like this one: bricklayers charge an hourly average of $48.1 in Victoria, $54.31 in NSW and $59.38 in Queensland.
Similarly diverse average pricing is apparent in a host of other services including architects. Who knew that architects (for renovations and extensions) are 30.3 percent cheaper in Victoria than in NSW?
Do you have a story to share about your dealings with tradespeople? Leave your comments below.