Renovations and teamwork: how to make tradies with and not just for you

Renovation is a good way to help improve your property, both in terms of aesthetics and value. But one of the most crucial parts of renovating is making sure that you’re getting a good return on your investment, which means keeping costs down while ensuring that quality work is completed. We’ve all heard horror stories about budgets blowing out, even on projects that people are doing on their own without tradies (especially those projects). But what if you could have all of the positives with fewer of the negatives: professional work done at a far better rate, and to a shorter, better coordinated timeline?

Yes that’s right—with a little bit of strategy and upfront planning, you can better manage your renovation finances while making sure that you’re getting the best people for the job. How? By doing your research and making sure that you get goods tradespeople, and even better, a team of tradespeople who can work together, and work well.

How does this work?

Look, tradies can be tricky to get in touch with. It’s hard to get quotes and it’s hard to know whether they’ll turn up or not. You might feel that once you get someone who’ll turn up to your house, you need to grab on to them with both hands and not let go, no matter what they say, or charge. But grabbing the first person because you’re desperate rarely works out well in the long-term. If you want to make sure that you get the best value for your project, you need to be willing to put in the work to make sure that you get the right tradie for the job, and your budget.

There are indeed tradies out there who are diligent, hardworking, reliable people, who also know other diligent, hardworking, reliable people. They know them because they’ve worked with them before, or they’ve been recommended by a friend that they trust, and they know that they can rely on them. These are the tradie networks that you want to go digging for. And when you find them, you want to make sure that your project looks attractive to them. How can you do this? By having a clear idea of what you want, and being able to communicate that. When you find your first reliable trades team, chances are that they can recommend people that they trust for more of the work on your project. Interested? Read on.

How do I find my dream team?

Long story short: word of mouth. That’s not very helpful though, so we’ll expand a little. Did your brother just get a new garden put in and you’re as green as his new grass with envy? Swallow your jealousy and ask him who did it. Remember when your hairdresser was renovated a few months ago and you were shocked at how good it looked when they opened back up? Ask your hairdresser who they went with. Don’t be shy; you might feel weird asking, but most people are happy to sing the praises of people who’ve done good work. Once you have an initial contact, you have a place to start. And, even if they’re not free to work on your project, they might be able to recommend people or teams who are.

Knowing what and when

If you want a professional, reliable tradie who inspires confidence, then you need to be a client who does the same thing. Know the scope of your project, and have an idea of the tradespeople that you need to get the job done. If you’re vague and don’t know what you want, no one will want to pass on their mates’ details. No one likes being messed around, and it’s very hard to satisfy people who don’t know what they want.

Also, the only way that your tradies can help you out with scheduling is if you let them know what your plans are. Knowing the order that you want to do things in can not only help you get your renovation done quicker and more efficiently, but it can also help you save money. For example, if you know when you’ll need an electrician for two rooms, it makes more sense to get them over for longer, but all in one go, so that you can have two rooms being finished simultaneously.

Teamwork makes the dream work

Tradies who can work in a team, whether they work alone or as part of a works team, are worth their weight in gold. Not only will it make the job more tolerable to live through (renovations are like births, even the easy ones are hard), but it also means that they can communicate amongst themselves to help minimise costs and organise any deliveries or pick-ups. For example, you might be able to save on equipment hire if multiple teams need the same equipment and can align their schedules, or they could just send one person to pick up supplies or organise deliveries instead of having multiple people out of action while they pick stuff up. Not only that, but your tradies will be happier to come to work knowing exactly what to expect, and knowing that they’ll be doing it with a competent group of operators.

Relying on someone else to complete your project is difficult, but it’s essential for a professional, safe home renovation. And if you’re not convinced, think of it this way: how many hours are you likely to pay tradies for over the course of your renovation? And how long do you think that it would take for you to find the best tradies for your job, rather than the first ones to turn up? By going slow at the start, you’ll save time, money and stress on your project. Remember: there’s nothing more expensive than a cheap renovation—so put the time and money in upfront to reap the benefits later on.