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How to find reliable tradies.

You get by with a little help from your friends. But what if your friends don't know how to install new flooring, hang drywall or drop the right sink into your kitchen? Sometimes you need to call in the big guns, the professionals, the renovation warriors, the guys and gals who make fluro fantastic – THE TRADIES. When it comes to jobs that call for a special set of skills, whether it be complete tear downs or plumbing or electrical work, it can be dangerous and costly to try to go it alone. You need the experience and know-how of tradesmen and tradeswomen.

Finding trustworthy tradies who are going to get the job done on time and on budget is what you're after. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be a bit tough to find reliable help. Shifting timelines, lack of respect for you and your budget and shoddy craftsmanship can blow up even the most careful home renovation plans.

Reliable tradies are key if you want to survive your renovation. Don't know where to dig them up? We've got your back. Here are five tips for finding tradies you can trust.

1) Word of mouth matters most

OK, so maybe you can get by with a little help from your friends at reno time. Know anybody who's recently had their kitchen or laundry redone or get a new shower installed? If their tradies were good enough for them, they'll probably be good enough for you. Word of mouth is worth its weight in gold, so if you can, go with tradies your friends and fam know.

2) Retail intel

Your CLARK stockist can provide more than stylish, smart accessories and essentials for your bathroom, kitchen and laundry. They can also give you the lowdown who's who in the tradie game. Hardware stores and other white good sellers are homes away from home for reno pros, so stockist employees will often know who's got the skills to bring your reno dreams to life.

3) Scroll social

Listen, we know everybody is addicted to their phones, social media is the end of civilisation, the machines are taking over etc. We get it. But let's park that for a second. Social media channels, especially visual ones like Instagram and Facebook, can give you a sneak peek at what tradies are capable of. You might even find some extra reno inspo.

4) Hit the HiPages

While you're on your fave device, check out HiPages. It lets you crowdsource tradies by uploading pictures of what you need done. When a tradie shows interest in the job, you can check out his or her profile and read recommendations before reaching out.

5) Do your homework

No matter how you hunt for help, it's important to do your homework. Try to get three job quotes to get a sense of what work should cost and see if anybody's over-charging you. You'll also want to check online to see if tradies are licensed in your state. Just search check tradesperson licencefollowed by your state to find an online database. This is the most official way to see if tradies meets state-sanctioned standards. You can also ask workers if they belong to official industry-specific organisations like the Master Plumbers Association, Master Electricians Australia and the Master Builders Association. While not mandatory, membership can show how seriously your builder takes his or her job. Finally, ask for written quotes and contracts. This can help you avoid nasty surprises when you're knee-deep in reno action.

Keeping these tips in mind can help you find tradies you can trust and save you time and money. Need help figuring out not only who to call, but when? We've got you covered there, too, with this quick guide to what tradies to hire at different stages of your reno. Check it out and kickstart your reno plans today