This is a great article by tradebox, this website also is a great place to find estimates for plumbing; building; electrical work before you start.
1. Confirm that the sales person or tradespeople works for the company they are representing and make sure you ask for identification such as drivers licence before allowing the person access.
2. Check multiple references, tradepro is a great place for this or builderscrack.
3. Ask for a copy of trade registration or licenses (if applicable)
4. Request proof of insurance General Liability insurance such as Public Liability insurance typically covers a Tradesperson for accidents that occur to third party property caused by the Tradeperson’s work.
5. Conclude and finalise the contract before starting on a project including the following:
- Written on Trade Pro’s company letterhead
- Contains the Trade Pro’s company name, address, phone numbers, and license number (if applicable)
- Contains the customer/homeowner's name, address (where work is to be performed), and relevant phone numbers
- Contains the date when the contract is written and the date when both parties sign the contract
- Includes a detailed description of the scope of work to be performed
- Provides prices or amounts associated with each main task included in the project
- Includes an anticipated/estimated start and completion date
- Provides a payment schedule
- Includes a termination clause
- Contains a clause that protects the customer or homeowner from any potential warranty or guarantees once you have paid the Trade Professional in full
- Clearly states whether consents, permits or code of compliance certificates are required, and who will be responsible for organising them including how they will be paid for and by whom.
6. Making payments to tradespeople If you're paying by cheque, make sure that it is made out to the company. Do not make payments to any individual, but rather to the company.
7. Ask for a receipt Always ask for a receipt whenever a payment is made. This way, you have proof of payment if something goes wrong and you need to make a claim.
8. Withhold the final payment until you are satisfied with the Project. Do not pay in full until the project is completely finished and you have completed your final inspection and satisfied with the work and if applicable, licenses and council code of compliance certificates are issued. If there are some minor details to complete, ensure that sufficient monies are withheld until the issue is fixed.
9. Do not advance money for materials Do not advance money to tradespeople to purchase building materials unless this has been agreed in your contract and you are sufficiently protected if something goes wrong. Alternatively, you could pay the materials supplier directly yourself.
10. Document all changes to the contract Make sure all changes to the original contact, no matter how small, are documented, signed off and initialed by both parties.