You only need to turn on A Current Affair to hear the horror stories about shonky builders and tradies taking someone for a ride. Every year tens of thousands of complaints are made to government departments about builders and tradespeople. How do you ensure you get the best? There are few ways you can ensure the builder or tradesperson you engage will deliver on time and on budget.

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The first thing you should do is ensure they are legit. Ask if they are accredited through their peak body. If they’ve gone to the effort of doing that, chances are they’re a high- quality contractor. Ask for references. Word-of-mouth is a powerful form of marketing. If you are spending thousands, you are entitled to ask for examples of their previous work. Get your quote in writing and make sure it is detailed. You want the quote to outline specifics about the job so there are no surprises at the end of the contract.The quote should include an ABN (check to see if it is valid) or licence number. If something goes wrong you also want to make sure they are insured. Tradies and builders needs to have professional insurance and public liability to claim against any damages or losses incured on the job.

Renovating can be stressful so you want to make it as pain free as possible and that means having the right team to work with. This is not an exhaustive list but gives you an idea of where to start.

If you do need to make a complaint, go to www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.