Tradies versus DIYers - the debate continues...

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  1. #1
    2K Club Member chrisp's Avatar
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    Default Tradies versus DIYers - the debate continues...

    I've noticed that some other threads are heating up over the use, and the workmanship, of trades and that the general contention is made that the home owner could have done a better job themselves.

    I normally weigh in on the electrical questions and arguments as that is my area of expertise, but I have noticed (and participated in ) similar discussions/arguments/wars over the merits of DIY vs Trade also happens in other areas (such as plumbing, roofing, framing, concreting, brick laying).

    What are some of the general arguments I have read:

    "Get a Plumber/Electrician/Concreter/etc. is you want the job done right/well"
    On the face of it, using a suitably trainer person should increase the chances of having a good job done. However, I'd almost be sure that we all have firsthand accounts of supposedly qualified people getting it wrong (or perhaps, not-quite-right).

    "If you want the job done right, you have to do it yourself"
    I suppose holds true, as long as the person doing the work DIY is capable. I have seem many cases of handyman work that is truly awful. I have seen "renovations" that, in my opinion, devalue the property. On the other hand, I have also seem some DIY work that is truly wonderful. In some cases, I'd say that the job is excessively neat. i.e. it would have been expensive if a tradie did the same job at commercial rates.

    "If you need to ask, you shouldn't be doing it"
    This one gets up mu nose a bit. It is a bit of a chicken-and-the-egg - how does one find out if one doesn't ask?

    "Your plumber/electrician/etc. will know"
    Maybe they will, but how will I be sure unless I can inform myself too?

    My view:
    Personally, I have seem good and bad jobs done by tradies and DIYers. To me, it seems that using a tradie will improve your chances of getting a good job done, but it certainly won't guarantee it.

    I'm a firm believer in 'knowledge'. I think a better job happens when the tradie and the DIYer have the required knowledge - or at least enough knowledge to understand what they are getting in to before they start. Even in restricted trades (such as electrical and plumbing) this also holds true. While the DIYer shouldn't legally be doing restricted work, it is better that they understand what should be done (and why) so that they can check that they are getting a good job done. Even when getting someone to do work I'm very familiar in, I will often play dumb (which is easy) and ask very basic questions to see what the tradie recommends. I find it is a good way to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    On more a pragmatic view, some non-licenced people will tackle restricted work. It is better for all that these people have the knowledge do a good job. In any case, while doing the work may be illegal, have the knowledge certainly isn't. I certainly don't believe that certain knowledge should be held back as a DIYer shouldn't need to know it.

    I also question the need to restrict some trades. In many places overseas DIY plumbing and electrical work is allowed. There doesn't seem to be any major problems with DIY work. Do I dislike tradies? Absolutely not! Do I like our restrictive licencing system? Absolutely not!

    There is no middle ground between facts and fallacies - argumentum ad temperantiam

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    2K Club Member chrisp's Avatar
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    As an aside, it is worth noting that certain tradies who participate on the forum, and who are open and honest with the general forum population, are held in high esteem.

    At the risk of inadvertently omitting certain individuals, people like WonderPlumb and Rod Dyson (and many others) certainly are well regarded and I'd certainly be happy to have them do work at my place.
    There is no middle ground between facts and fallacies - argumentum ad temperantiam

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    Did you buy a commercial popcorn machine by any chance?

    There's always interesting points made in these debates, but I often have to give up reading them, as I can't be bothered sifting through the posts where someone has to ram their opinion onto others.

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    personally, i'm happy to answer any questions, be it complicated or simple. the bit that gives me the @@@@@, is when some so called diy'ers, begrudge the income of tradesmen, or classify a whole trade based on their limited experience.

    with regards to tradesmens income, it takes a brave man/woman to put your assets on the line to open a small business and learn your trade so thoroughly that you can amongst other potential risks, quote off drawings and know how much work is involved in every single project that you tender, knowing that the slightest omission can cost you thousands...

    with regards to bad eggs in a trade, well, every industry has them... whether it be teachers, police, lawyers,politicians or even the church, there isn't a professional group around that doesn't have a few bad apples.

    from my experience, which is 20 odd years in construction, i have found that if you're prepared to listen to the answer, most tradesman are more than happy to help you out with practical, and technical information.

    hope this helps!

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    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    My view:
    Personally, I have seem good and bad jobs done by tradies and DIYers. To me, it seems that using a tradie will improve your chances of getting a good job done, but it certainly won't guarantee it.
    I'm a firm believer in 'knowledge'. I think a better job happens when the tradie and the DIYer have the required knowledge - or at least enough knowledge to understand what they are getting in to before they start.
    When the above is stating the obvious, clearly anyone doing a job, any job needs to know how and why it is done, the debate is not likely to end because the parameters are wrong.

    Bad jobs from DIY are likely to be because the owner builder does not have the skills, knowledge or inclination to do a good job.
    Bad jobs from tradesman are likely to be because of dishonesty, negligence or both.

    To say "I could have done a better job myself" does not address the root of the cause. It is unfortunate but at least in Sydney, a large majority of tradesman are not incompetent but highly dishonest and some times borderline with criminal negligence.
    And yes some may be just incompetent or lazy.
    The above negative points are highlighted if working for an owner builder and masked when working for a builder for obvious reasons.
    So a good tradesman that may work OK on a building site, turns nasty whilst working for the old lady next door.
    And yes you can identify them by their ethnic background.
    How many are left?
    Not many, not ins Sydney anyway.

    PS

    I use to own a few properties in Mt Isa.
    Got quoted by a "builder" $6,500 to put up a metal dual carport from Mitre Ten ( supplied by me and this was 7 years ago) and it was going to be done by the apprentice.
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    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    I watched a ep of Grand Designs last night where the fella was self building from scratch. He had bugger all money so did everything himself. Got himself a book and "taught" himself electrics, same with plumbing - seemed to work out fine but had me wondering with the "what if" factor. Then after a while I came to the conclusion of well, why not. If he is competant enough to design and build his own house who says he is not competant enough to do his own wiring and plumbing. I dont know what the voltage is in the UK

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    In the UK, it wasn't until 2005 (the introduction of Part P of the building regs) that the DIY-electrician actually had to notify the local building control that they had done electrical work at all. Even under Part P, you only need to notify if the work is deemed 'other than simple' - such as new fitouts in a wet area or something more than just adding extra fittings to an existing circuit. (it seems that the DIY work we can't do here is regarded as 'simple' in the UK...)

    UK voltage is the same sort of nominal 230 volts that we have here (in other words, 240 volts until line transformers wear out and get replaced).
    DIY electrical wiring to AS/NZS3000 - details here - http://goo.gl/9d33T (PDF file)

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    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    I bought a property 3 years ago that suffered for 10 years the onsets of a DIYselfer. I got as good as to recognize this fellows fingerprints in the many dodgy repairs.

    However those are simply feeble attempts at doing something in complete ignorance and are nothing compared to the criminal negligence from the builder who made basic errors and covered them up over and over, from the steel post welded to plates that are only half on the footings, steel posts undersized and without rust protection, undersized bearers (by half size), sewer pipes without ventilation and I can go on and on.

    This and many more are not a product of ignorance but bastardy since the money saved in materials is negligible compared to the damage created and the cost of replacing, repairing, underpinning etc.

    PS
    A friend at work told me they want to erect a garden shed (3x2 meters) and want to have a concrete slab under it (75mm).
    They had 2 quotes so far. A 'friendly' builder next door wants $5,000. Another quoted $3,000...both want to contract a pump to pump 1/2 a cubic meter 20 meters from the kerb.
    This is what I mean. Rotten dishonesty is the problem not ignorance or lack of skills.
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    A good tradie would be my choice every time if I had the money - but sometimes I don't and if the job is within my scope of skills I will therefore do it myself. DIYers go wrong because they think it looks simple when in fact it is a complex layering of actions that are required to get things done in the right order to gain a good result.

    My difficulty is when you come to a bad tradie (and they do indeed exist I have discovered). It is better to know how the job should be done so that you can twig early on if they doing the wrong thing (whether deliberately or through incompetence). Also, being a female of the species, I find a lot of tradies tend to think they can get away with stuff with me that they would never contemplate trying it on with a bloke.

    Asking questions is the best way to learn, and the only stupid question is the one that has not been asked (or has been answered three times already).

    DIY is definitely not for beginners - basic tool skills are essential or you can hurt yourself (or your project) badly. So a quick course in woodworking, or in metal working is essential as preparation for taking stuff on IMO.

    A good tradie is worth his (or her) weight in gold, and should be cherished. Mine get home-baked food and cuppas on tap when they are working on the site. And privacy if they prefer it to having me hanging around being their apprentice. Though I much prefer one who will work with me (once they have figured out I am not useless, of course) as that way we can redesign on the hop and discuss why things will or won't work.

    Horses for courses methinks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    PS
    A friend at work told me they want to erect a garden shed (3x2 meters) and want to have a concrete slab under it (75mm).
    They had 2 quotes so far. A 'friendly' builder next door wants $5,000. Another quoted $3,000...both want to contract a pump to pump 1/2 a cubic meter 20 meters from the kerb.
    This is what I mean. Rotten dishonesty is the problem not ignorance or lack of skills.
    This last bit of rubbish really shows DIY ignorance, a professional contractor complying with OH&S regulations should use mechanical means of materials handling where ever possible & it costs, they really will waste a day on it for a couple of guys plus the site visit initially. Small jobs like that are better done by a handyman with a strong back & ignorance of OH&S.
    regards inter

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    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    This last bit of rubbish really shows DIY ignorance, a professional contractor complying with OH&S regulations should use mechanical means of materials handling where ever possible & it costs, they really will waste a day on it for a couple of guys plus the site visit initially. Small jobs like that are better done by a handyman with a strong back & ignorance of OH&S.
    regards inter
    I'm not sure OH&S has banned using a wheel barrow yet... Our labourers push wheel barrows every day! I would believe that $5000 was extortion for a 6m2 concrete pad at 75mm thick...
    hope this helps!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteV View Post
    I'm not sure OH&S has banned using a wheel barrow yet... Our labourers push wheel barrows every day! I would believe that $5000 was extortion for a 6m2 concrete pad at 75mm thick...
    hope this helps!
    I would also agree, for such a small area and amount of concrete it would not be worthwhile setting up the pump in the first place unless you couldn't physically get a barrow in. $5000 also seems a bit steep for something in which by the description probably needs little in the way of material costs or formwork. It is worth bearing in mind though sometimes a high price is set because the tradie doesn't want the job in the first place.

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    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    This last bit of rubbish really shows DIY ignorance, a professional contractor complying with OH&S regulations should use mechanical means of materials handling where ever possible & it costs, they really will waste a day on it for a couple of guys plus the site visit initially. Small jobs like that are better done by a handyman with a strong back & ignorance of OH&S.
    regards inter
    Give me a brake will you? since when is a trade a profession?
    It takes 7 wheelbarrow to wheel 1/2 meter of concrete, may be 8 or 9 if you want to go it easy. I can get my wife to do that. That is a job that is well paid at $600 labor cost plus materials. Any other consideration is garbage that illustrates the delusions of grandeur of so called professionals who do not hesitate in ripping off their customers at any given occasion. Any tradie that gives such "quote" of $5000 to a builder will have to factor in the time the local doctor will have to work to extract the builder's boot out of his @rs3
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    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    The tradesman complaints about the owner doing a job himself are grouse squawk and lamentations of lost opportunities and clearly have no real interest nor pride in a job well done.
    With probably a few honorable exceptions, in my experience of contracting tradies in the last 40 years, they do a good job only if they are SCARED of you and not because they want to do a good job. I have recalled "builders" and "tradesman" through fair trading too many times to remember them all, and every time the job was rectified only because of the threat to their license.
    Stay around and be friendly, talk about the job at hand or worst about yourself and I can guarantee you that the quality of the job will slip in direct proportion. Sad bad true.

    The fact that Australia is the land of the DIY is not an endorsement of our ingenuity but of the poor quality of the tradesman job and their excessive charges.
    I think that in stead of DIY versus trade we should start a thread about worst tradesman job ever.
    That would probably be the only topic that can rival the emission trading thread

    Any real tradesman proud of his work needs not to worry about DIYselfers stuffing up, in fact probably be happy about them since they will ultimately create more work. Disdain and contempt for someone for having a go at what he is not trained to do is pathetic and deserves no sympathy
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    Go and take a chill pill Marc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteV View Post
    I'm not sure OH&S has banned using a wheel barrow yet... Our labourers push wheel barrows every day! I would believe that $5000 was extortion for a 6m2 concrete pad at 75mm thick...
    hope this helps!
    Of course not, though some people are trying to price them out of existance, especially in well to do suburbs. You really need to brush up on your manual handling understanding of the OH&S regulations though, because when an employee brings a civil case against you for an injury sustained because someone was too tight to use suitable mechanical materials handling equipment where cost was the only consideration, your sunk.
    regards inter

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    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    Of course not, though some people are trying to price them out of existance, especially in well to do suburbs. You really need to brush up on your manual handling understanding of the OH&S regulations though, because when an employee brings a civil case against you for an injury sustained because someone was too tight to use suitable mechanical materials handling equipment where cost was the only consideration, your sunk.
    regards inter
    thank you for your advice, but i already have a thorough understanding of safe work practices and manual handling... that said and done, there is no way possible to allow for forklifts to do the work of a wheelbarrow in a domestic building situation. work safe have been right through my safe work method statements (SWMS) and have had no problem with them.
    hope this helps!

    @ marc. you are a tool!

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    In my experience if your instructions, which means plans/drawings and specs, are clear and you engage the correct trade for the job it is very rare to have a real problem. If a person has continual trouble with the trades they get in then they should probably consider what they are doing as that indicates a problem with whoever does the engaging. Continually taking people to places like VCAT most likely indicates someone has issues of their own to address in the way they deal with others and the problems that they are creating. It is also worth bearing in mind that the cheapest quote seldom means the cheapest job, you often get what you pay for.

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    Marc, your views polarise me, but I do agree that trades are not professions (the latter require university qualifications, and several other criteria)

    But such delusions of grandeur may help explain why many tradies think they can charge like neurosurgeons.

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    Not sure I agree with that statement.

    I have a "Trade" but I consider myself a "Professional" as I 'profess' or indicate in words and writing my ability to do the job and be PAID for it, it is payment that determines whether or not a person is considered "Professional" and his qualifications that determine what his/her profession is ( and to a large degree how much his trade or skill is worth I guess)

    Our last plumber was a very poor tradesman and not at all professional in his attitude or competence but still charged more than my cancer surgeon, the surgeon was also less arrogant and much more polite int the bargain LOL

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    There are a great deal of good and honest tradies out there it is just unfortunate that the medium sized minority give all of us a bad name. I've had plumbers do work for me that was absolute rubbish however they didn't get paid until the work was rectified.

    p.s MARC, your comments are unfounded and I do my best work on every job as ultimately it is my work with my name on it that keeps the phone ringing. As for being scared of a client? Well maybe if they came out in their best drag outfit with a bit of nipple showing and offering me a glass of absinth...yeah, I'd probably run, however being scared of the everyday person as far as my work was concerned, well, I wouldnt be in this line of work if that was the case. Sorry sir but your previous post makes you look like a dikhead.

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    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    A client that tries to intimidate or bully a tradie is just asking for a world of crap IMO. There is no need to be a knob about it. Being aggressive towards anyone simply puts everyone into defense mode, communication breaks down and before you know the finger pointing starts. I can tell pretty much right away if I want to work for a client. Its no skin off my nose to walk away. I rather walk that put up with crap from a standover owner.

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    Moondog, I did say "trades are not professions", and did not say tradies cannot behave professionally, and very many do. You also sort of confirmed my point.

    A little reading into what it means to be considered a Professional, and this one in particular made me smile -

    "A high standard of professional ethics, behaviour and work activities while carrying out one's profession (as an employee, self-employed person, career, enterprise, business, company, or partnership/associate/colleague, etc.). The professional owes a higher duty to a client, often a privilege of confidentiality, as well as a duty not to abandon the client just because he or she may not be able to pay or remunerate the professional. Often the professional is required to put the interest of the client ahead of his own interests"

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    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    Mmm, Ive never had my dentist, doctor or surgeon cancel their golf day for me

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    Quote Originally Posted by ringtail View Post
    Mmm, Ive never had my dentist, doctor or surgeon cancel their golf day for me
    You're still alive so their prognosis must have been correct i.e. "He'll live"

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    I must be the perfect client since I've never experienced a dodgy tradesperson. Sure I've come across a couple I wouldn't hire again but not because they did a poor job or didn't follow specifications - mostly because my perceptions of value weren't met. Mind you...my experience of tradies is largely limited to plumbers and sparkies of late. Though there have been floor sanders, Bobcat operators, concreters, roofers and the odd skilled service people as required.

    If you as the client go into a contract with a tradie with the idea that you are about to engage in war then war is what you'll inevitably get...
    Joined RF in 2006...Resigned in 2020.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilentButDeadly View Post
    I must be the perfect client since I've never experienced a dodgy tradesperson. Sure I've come across a couple I wouldn't hire again but not because they did a poor job or didn't follow specifications - mostly because my perceptions of value weren't met. Mind you...my experience of tradies is largely limited to plumbers and sparkies of late. Though there have been floor sanders, Bobcat operators, concreters, roofers and the odd skilled service people as required.

    If you as the client go into a contract with a tradie with the idea that you are about to engage in war then war is what you'll inevitably get...
    I reckon if you get a new customer/client who moves quickly to complain about past people they have dealt with then refuse the work, you will simply end up with the same outcome. In those cases it is the customer who has failed to identify the real problem in the first place, themselves. The vast majority of people are honest and will do a reasonable job, I would say the same as Silent, I have never used a trade and had a genuinely bad outcome, it may not have been exactly what I was expecting, but has been never been an issue that couldn't either be resolved or to small to worry about, in some cases it has been better than expected.

    I think there are a lot of people out there though that simply think up a large figure and quadruple it not expecting to get the job if they have heard someone is difficult to deal with.

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    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Perhaps it is good to have a look at the original, or one of the, comment in the first post.

    PHP Code:
    I'm a firm believer in 'knowledge'.  I think a better job happens when  the tradie and the DIYer have the required knowledge - or at least  enough knowledge to understand what they are getting in to before they  start. 
    The alleged debate between the DIY and the tradesman can not be over who knows best how to do a job.
    That point is of course a moot point. If someone puts up gyprock and set joints for a living, clearly he would have the better know how all along. A home owner who disputes how a job must be done without experience is a fool.

    The debate then is not over "knowledge" but standards and price.
    And there is were the owner or the builder can judge the results. And if someone that sets joints for 30 years makes a mess of your job, for whatever reason, you are certainly entitled to say you would have done a better job, because you as the owner would have put all your best effort and 10 times more time and get hopefully a better outcome.
    Apples and oranges.

    I say that most complaints and horror stories come not from lack of knowledge but from dishonesty and an imbalance between offer and demand. Big demand, poor standards. Only need to look at the jobs that are subsidized like schools and insulation and solar for an example.

    I have a property close to the central coast and work is scarce over there. I can get very good tradesman at reasonable price and no problems.
    The same job in Sydney is a completely different proposition.

    Last one.
    I have done a lot of work on a property on the Hawksbury and at first engaged local tradesman thinking it was best.
    Big mistake. I used electricians plumbers, excavators, carpenters, bricklayers, roofers, concreters, flooring guys, sander, gyprocker, painters and a draftsman.
    The only decent one out of the lot were the draftsman, the gyprock guy and the flooring guys. The rest were hopeless and I had to get rid of them and call someone from out of town to fix the mistakes and finish the job.
    A relative who is a sparky came on the weekend to finish the worst mess ever from the "local" electrician who told me he was doing me a favor because he is royalty, he works inspecting solar installations. Even a local handyman was no good. I got him to dig a trench next to a retaining wall that needed a drain, and on the day he was due to come he told me that the guys (?) were making fun of him in the pub, because that job had to be done with an excavator and he was going to do it with mattock and shovel.

    So location makes a difference, don't ask me why.

    As for horror stories from jobs done by DIY, and I suppose a tradesman would have heaps to tell, they are usually of little consequence unless they are illegal I suppose, and if anything would contribute to create work for the tradesman that wants to do it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilentButDeadly View Post
    I must be the perfect client since I've never experienced a dodgy tradesperson. Sure I've come across a couple I wouldn't hire again but not because they did a poor job or didn't follow specifications - mostly because my perceptions of value weren't met. Mind you...my experience of tradies is largely limited to plumbers and sparkies of late
    I think you are just lucky or live in an area with not much demand for work.
    How is this for a story: Agent calls to unblock a sewer pipe on a Sunday. (note I said Agent that does not care how much they charge)
    Plumber comes with high pressure spinning thingy sends it down the drain and the gadget gets stuck.
    Plumber comes in with excavator, digs up half the backyard claiming needs to replace pipe.
    Pipe gets replaced all the way to the main. The main is 2 meters deep. The plumber replaces the pipe but does not set the pipe on the bottom of the trench but half way up in the air and backfills the lot, charges $3500 and goes home.
    One month later the soil sets and the pipe is bent like a banana and brakes. The job had to be redone...not once but twice.
    This is Sydney trade for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteV View Post
    I'm not sure OH&S has banned using a wheel barrow yet... Our labourers push wheel barrows every day! I would believe that $5000 was extortion for a 6m2 concrete pad at 75mm thick...
    hope this helps!
    Hi Pete, what do you think is a fair price for the garden shed concrete pad?
    Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.
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    Marc is the guy that makes up 100 reasons not to pay

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    I think you are just lucky or live in an area with not much demand for work.
    How is this for a story: Agent calls to unblock a sewer pipe on a Sunday. (note I said Agent that does not care how much they charge)
    Plumber comes with high pressure spinning thingy sends it down the drain and the gadget gets stuck.
    Plumber comes in with excavator, digs up half the backyard claiming needs to replace pipe.
    Pipe gets replaced all the way to the main. The main is 2 meters deep. The plumber replaces the pipe but does not set the pipe on the bottom of the trench but half way up in the air and backfills the lot, charges $3500 and goes home.
    One month later the soil sets and the pipe is bent like a banana and brakes. The job had to be redone...not once but twice.
    This is Sydney trade for you.
    mmm no - as my old Stats prof used to say a sample of one (or even a few) is not statistically significant. This was just one guy . . . There are 'dodgy bros' in every type of work - that's why word of mouth is the best form of reference. We could go down the path of talking about clients who want the cheapest quote and expect the highest quality (rather the quality to match the price) and know all about cost and nothing about value, but again because there are some like that does not mean they all are. Oops - strayed into the wrong area again
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteV View Post
    thank you for your advice, but i already have a thorough understanding of safe work practices and manual handling... that said and done, there is no way possible to allow for forklifts to do the work of a wheelbarrow in a domestic building situation. work safe have been right through my safe work method statements (SWMS) and have had no problem with them.
    hope this helps!

    @ marc. you are a tool!
    Worksafe can say one thing & do another untill an accident happens. A judge will take the regulations literally & many a building career has ended this way. Just to tell you of something I experienced on a site in a beachside suburb of sydney, an ambulance had to attend my site for suspected broken limbs, just as they were loading the patient onto the trolley some guy from the many onlookers around leaned over & handed over a business card from a very well known law firm well known for compensation cases, nothing ever came of it, but it does happen.
    regards inter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    I think you are just lucky or live in an area with not much demand for work.
    Hardly. Plenty of work here and nowhere near enough tradespeople. Too many of the young uns go pootling off into the mining industry and many of those remaining don't want to go through the bureacratic pain of operating their own business so they often work for the commercial & industrial guys who charge industrial pay rates...

    You certainly can't hire a general builder round here any time soon...I can get a whole house made in terms of compiling the parts off a plan but there's no-one around whose both available & licenced to put it together!!

    I suspect your particular problem is that you make the proverbial rod for your own back with your attitude and everyone takes the opportunity to flog you with it.
    Joined RF in 2006...Resigned in 2020.

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    Quote Originally Posted by r3nov8or View Post
    Moondog, I did say "trades are not professions", and did not say tradies cannot behave professionally, and very many do. You also sort of confirmed my point.

    A little reading into what it means to be considered a Professional, and this one in particular made me smile -

    "A high standard of professional ethics, behaviour and work activities while carrying out one's profession (as an employee, self-employed person, career, enterprise, business, company, or partnership/associate/colleague, etc.). The professional owes a higher duty to a client, often a privilege of confidentiality, as well as a duty not to abandon the client just because he or she may not be able to pay or remunerate the professional. Often the professional is required to put the interest of the client ahead of his own interests"
    OMG Talk about laugh, I must show this to our last "lawyer"
    Actually I thought i was refuting your point, but everything is open to interpretation, I wonder where politicians fit into this discussion??
    Personally I think the artificial distinctions between Trades // Professionals and Services is an attitude rooted in the late 1800s and needs to disappear very quickly.
    Like calling Army officers Mister because the purchased their commission

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisp View Post
    I'm a firm believer in 'knowledge'. I think a better job happens when the tradie and the DIYer have the required knowledge - or at least enough knowledge to understand what they are getting in to before they start. Even in restricted trades (such as electrical and plumbing) this also holds true. While the DIYer shouldn't legally be doing restricted work, it is better that they understand what should be done (and why) so that they can check that they are getting a good job done.
    I agree with this, the australian standards should be free and easily available to everyone. There is a wealth of information in there that could potentially make a lot of work carried out safer. I know you can buy them for $100 a pop but in reality how many DIYers actually do that, usually the person has already decided if they are capable or not of performing the task before they tackle the minor details and as they say the devil is in the details

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moondog55 View Post
    OMG Talk about laugh, I must show this to our last "lawyer"
    Don't do that, he will bill you for 15 minutes of his time to read it.....
    DIY electrical wiring to AS/NZS3000 - details here - http://goo.gl/9d33T (PDF file)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Splinter View Post
    Don't do that, he will bill you for 15 minutes of his time to read it.....
    Or even better if some one is caught out doing some thing really dodgy all the standards, rules & laws will be read out in court back to them at great expence.
    regards inter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Splinter View Post
    Don't do that, he will bill you for 15 minutes of his time to read it.....
    OH! No!!!!, 15 minutes of "lawyer time" is 3 hours on anybody elses clock

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moondog55 View Post
    OH! No!!!!, 15 minutes of "lawyer time" is 3 hours on anybody elses clock
    And a plumber's

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloss View Post
    mmm no - as my old Stats prof used to say a sample of one (or even a few) is not statistically significant. This was just one guy . . . There are 'dodgy bros' in every type of work - that's why word of mouth is the best form of reference. We could go down the path of talking about clients who want the cheapest quote and expect the highest quality (rather the quality to match the price) and know all about cost and nothing about value, but again because there are some like that does not mean they all are. Oops - strayed into the wrong area again
    How much time do you have?
    I contract tradesman all the time and I can list about 20 dodgy jobs done by tradies only this year. that is 20 out of approx 50.
    I am not your average domestic consumer so have a story or two to tell.

    As for the previous comment by Gaza ... well what do you expect?...that I may be the guy who makes up stories not to pay, I have yet to let go one tradesmen without his pay, deserved or not.
    4 years ago I paid a "plumber" $900 to move a hot water system 5 meters to a temporary position, so all pipes showing. I paid but he lost a customer. And the reason he overcharged me so badly is because I for once did not ask for a quote since he had done a lot of work for me.
    Thebricklayer told me later that he had told him he needed cash to go rockclimbing wiht his girlfriend.
    Also ...how many times have you asked for a quote, even written quote and when it comes to pay you are told...
    "A cheque? aaaaaah but then you have to pay GST !!!"

    I don't know how it is in your neck of the woods but in Sydney it is shonkytown galore, and no I don't take the cheapest quote.
    Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilentButDeadly View Post

    I suspect your particular problem is that you make the proverbial rod for your own back with your attitude and everyone takes the opportunity to flog you with it.
    Well, you can make that assumption but you don't really know me do you?

    The thread is about tradesman versus DIY.
    I say tradesman SHOULD know better all along.
    The fact that many times they fall short is not because of lack of knowledge but because of lack of honesty.

    And the reason people resort to DIY is, at a guess, 20% to do with being stingy, 20% because the money is simply not there, and 60% because of the poor record of the local tradesman.
    How are you going to pay? Because I must add GST to that ......
    Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.
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    [QUOTE=Marc;879711]simply not there, and 60% because of the poor record of the local tradesman.
    QUOTE]

    I think this is a large exaggeration. I lived in Sydney for 28 years including the 80s, worked in the building

    industry all the time and employed many tradesman of all types. I agree there is no shortage of shonks ( they

    come out of the wood work during busy times, the big hail storm that cleaned up most of the roofs from Botany

    to the Eastern suburbs is an example) but a long way short of 60%

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    [QUOTE=goldie1;879719]
    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    simply not there, and 60% because of the poor record of the local tradesman.
    QUOTE]

    I think this is a large exaggeration. I lived in Sydney for 28 years including the 80s, worked in the building

    industry all the time and employed many tradesman of all types. I agree there is no shortage of shonks ( they

    come out of the wood work during busy times, the big hail storm that cleaned up most of the roofs from Botany

    to the Eastern suburbs is an example) but a long way short of 60%
    You misinterpreted my post entirely
    I said that DIYselfers, resort to do it themselves motivated, in 60% of cases ( a wild guess of mine) due to tradesman's bad reputation true or perceived. 40% have other reasons to do it themselves.
    If you want to speculate how many tradesman are dishonest in Sydney, be my guest. I would say 30 to 40% but that is not based on statistics only my own experience.

    The fact remains that even if there is only 5% that are dishonest, the point of this thread is to establish what is the cause of a bad job, and the assumption or overarching speculation is that DIY are ignorant and therefore do a bad job. Tradesman are in the know and do a good job.

    I digress.
    When it may be so in the case of DIY. Bad job because of ignorance or penny pinching, a tradesman does a bad job (if they do and percentages aside) because of dishonesty.
    That is my point.
    PS
    What is an indicator of honesty? How about quoting GST included and not ask for GST on top of the quote at the end of the job?
    Conversely honesty from the consumer. How many ask for a discount for cash?
    Should we bring the BER or pink batts or Solar in the debate?
    Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post

    You misinterpreted my post entirely
    I said that DIYselfers, resort to do it themselves motivated, in 60% of cases ( a wild guess of mine) due to tradesman's bad reputation true or perceived. 40% have other reasons to do it themselves.

    If you want to speculate how many tradesman are dishonest in Sydney, be my guest. I would say 30 to 40% but that is not based on statistics only my own experience.

    The fact remains that even if there is only 5% that are dishonest, the point of this thread is to establish what is the cause of a bad job, and the assumption or overarching speculation is that DIY are ignorant and therefore do a bad job. Tradesman are in the know and do a good job.

    I digress.
    When it may be so in the case of DIY. Bad job because of ignorance or penny pinching, a tradesman does a bad job (if they do and percentages aside) because of dishonesty.
    That is my point.
    PS
    What is an indicator of honesty? How about quoting GST included and not ask for GST on top of the quote at the end of the job?
    Conversely honesty from the consumer. How many ask for a discount for cash?
    Should we bring the BER or pink batts or Solar in the debate?
    I don't misinterpret your post at all. 60% of DIY is a result of fear of shonky tradies. Marc your dreaming!
    The bit you did get right is it was a wild guess on your part. 60% as a result of watching TV reno shows more like it.

    This last bit about the pink batts etc reinforces my point that shonks come out of the woodwork during busy times

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    Still off the mark, anyway, who cares.
    By the way what is it with the antagonism?

    60% or 6% is irrelevant, are bad jobs a result of ignorance in your view?
    A mild case of injudicious trade person. He or she just forgotten?

    The plumber who installed a solar hot water system in a rental, bent the pipes under the house using his knee or similar method, kinking them all so badly that the water made a sound like an antiaircraft alarm.
    He must have just forgotten how to do it !
    Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteV View Post
    the bit that gives me the @@@@@, is when some so called diy'ers, begrudge the income of tradesmen, or classify a whole trade based on their limited experience.


    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.






    It also seems someone else is using this thread to stroke their own ego...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Still off the mark, anyway, who cares.
    By the way what is it with the antagonism?

    60% or 6% is irrelevant, are bad jobs a result of ignorance in your view?
    A mild case of injudicious trade person. He or she just forgotten?

    The plumber who installed a solar hot water system in a rental, bent the pipes under the house using his knee or similar method, kinking them all so badly that the water made a sound like an antiaircraft alarm.
    He must have just forgotten how to do it !
    No antagonism from me. Part of your post was over the top IMO and I said so.

    Bad jobs are a result of lots of things. Crooks, shonks, cowboys, people who don't care, thieves, people with

    hangovers, people who hate their jobs, the list goes on

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    Hey, I have thought of a 'definiton' of trades versus professions that IMHO fits most but not all situations.

    When you need a professional you go to them
    When you need a tradesman they come to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by r3nov8or View Post
    Hey, I have thought of a 'definiton' of trades versus professions that IMHO fits most but not all situations.

    When you need a professional you go to them
    When you need a tradesman they come to you.
    The definition of "professional" is very broad and can be synonyms with "livelihood", "quality" or it can mean "learned professional".

    I'd suggest that a possible distinction between trades and professions could be:
    • a "professional" is employed/paid for what they know;
    • a "tradesman" is employed/paid for what they produce;


    A professional is primarily employed for their knowledge, whereas a tradesman would be primarily employed for what they make/build. A professional would design a building, a tradesman would construct it. Either could do it badly ("unprofessionally") or could do it well ("professionally").
    There is no middle ground between facts and fallacies - argumentum ad temperantiam

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