interior designer melbourne

Working with Tradies

The most important characteristic of a tradesperson is good communication. After years of working with tradies good communication continues to be the one thing that makes or breaks the project. More so than price or experience. While those are also key factors to consider, the ability to communicate clearly and effectively must be a non-negotiable when hiring a tradesperson. Especially, as you want to project to turn out exactly to your vision. So, here are my tips on how to find and work with tradies.

Finding trades people for quotes

Finding the right tradesperson to work on your home project can be tricky. Many people don’t even know where to start their search. While there are often many tradespeople available for hire, you want to vet them before officially engaging them. Here are a few ways to find a tradesperson near you:

  • Google the trade service you are looking for and your location
  • Join local Facebook groups for tradespeople
  • Online referral sites such as
  • Ask friends and family who have completed similar projects with the help of a tradesperson.

Remember, first impressions count on both ends. If you find a tradesperson and they make a poor first impression, such as being late for a meeting. Or poorly communicating via online messenger, stick to your gut and continue your search. First impressions are often good indicators of how the entire project will pan out.

Similarly, you want to make a good first impression on them. Tradespeople are busy and many times running their own business. Their time is important to them and you will not want to waste it. Do your homework about your project and try to learn the language of various materials and techniques, that way you can be informed when discussing your needs with your tradesperson.

Comparing apples with apples

Makes sure you are briefing all the tradespeople you meet with the same information. Read them all the same list of requirements and explain your project goals and visions the same way each time. It is important to compare everyone based on the same information to make an informed decision about who to hire.

One of the many benefits of working with an interior designer is they will prepare the documentation for briefing tradespeople so you can be sure you are comparing everyone equally. An interior designer will take the time to learn your vision fully so they can help you find the best tradesperson for the job.

Reviewing a quote

After briefing a tradesperson they will have the necessary info to give you a quote on how much the project will cost. Remember, all trades are different and therefore quote differently. While it may be tempting to accept the lowest offer, remember to consider their communication skills and trade experience as well.

It is in your best interest to get legal advice on the terms and conditions before signing any contracts. They can also help you review inclusions, exclusions, and allowances. You will want to be sure the tradesperson is properly registered and insured before they start working for you.

Ask questions and seek referrals

The last step before signing a contract and hiring a tradesperson is to ask all your questions and open up the conversation for them to ask questions as well. If you are working with an interior designer you already have a trusted second opinion but, if you are not, you can also ask to speak to a recent client for a second opinion about the tradesperson you are hiring.

Discuss the quote, payment schedule, availability, and conflict resolution with your tradesperson ahead of time so you are both prepare when things go wrong, and they inevitably will. A tradesperson cannot anticipate everything and neither can you. Discussing how problems are dealt with ahead of time will ensure your project is completed with a quality finish, in a timely fashion, even if it isn’t to the timeline you originally intended.

Why you should work with an interior designer

An interior designer adds so much value to your home project and makes your experience of hiring and working with a tradesperson incredibly easier. Interior designers are already streets ahead of you in terms of experience working with trades people. They have a better understanding of what to look for in a tradesperson and what an appropriate price is for the project. Not to mention, interior designers have the time to manage tradespeople on the job site which will save you from checking in on them every step of the way.

From start to finish, an interior designer will make your project easier to work with tradies. From offering referrals for tradespeople and providing documents for vetting them equally, to managing the project site and making your visions come to life. Contact us at 0499 656 737 for more information about how I can help with your next home project. Click here for even more tips on working with tradespeople.