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There is no system of trade licensing in Western Australia, so it’s an “open market” for roof carpenters. Word of mouth, referral from friends or advertisements in the local community newspaper or the Yellow Pages are the main sources of supply.

In terms of checking a “tradie’s” credentials, you could seek verification of formal trade training e.g. apprenticeship certificate.  You can also ask for a list of previous clients or request an inspection of recent work.

There are other safeguards to consider.  Firstly be careful of tradespersons seeking sizeable deposits.  Under the Home Building Contracts Act (1991), the maximum deposit for “building and associated work” is 6.5 per cent of contract value for building works contracts over $7,500.  Be wary of tradespersons seeking up to 50 per cent deposit.  In addition progress claims cannot be sought before the completion of the relevant stage of building work.  You should also note that a registered builder is required for building work valued at over $20,000.

Make sure that your agreement is in writing, and do not rely on handshake agreements, even if the tradesperson is known to you.  Many friendships have been destroyed due to misunderstandings about the nature, scope or agreed price of building work.

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