Need to get some work done around your home? … Don’t know who to use?

Need to get some work done around your home? … Don’t know who to use?

You have some repairs or maintenance that requires a tradesman to do the work? Wondering who you can trust? What will it cost? Are they appropriately qualified and licensed?

At times having repairs, maintenance, alterations or additions done seems like a big task. These days there are so many hoops to jump through, so many horror stories, so many pitfalls. Well, it doesn’t have to be like that!

This article will give you some steps to follow, which will make it a little easier.

First off … why bother? … a well maintained home will always fetch a better sale price … repairing and maintaining as you go, will always be cheaper than having to do it later when the job has got huge … using qualified and licensed tradesmen will give you the consumer, warrenty’s and rights.

I know from completing earthquake assessments in Christchurch, that well maintained properties were a. easier to assess and b. the claims and repairs were completed more efficiently. Secondly, from completing Pre-purchase inspections for house sale, that well maintained properties are easier to assess, have less issues and the sale process is quicker.

Each week I inspect houses, that have been poorly maintained or have unauthorised building works (alterations or additions that were not consented) all this does is slow the sale process down and drives the price down. Then it needs to be sorted.

Trades and Licenses

The apprenticeship scheme has changed many times of the last 30 years, while Tradies no longer turn up in a woollen suit to do a days work, they still need to be professional!

Hint 1: Ask friends work colleagues and family for names, numbers and references for Tradies they have used. This is often the best start point.

Since 2012, certain Trades have had to be licensed under the Building Act 2004. This was a result of large changes made due to the “Leaky Home” issues. Certain tasks which is known as “restricted works” can only be carried out by Licensed Building Practitioners (LBP’s).

Restricted building works is anything that is either structural (foundation, wall & roof framing) or to do with the outside envelope (wall claddings or roofing). Pretty much anything Restricted will need a Building Consent or an Exemption from the Council. Designers are also required to be Licensed. While Electricians, Gas fitters, Plumbers and Drain-layers are all registered.

The following is a breakdown of Trades, Licensing bodies, Public Registration websites and Professional Associations (these are often voluntry memberships)

Hint 2: Check the Public Register






LBP – Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Certified Builders or Master Builders


LBP – Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Roofing Association New Zealand


LBP – Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Exterior Plastering

LBP – Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Brick and Block Laying

LBP – Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Brick & Block Layers Federation of NZ


LBP – Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Architectural Designers New Zealand


Registration – Electrical Workers Registration Board

Master Electricians


Registration – Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainage Board

Master Plumbers


Registration – Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainage Board

Master Plumbers

Drain layers

Registration – Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainage Board

Master Plumbers


Registration – Institute of Professional Engineers of NZ


Registrations – NZ Registered Architects Boards


Certificate of Competence – Scaffolding, Access & Rigging NZ Inc


Asbestos Removal

Licensed – Work Safe NZ

Other Trades that are not required to have a license

Internal Plasterers (Gib stoppers)

NZ Fibrous Plaster Association


Master Painters NZ


Tile Association of NZ

Some Product producers will “Accredit or License” people who have undertaken their companies in-house training to be approved at applying or installing a particular product. You will often see the terms “Accredited Installer” or “Licensed Applicator”.

Hint 3: If you are unsure about this, don’t be shy, just give the Company whose product that is going to be installed a call and check with them first.


Hint 4: Get more than one quote – three as a minimum. I know this sounds a pain to do, but there is always a difference between quotes.

Hint 5: Not only ask what they have included, but also what they have NOT included and WHY?


By law any construction work over $30,000 (including GST) MUST have a written contract, below that threshold it is optional.

Hint 6: Get a written contract, no matter what size it is, the larger the job get your Lawyer to have a look at it first, there are always hooks!

Make sure you understand the terms and conditions around when and how payments  are to be made and what needs to happen if there is an issue with either the work or invoice.

Hint 7: Most issues onsite revolve around the lack of communication. Ask questions, raise concerns early, ask about the process. On larger jobs, regular meetings help this.

When the job is finished

Hint 8: Get all the paperwork from all the suppliers and trades – Warrenty’s, Record of Building Works, Certificates of Compliance

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