By Lana

“Could a tradie could SAVE your marriage!?” Really? How so? Hey, don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some good tradies across our reno projects. They turned up on time, did a quality job, they were fast, on budget, friendly, and on occasion - easy on the eye, but how that translates into saving a marriage is beyond me. In fact, based on my fading recollection of Desperate Housewives, I thought the buff-bodied Pool-Boy/Gardener was not really helping Eva Longoria’s marriage at all. 


But apparently it’s true – a tradie CAN save your marriage. Yellow Pages’ research has found that 62% of us admit that unfinished tasks around the home have made us stressed or caused tension in our relationships. I can relate – can you?  

And the unfortunate part is that most of us (according to the research) have 13 outstanding tasks to be done ….and everyone’s lists are growing.

So, I started to wonder –what’s stopping us Aussies (me included) from getting the jobs done?  Well the research goes on to reveal that our perennial procrastination is driven by a lack of time and money (yep makes sense), but the overriding reason is that we overestimate how much the jobs will cost to get done, and drastically overestimate the cost of hiring a professional tradesman.

Check out the stats:


 Now price isn’t everything when finding the right tradie and I have heard some horror stories from other mums at school pick-up time.

I think everyone knows to get a few quotes before choosing a tradie, but how to compare those tradies (and their quotes) is not as clear-cut … and we know how the story goes “if you pay peanuts, you get ……. “.  

Based on our experience with tradies, here are some things (other than price) you should consider when comparing them: 

  1. Communication - which tradie did you have the best conversation with?  Who do you feel understands your expectations best? Good communication with your tradie is a must.
  2. Quality - ask what job they recently finished and if you could see photos of that work.  You can also ask to call the client of that last job to get a reference.
  3. Credentials – it’s best to work with licensed and insured tradies.  It means they have the right skills for the job and you are protected if they injure themselves while doing the work.
  4. Professionalism – when you ask for a written quote, they should be able to provide this for you.  If they can’t, then they’re probably not the best choice.  Another easy test of their professionalism is taking note if they turned up on time to quote.
  5. Payment – check that your tradie is happy for payment to be made at the end of the job. If they want it all paid upfront, choose someone else.  Having said that, some tradies, like Landscapers, have to outlay significant money buying materials for your job so it is reasonable for you to make a part-payment during those types of tasks.
  6. Timing – One of the biggest problems with tradies is around timing - turning up late, delaying jobs, dragging out jobs, not finishing jobs on time and the list goes on.  Spend time talking with your tradie about the strict timeline you have for this job and how they are going to manage it to ensure it’s done on time.  This simple conversation might uncover a complete disconnect in expectations.

Ok so back to the headline that a tradie could save your marriage. True or false?  Well perhaps I exaggerated slightly but I’m that a growing to-do list around the house causes angst and stress.  I have some old brass taps in our bathroom that require body-builder strength and gorilla hands to turn off properly. My options are: a) join a gym and hit the protein powder or b) call a plumber.  I know which one I’ll be choosing.  xx