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Employing Others To Do Maintenance Work

Employing Others To Do Maintenance Work

Not everyone wants to, or feels capable of, carrying out their own maintenance. When employing others to do maintenance work for you there are a number of steps you should follow. Prior to obtaining prices or quotes you should prepare a list for the persons quoting for your work which clearly outlines:

  • The work you want the person to do
  • When you want it done by (or have the tradesperson state when they can start the work and how long it will take)
  • The standard of preparation required
  • What materials should be used e.g. for painting, acrylic or oil-based paint; undercoat and two finish coats
  • The guarantees you want on the person’s workmanship
  • Responsibility for damage caused and the insurance cover the person should have
  • When you will make payments (on jobs taking less than a month this will be when work is complete) and that you will hold back 10% of the cost of major work (usually for a month) to cover any call-backs to remedy defects

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Getting A Quote

You should also ask for the hourly rate for additional or unforeseen work. Contractors should be asked to notify you as soon as unforeseen work becomes apparent and to await your instructions before proceeding.

It’s a good idea to get quotes from at least three tradespeople, unless you have used a particular tradesperson before and are satisfied with their workmanship and costs. However, with all maintenance and repairs, additional work (and cost) can often be required because the full extent of the work was not able to be determined at the time of quoting.

On larger jobs it is advisable to obtain written fixed price quotes so you know exactly how much you have to pay. For smaller jobs a written estimate giving a maximum cost should be sufficient.

Once you have your prices you must select the person to do the job. Be wary of any price which is significantly lower or higher than the others, particularly if the other prices are all similar. Before finally deciding you should ask to see examples of previous work to see if it appears to be satisfactory, or ask for the names of previous customers whom you can contact.

Trade Associations

Using members of trade associations such as the New Zealand Master Builders Federation, New Zealand Master Plumbers and Gasfitters Association, ECANZ (Master Electricians) or the New Zealand Master Painters means that these organisations can be approached to help sort out any problems associated with unsatisfactory work or performance.

If you are unsure about supervising the work yourself you can employ a third person, such as a BRANZ Accredited Adviser, building consultant, architect, draughtsperson or clerk who works on an hourly basis to do an interim and final check on the work carried out. An expert third person can also provide advice when determining the extent of unforeseen work or the fairness of charges made. The final check should be completed by this expert before final payment is made.

If necessary you can also get a building consultant to help with the preparation of a maintenance plan for your property.

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