Getting the job done right

by Anonymous Author

A boom in the local population, coupled with a buoyant real estate market has seen the value of Selwyn homes increase substantially in recent years.

Nevertheless, now the inevitable has occurred — those who specialise in making new homes and existing homes better are in hot demand. With winter approaching fast, this has led to a ‘time squeeze’ on our local tradies, with two outcomes.

The first is that waiting for a job to be undertaken is the ‘new normal’ in what was once an ‘instant gratification’ marketplace.

All tradespeople from all parts of the industry agree — if you are qualified and competent — right now, you will be busy. That means that gone are the days of being able to begin work this very minute — except in dire emergencies.

The call from tradespeople is clear — if you have a job that needs doing, plan ahead and talk to them sooner rather than later. While our local glaziers, electricians, plumbers and more, will still move heaven and earth to help those in true distress; elective projects like renovations, room additions, upgrades and expansions are on a timetable as one would expect in many of the world’s big cities.

The good news — it’s a great time to be a qualified professional right now. There’s plenty of work available for those looking to make a ‘sea change’ and quit the rat race, with many of our long-established tradespeople hiring new talent.

There’s also a golden opportunity for apprentices to learn the fundamentals and rise to becoming qualified in their own right. It’s at times like these when we must thank those companies who have had the foresight to train apprentices during leaner years, in time for what is happening now.

And it is not just a growth in the trade services that Selwyn is experiencing.

There has been a steady rise in the number of professional services, such as accountancy, law, engineering and health, being offered in Selwyn, meaning locals do not have to travel into the big smoke to get the help they need.

Many of those now offering those services were commuters themselves, travelling into Christchurch for work, but now with the rapid growth in population across the district are now able to base themselves locally. 

There is, however, another aspect of this kind of scenario, which comes into play.

Many of the tradespeople in Selwyn have heard about unqualified workers with limited experience and no credentials taking advantage of the credulous and frantic.

The message from both the government and professional organisations is clear — you don’t need the trouble, which unlicensed tradies bring. Since new laws came into effect to upgrade building practices, penalties for impersonating a real electrician, builder, roofer or fireplace specialist, for example, have gotten perilously steep. Massive fines can be just the beginning — and not just for the fraudulent worker.

It’s an offence to knowingly hire an unqualified person to undertake certain sensitive areas of work — structural building, electrical wiring, plumbing and sanitation — the list goes on. Being slapped with a penalty could be the mildest of outcomes should things go truly wrong.

With winter nearly here the list of jobs to be undertaken around the home seems to double.

The advice from our hard-working local tradespeople is more important now than ever — it’s better to wait a week or two to have the job done once and done right than to buy a bungled black-market job that will need to be fixed by a pro further down the track in any case.

Above all else, talk to your locals now before the cold really bites — that way you’ll be top of the list before winter bares its icy teeth.