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Choosing a Contractor

When you are thinking of doing work on your home, choosing a builder or contractor is one of the most important decisions you can make.

Find a contractor

There are many ways to find contractors:
  • QBCC trade contractor search
  • referrals from friends or family
  • industry associations (e.g. QMBA, HIA etc.)
  • internet searches
  • local newspapers and advertisements
  • on-site signs
  • building material suppliers (e.g. hardware stores).


When looking at ads it helps to note what the contractor specialises in. If their speciality is the type of job you need done (e.g. building a patio) then they are more likely to be experienced enough to manage issues that may come up.

Check their QBCC Licence

Check that contractors hold a QBCC licence, even for small jobs. A QBCC licence shows they hold relevant qualifications and experience in that field of work.

Remember, it is illegal for an unlicensed contractor to do work over $3,300.

There are 2 ways to check a QBCC licence:

  • QBCC online licence search which shows the contractor’s name, licence class (i.e. what work they can do) and full licence history (including disciplinary history if any).
  • QBCC licence card - the contractor’s name, licence number, licence class and expiry date are shown.

Contacting contractors

When you first contact a contractor be clear about the job you want done. If you have plans and specifications already prepared, provide these so they know the full scope of the work. It is essential you give all the contractors exactly the same information to ensure you can accurately compare.

Give them a reasonable timeframe to provide further information such as quotes and how long it would take to do the work.

At the end of the given time, think about the following points:

  • Did the contractor provide a detailed quote within the agreed time?
  • Did the contractor provide good customer service (e.g. polite, responsive and professional)?
  • Did the contractor offer references/previous work examples?

How many quotes?

We recommend at least 3 quotes based on the plans/specifications or your requirements. The cheapest quote is not always the best. Ensure you read through the quotes carefully to make sure all your requirements are included and always try to obtain a fixed price.

Choose a licensed contractor that you trust.

Signing a contract

Once you have chosen a contractor, obtain a copy of the contract and obtain legal advice on any points you don’t understand.

Our signing a contract page has more information about contracts.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
11/10/2013 1:56 PM

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