Help me understand what tradies I'm going to need
June 3, 2015 10:55 PM   Subscribe

I have a bunch of (mostly small) jobs that I need done around the house, and I'm trying to figure out how many different tradies I need to hire to do them: installing a bathroom vanity; replacing about ten tiles in the shower; installing a new pendant light; servicing the ducted gas heating; installing underfloor insulation (although I'm considering DIYing this); and removing half a staircase. Do I need to hire a different person for each task, or can they be batched somehow? (I assume the tiles and vanity can be done by the same person at least).

Note: this is in Australia, so I'd prefer Australian answers as these sorts of things differ somewhat regionally and culturally.

We finally bought a house (thanks for all house-related answers to previous questions!) (It isn't the circular lounge place of my previous question, in case you are wondering.)

There are a few small jobs we will need to do once we move in, and while we prefer to DIY, presumably we will have to get tradies to do some of it (by law, in the case of the light fitting and plumbing, for example). I don't have a firm grasp of what sorts of tradies do what sorts of jobs, but I also don't want to hire a general contractor if I don't need to, since I'm happy to do all the project management stuff myself as long as I can figure out who I need. I'm a bit worried that some of the jobs might be too small for someone to want to come out for (e.g. wiring one light fitting). Is that likely?

As for the staircase, it is currently a sort of inverted v that goes up half a floor to the lounge (the house is split-level). We want to remove half of the v so that it goes from the front entryway to the lounge, and not back down to the kitchen on the other side as it does now. (That way we can use the space where the second half of the stairs are now as a walk-in pantry.) We would need to put in a wall at the top of the stairs, too, of course. I've tried to draw what I mean here and the floorplan is here, in case it's unclear. I'm assuming this is not really DIY-able. But what sort of tradie would we approach for this job? And does anyone know if we would need a council permit for it? (NSW)
posted by lollusc to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
Not sure if there are intercontinental terminology differences or special rules about who can touch what where you are, but the first three jobs are pretty simple and sound like they could be DIY'ed or accomplished by a handyman (i.e. a one-person concern with a truck and some tools and some general fix-it knowledge) while the staircase renovation sounds like the territory of a real builder who would understand the structural implications of your proposed plan and know if reinforcement needs to be added, permits pulled etc.
posted by contraption at 11:04 PM on June 3, 2015

I can't help you on the staircase front, but on Gumtree I found an electrician who worked by the hour and he was happy to come do a few odd jobs for me. I expect you could find similar plumbers out there. By "install the vanity" is it just connecting it to the plumbing or do you need to seal it to the wall? That might be DIY-able, anyway. We're currently renovating two bathrooms and our contractor is the "do the tiling" type himself but he has a dedicated plumber come in to do that specific work, so you might have to look carefully for someone who can claim expertise in both; they don't necessarily overlap. (Or you might just DIY the tile if the waterproofing in place is still good)

I expect the gas heating is someone separate, but I don't know for sure as our only interface to gas maintenance is the guy who replaces our canisters.
posted by olinerd at 11:17 PM on June 3, 2015

You won't need a council permit for virtually anything that happens inside the house. I'm memailing you some recommendations from when we went through all our renovations a couple of years ago. :D
posted by smoke at 11:18 PM on June 3, 2015

Yep, the light fitting you'll need a licensed electrician to do. They'll be fine doing a simple job like that but I'd think of any others you want them to do too as when I got one done the quote was of a call out fee plus an amount per job done. So it works out cheaper to get a bunch of stuff done in one visit.
posted by kitten magic at 5:39 PM on June 4, 2015

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