Using a Licensed Plumber
The most important thing to remember when choosing your plumber or gasfitter (or any tradesperson for that matter) is that they must be licensed with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC). The QBCC is a government statutory authority established to regulate the building and construction industry, and to provide information and advice to consumers and contractors throughout Queensland.
Generally, building work over the value of $3,300 must be carried out by a QBCC licensed contractor, however, Plumbing, Drainage, Gas Fitting, Hydraulic Services Design and Fire Protection are among some of the types of building work that must be performed by a licensed contractor, regardless of the value of the work.
A contractor that holds a QBCC licence has met certain minimum requirements of technical merit and financial soundness.
* Contractors carrying out asbestos removal or demolition work must also hold a licence from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.
The QBCC has provided some handy steps to follow when choosing your contractor:
- Make a list of local contractors you think can do your job
- Take the time to research your local area and plumbers that service your area
- Get recommendations from friends and family who have recently engaged a contractor
- MPAQ’s Find A Master Plumber search facility is a FREE service that you can use to help you find plumbers and gasfitters in your area
- Check the contractor’s licence
- Request the contractor’s licence number and conduct a licence search on the QBCC website or by calling the QBCC on 139 333
- Always request to view the plumbers or contractor’s licence when they arrive to commence work on your property
- Ensuring your contractor is fully licensed will protect you under the QBCC’s home warranty insurance scheme, which insures your home against major defects for six years and six months (for works over $3,300)
- Get at least 3 quotes
- Contact at least three licenced contractors and request a written quote. Make sure the quotes are for the same work requirements so that you can easily compare them later.
- Ask the contractor for the details of recent clients
- In most circumstances it is reasonable for you to ask any contractor for details of similar work they’ve done in the past, however the previous client must agree to have their contact details provided to avoid breaching any privacy policies
- Select your contractor and get started!
- Ask about, and obtain a copy of, any special warranties the contractor may provide
- Obtain a copy of the contract and – before signing anything – seek legal advice on any point you don’t understand
- Make sure the contractor gives you a copy of a QBCC-approved Consumer Building Guide if required
- Remember there is a ‘cooling-off’ period of five business days where you may withdraw from the contract but only if you did not receive formal legal advice before entering into the contract
- Check that all details of your agreement with the contractor are included in the contract (if required), including any changes (‘variations’) made after the contract is signed
- Never pay the full price up front or too large a deposit, and don’t pay progress payments in advance of work progress unless agreed to prior to work commencing