Selecting your Tradie

The golden rule is to make sure all builders and tradespeople have a valid licence. You can look up the licence details of any contractor on Department of Fair Trading Licence Check or call the Department on 133 220. Anyone doing residential work over $1,000 in value (or specialist work) must have a licence.

By law, all builders and tradespeople must display their licence number on any advertisement for their services.

Specialist tradespeople who carry out any of the following must be licensed regardless of the cost of the work:

  • electrical wiring
  • plumbing, draining and gasfitting work
  • air conditioning and refrigeration work (except plug-in appliances).

When looking for a tradesperson or builder, you may like to:

  • ask people for their personal recommendations
  • ask other people in the industry
  • ask the relevant industry association for a list of names
  • look for advertisements on television, radio, in home buyer magazines or the local newspaper
  • look in the Yellow Pages under 'Building contractors' and under the various types of trade categories.

What does a builder do?

  • manage and coordinate home building or renovation projects
  • manage the purchase and delivery of materials
  • coordinate the work of tradespeople such as plumbers, painters and carpenters involved in the project.

What does a tradesperson do?

A tradesperson has a current licence from the Office of Fair Trading to carry out work in a particular field in the home building industry in NSW.

The term tradesperson includes all licensed:

  • concreters
  • bricklayers
  • carpenters
  • electricians
  • plumbers
  • roof tilers
  • plasterers
  • tilers
  • painters
  • fencers
  • gasfitters

Do you need a builder or tradesperson?

If you want your gutters replaced, your plumbing fixed or your floors sanded, you need a tradesperson.

If you want to add another bedroom or build a new home, you need a builder to organise the right tradespeople to do the work.

What does a supervisor do?

A supervisor is an individual who is responsible for supervising the work under a building contract on behalf of a contracting company or partnership.

They may hold either a qualified supervisors certificate (showing they are qualified to supervise but not enter into contracts) or a contractor licence.

What if the supervisor is an architect?

Where an architect or other person (not being the building contractor) has been contracted separately to supervise the work of the builder, the roles and responsibilities of that person should be clearly defined in an appropriate contract separate from the building contract.

This avoids confusion about what someone is paid to do. Every person working on a residential building work (RBW) project for the property owner should itemise separately their responsibilities in writing, in case of future dispute about who was the principal person responsible (builder) for the whole project.

Project homes

If you choose a design on display at an exhibition home, you will probably use that builder. Unless you have otherwise agreed, your new home must by law, be built to the same standard of work and materials used in the exhibition home.

Before you sign a contract, find out what the standard inclusions are. You will have to negotiate with the project builder if you want any changes to the design, fixtures and fittings.

Plumbers and Drainers

In accordance with the Australian Building Code and Plumbing Code of Australia, all plumbing and gas work requires the following forms to be submitted by plumbers, drainers and gas fitters:

  • Notice of Work is to be issued to Council at least two business days before the work concerned is carried out.
  • Certificate of Compliance is to be issued to Council and to the person for whom the work was carried out, on completion of the final inspection.
  • Sewer Service Diagram is to be issued to Council and the owner of the land or the owner's agent.

A copy of the required forms can be downloaded below:

Combined Notice of Work and Certificate of Compliance form for Plumbing & Drainage (Please note, this form will autofill any details you type into the first page onto the proceeding pages, ie address and name details)

Gas Supply Certificate of Compliance form

Sewerage Diagram Template


Home Building Compensation Cover (Insurance)

Under legislation, both Licensed Builders and Owner Builders are required to take out domestic warranty insurance.

Builders Home Warranty Insurance is required by law for all residential work over $12,000 (other than developments over three storeys) to protect homeowners from non-completion or defective workmanship should their builder disappear, become insolvent or die. Cover extends for six years from completion date.

>> Read more.


Related Pages

Application Determinations

You will find all the details of Development Applications that have been approved on this page.

Development Applications