3 great reasons to check your builder's licence

Your home is a big investment. Whether you’re building your dream home, renovating your apartment, or doing some urgent repairs, make sure you employ the right person for the job.

Always use builders or tradies who have the right licence

In NSW, anyone undertaking residential building work worth more than $5,000, or any specialist work such as plumbing or electrical work, must have a licence from NSW Fair Trading.

Find out if your builder is licensed

Unfortunately, most people don’t check licences before engaging a tradesperson, exposing themselves to increased risks. Every year Fair Trading receives hundreds of complaints and enquiries about unlicensed home building tradespeople. If you still aren’t convinced to do a licence check, consider the following.

Use a licensed builder or tradie to ensure:

  1. They are properly trained and have the right qualifications
  2. You are dealing with a legitimate business
  3. You have the best available consumer protection – when you use a licensed builder or tradie, you can use NSW Fair Trading’s free dispute resolution service if you run into problems you cannot resolve on your own.

Checking your builder’s licence is quick and easy

First, ask the builder or tradesperson for their licence details (name and number). All builders and tradespeople must display their licence number on any advertisement for their services.

You can check these details on this website.

Simply enter any, or a combination, of these details - licensee name, licence number, trade or suburb. You should check results for the following:

  • Is the licence current? Current records are marked with a green tick. Expired licenses have a red cross.
  • Do the details match what the builder or tradesperson gave you?
  • Is the licence the right type for the work you are doing? For example, they need a gas plumbing licence to do gas plumbing work.

Check your builder's license now

More tips to choose a builder or tradie

Doing a licence check is a must do but there are a couple of other things you should consider before selecting a builder or tradesperson.

Get personal recommendations from friends and family – this can be a great way to create an initial shortlist of suppliers so you can start checking licences and get in contact for quotes and availability. Once you have a shortlist of licensed builders and tradespeople get written quotes for the same plans and specifications. Beware of quotes that are a lot cheaper than the others - the quality of the work may be compromised. Ask potential suppliers to provide references and contact details for previous clients so you can check on their past performance.

Following these tips and doing a licence check on your builder or tradie is a quick and easy way to get your next building project off to a healthy start and prevent problems down the track. So before you give a builder or tradie a job, do a licence check!