Hiring tradies at a distance.

 
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Byline: ROBYN WILLIS

You asked: Now that I'm spending more time working from home, I'm more aware of the things that need fixing around the house. Is it still OK to have tradies visit or should I try to do it myself?

WORKING from home in recent weeks has certainly had its share of ups and downs for many households. Finding room for everyone to work and negotiating individual daily routines in a full house has been challenging for many.

But with all this time at home, Hipages chief customer officer Stuart Tucker says we're also noticing something else - the number of odd jobs that require attention.

"Now that we're settling into the new norm, a couple of things are happening," Stuart says. "We're noticing jobs around the house that need to be done, particularly gardening and outdoor jobs." With some homeowners rightly concerned about social distancing, this has led to a rise in DIY projects, as evidenced by the long queues at hardware store chains such as Bunnings. However, Stuart says the outcomes have been mixed.

"We have a great culture of DIY in this country but people do need to know their limits," he says. "Our research has shown that the older you are, the wiser you are. Gen Y are the biggest culprits of DIY disasters at 27 per cent with Baby Boomers less likely to stuff up DIY with 16 per cent ending in tears." Fixing DIY attempts can be an expensive exercise. Stuart suggests getting some expert help from the outset.

"Sometimes, it's about knowing when to get a tradie in," he says. "It's essential for things like electrical work or dangerous things like climbing ladders.

"I have booked a job to get my gutters cleaned because I am not going to get up on the roof - I want a professional to come in and do a job like that." At the moment, the official government advice is that if it's a job you can put off, you should.

By law, electrical work and some plumbing tasks must be done by a licensed professional.

Stuart says there are ways of adhering to the advice on social distancing and still safely engage a tradie to come to your...

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