If you're building, extending or renovating your property it is always recommended that you use a qualified, licensed professional. You can:
- ask friends, family or neighbours for recommendations
- look for adverts on television, online, in newspapers or on the radio - the advert should include the company's license number and name
- look in a business directory
- search online.
Things to remember
When looking for a tradesperson or builder you should:
- be aware of your rights and responsibilities
- get at least three quotes
- check the public licensing register to make sure they are legally allowed to carry out the work or are registered as a supervisor
- check the assurances register to make sure there haven't been any complaints
- ask for three referees and a list of addresses for building work they have completed within the last 12 months so you can check the quality of their work.
Never sign a contract without carefully reading it first. Do not sign it if there is something that you don't understand or are unsure of - ask the tradesperson to clarify any areas or contact Consumer and Business Services
(CBS) for advice and information.
Building work contractors performing any work costing $12,000 or more and requiring council approval must take out building indemnity insurance
Checking the public licensing register
Certain tradespeople must be licensed with CBS before they are legally permitted to carry out work. These licenses can be issued to an individual, to a company or to the partners running a business.
Tradespeople who must be licensed include:
- builders and supervisors
You can check that a company or person is licensed
online by checking the public licensing register or by contacting CBS
You can search for a company or individual on this register by:
- the individual’s name
- the company name
- a license number
- the suburb or town they are registered under.
If the tradesperson is licensed interstate or in New Zealand they must apply for mutual recognition of their license before they can legally carry out work in South Australia. Check they are licensed
through the License Recognition website.
You can ask the tradesperson to show you their license card which will have their photo and their licensing information, or you can ask them to give you this information.
Checking the assurances register
The assurances register
is a list of tradespeople who have given their formal guarantee that they will not engage in specified unlawful conduct - eg carrying out building work without a license.
These assurances are given voluntarily after CBS has investigated a complaint lodged about the company or the individual’s business practices.
Reporting an unlicensed tradesperson
If a builder or tradesperson does not hold a license they are not legally entitled to carry out the work. Tradespeople carrying out work without a license can be fined up to $20,000.
You can lodge a complaint about a tradesperson with CBS - see Disputes with a builder or tradesperson
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On this siteUsing a licensed electrician and electrical certificates of complianceUsing a licensed gas fitter and gas certificates of compliance
DownloadsBuilding extending or renovating homeThinking of moving or renovating your homeUsing a tradesperson or builder
For an alternative version of these documents contact Consumer and Business Services