Aussie tradies see jump in work as virus spreads
Householders unsure whether to call in tradies during the time of coronavirus have been advised to use technology for an expert opinion from a safe distance.
Showing tradespeople the issue via video conferencing services like Facetime, Skype - or with photos and a follow-up call - can be a good first step to deciding if a job needs doing now or can wait, said experts at tradie hub hipages.
Stuart Tucker, hipages chief customer officer, warned that putting off some jobs means "they can snowball into bigger tasks or have knock-on effects that are often more costly than they would have been in the first place".
"For example a small roof leak may result in significant water damage if not attended to,' he added.
"More cosmetic jobs such as painting can either be delayed or DIY'd in the short term if you have the skills."
To decide what to tackle, customers can post photos of jobs on the hipages website before talking in more detail to a specific licenced tradie.
Sydney builder Jonathan Hayes, owner of Tailored Construction Group, said for some people working from home would be a good opportunity to get trusted professionals in, with both customers and tradies practising safety measures around sanitation and distancing.
"Tradies will ask about exposure and risk before working in your home as they are keeping updated on what they need to do to ensure a safe workplace," he said.
Mr Tucker said hipages was providing its 40,000 tradies with up-to-date safety advice. He added: "Our tradies know that transparent communication with customers at this time is even more important."
Hipages experienced a 50 per cent year-on-year jump in gardening jobs for the last two months, and they are in the top five for March after plumbers, handymen and electricians.
Sydney gardener John McMillan, owner of General Lawns and Landscapes, said he had experienced a spike in smaller maintenance jobs, despite coronavirus fears.
"Requests to scope our larger jobs are still incoming however there seems to be uncertainty from many clients on commencement dates," he added.
"There hasn't been a better time for Australians to focus on their outdoors - it is well known that being outside is far healthier than in an enclosed environment, and gardening is such a therapeutic activity."
Originally published as Aussie tradies see jump in work as virus spreads