Choosing a contractor
Finding the right person to carry out your building project is essential. We make the process easier by providing examples of questions to ask and the best places to search for trade contractors, builders, plumbers and certifiers.
Who must hold a QBCC licence
When you're getting building work done it's important to use a licensed contractor, as they have the relevant qualifications and experience to complete your job.
Find out who must hold a QBCC licence.
Why should you always use a licensed contractor?
With all the do-it-yourself programs around, people can be forgiven for believing anyone can deliver an award-winning home renovation in a weekend. The reality is very different, as are the potential pitfalls of using someone unlicensed.
Using an unlicensed contractor increases the likelihood of defective and unfinished work. It may void your access to Queensland Home Warranty Insurance, a scheme designed to assist home owners when these issues occur.
Licensed contractors have proven they have the skills and experience to perform the work they are licensed for, so they are the obvious choice for your next construction project.
How to spot an unlicensed contractor?
One telltale sign of an unlicensed contractor is the lack of detail provided in their advertising. They may also promote a low price for their services to help disguise this fact.
All licensed contractors in Queensland are required by law to provide specific details in any advertising for their services.
These details are:
- contractor's name - a contractor can be a person or a business. This must match the name the QBCC licence is registered under.
- the QBCC licence number - this is unique to that contractor.
If you are after general maintenance work under $3,300, the contractor must state in their ad that they can only do work up to this value.
So, if you see an ad without these details, there's a chance they may be unlicensed.
Below are examples of advertising that you might see, one good, one bad. To avoid using the name or numbers of actual contractors, we've kept the details generic.
Find a licensed contractor
The easiest way to find a licensed contractor is using the QBCC's free find a local contractor online search. It allows you to select the type of work you want done, as well as a location and radius. Your results will be a list of all contractors in that area, along with their licence class and contact details.
If you have a licensee's licence number or name you can look them up on our QBCC licensee register. This function offers more information, including a complete licence history. You may find this helpful to narrow down the licensed contractors you're considering.
One of the most effective ways to find a contractor is to get referrals from family or friends. You'll get insight into the quality of the builder's work, and the standard of their customer service.
If you don't know anyone who has recently built, you can go online and search for contractors in your local area using your browser.
If you're looking through the ads in your local newspaper, a tip to make sure you get the right person for your job is to look at their specialty. A contractor who is doing only one type of construction work is likely to have more experience and knowledge in that area.
Another way of finding a contractor is to take note of any building work going on in your neighbourhood. There will always be a sign on display, which should contain all the builder's contact details.
You can also contact industry associations, like the QMBA or HIA, as well as building material suppliers and hardware stores.
Find a licensed certifier
Generally, your builder will organise a building certifier to approve building work.
However, if you want to engage the certifier yourself, you can find one using our free search function find a local contractor.
Select Building Certifier in the drop down menu and then enter your town or suburb for a current list of all licensed certifiers available in that location.
If you engage a building certifier, all relevant parties must be aware of the certifier's engagement, role and responsibilities.
You can also check a certifier's licence details using the QCC licensee register.
If you're after a list of every licensed certifier registered in Queensland, please complete the form:
List of licensed certifiers request form (PDF, KB)
Pay the fee of $15 and lodge the form with us:
- in person at a service centre
- by mail.
Requests are processed within 5 working days.
How to check a QBCC licence
To find out more about a licensee you can use our QBCC licensee register. We give you information about the type of work they do, as well as their history (any disciplinary action).
You can also call us on 139 333 with the contractor's name, business address and licence number.
Find a licensed plumber
It is important to ensure the right people with the right qualifications and practical experience are performing your plumbing work. By engaging a licensed plumber and/or drainer you minimise unnecessary risks to your family's health and safety.
What licence should a plumber hold?
In some instances, it may be necessary for a plumber to hold both an occupational and contractor licence to carry out work, regardless of the value. An occupational licence enables the person to physically carry out the work, a contractor licence allows the person to engage in a contract for the work. To find out more about a licensee you can
- search the QBCC licensee register
- search the occupational plumber or drainer register.