Home' SA 50s Lifestyle : SA 50s Spring 10 Contents 7
Visit our website: www.sa50slifestylenews.com.au
HOME MAINTENANCE SERVICE
A not-for-profit organisation
Supporting the community since 1996
Tel: 8235 1422 firstname.lastname@example.org
FREE WILL KIT
The Heart Foundation's free guide
to Wills and Bequests includes:
• Information on preparing a Will.
• A free 'Will Kit' for those who
prefer to make their own legal Will.
• A free 'Codicil' form to make
minor changes to an existing Will.
Put your heart into your Will.
For your free guide call 8224 2888.
Selecting the best person for the job
By Bob Walker
Selecting a tradesperson can be
difficult and many people want
to ensure they get the job done
properly and pay a fair price.
There are several programs in
place to help older members of
the community with this selection
Most local councils operate a Home
Assist Program to assist aged and
younger people with disabilities in
most general maintenance work
around their homes. This includes
minor tap and toilet repairs,
carpentry, tiling, plastering and other
handyman tasks. For further details
contact your local council.
Many people grow to love their
own home, its surroundings and
neighbourhood, but may find it
increasingly difficult to cope with
the day-to-day tasks due to age,
a physical disability or health
problems. Often some simple advice
and direction can assist in making
the home modifications and repairs
The ACH Group, a not-for-profit
organisation, has a Stay at Home
program which offers personalised
advice and assistance in planning
and making modifications for older
homeowners. Home modifications
include ramps, grab rails, kitchen
and bathroom alterations, as well as
standard home maintenance. This
convenient service links clients with
skilled professionals and licensed
contractors, who in turn provide a
quote for the work.
If required, the Stay at Home
program co-ordinator will oversee
projects and undertake final
inspections to ensure all work
meets agreed outcomes, as well as
appropriate building standards. For
further information phone
Comhouse Co-operative Limited is
a not-for-profit, community sector-
based maintenance service provider,
which was established in 1996
to assist housing co-operatives
and associations to maintain their
properties. Currently, it engages
more than 250 contractors to
maintain in excess of 1600
properties around the State.
Due to economies of scale and
relationships Comhouse has formed
with its contractors, it is also able
to extend its services to similar
organisations, at minimal cost.
These include COTA, Aged and
Community Services, Home and
Community Care and Veterans and
this has increased its potential client
base to well over 15,000.
Its services can be offered to any
organisation that provides assistance
to older or disadvantaged clients.
The service is not subsidised and
clients are invoiced direct. The
aim is to provide a service that is
beneficial for both the client and the
contractors they engage.
For the contractors, Comhouse
provides them with business and
they pay them promptly -- they
are not contracted to the client. In
return, the contractors must provide
them with evidence that they are
properly qualified and insured and
that they have a valid Police Check.
Importantly, the contractors charge a
discounted rate on all work done.
For the clients, Comhouse
provides the security of knowing
that contractors they engage are
reputable and qualified to do the
work. Goods and services are
organised and Comhouse invoices
the client -- so they do not have to
deal with the contractor if they are
not satisfied with the work done.
Each client is contacted to ensure
they are happy with the work
undertaken before the contractor is
paid. For more information contact
8235 1422 during normal office
The Office of Consumer and
Business Affairs has tips on other
ways to avoid being the victim of
• Before calling out a tradesperson,
ask about their costs and call out
fee. It's a good idea to get written
quotes from at least three different
• Make sure your builder or
tradesperson is licensed or the
end result may be disastrous.
These tradies must be licensed:
plumbing, gas fitting, electrical,
paving, painting, roof repairs,
as well as other work related to
building. To check if someone is
licensed, visit the Licensing Public
Register at www.ocba.sa.gov.au or
phone 8204 9644 or 13 1882 for
• DIY may be cheaper, but some
work can be risky and illegal,
especially electrical repairs or
installations. It is often better to
contract a licensed tradesperson.
• For building work costing $12,000
or more and requiring council
approval there must be a written
contract. Read and understand
your contract before signing. Any
alterations must be documented
• Jobs over $12,000 that require
council approval must have
Building Indemnity Insurance
which covers you if the builder
dies, disappears or becomes
• Most tradespeople will request a
deposit, but don't pay too much
in advance. If the business you
engage folds or is slow to progress
the project you may be at financial
risk. For jobs costing less than
$12,000 pay a deposit of 10-15
percent. For jobs costing $12,000
or more, a builder can ask for
a deposit of only $1000 plus
other costs, such as professional
services or building indemnity
insurance. Once the work has
begun, only pay for the work
• Be wary of travelling tradespeople
going door to door. They are often
not licensed and their work is
sub-standard, and if there are
problems they are sometimes
difficult or impossible to contact.
If the work costs over $50, by law,
you are entitled to a 10-day cooling
Save with Comhouse
In addition to the provision of
all maintenance services to the
community sector Comhouse has
arrangements with major suppliers
and manufacturers, at very
competitive rates, air conditioners,
cookers and water heaters.
Comhouse can also supply paint at
around 50% of retail price -- delivered
free for quantities over four litres.
Another service that can be
provided free of charge is the Home
Sustainability Assessment of homes.
This can save you money as well as
improve the environment.
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