Tradespeople Needed in Townsville

I had a question sent to me from this site about the need for plasterers in Townsville. I sent a reply to the person asking the question, but I figured that question deserved a post.

Townsville is currently going through a huge economic boom, and it’s really affecting the building sector as well. Last year there were about 500 fewer homes built than were needed in the Townsville / Thuringowa area.

For the last few decades there has been a huge push for people to go to on to post secondary education, especially university. That is one of the reasons why there are not nearly enough trades people in Australia as a whole. That is starting to change, with big pushes happening from government and from industry to get people involved with the trades. On our current job our builder has a 15-year old apprentice who works with him part time and goes to the local tech college part time.

Another challenge that we have up here is that we are a long way from the capital cities. It’s hard to attract people to the regional areas, despite the fact that the quality of living and the cost of living is excellent compared to most capital cities.

Another way that the government is combating the skills shortage is through immigration. Many of the trades are now listed as skills that are in need within Australia, so the applicants are able to receive additional favour in applying for a visa if they have these skills. On the Australian “working holiday visa” people can also now work for six consecutive months, an increase from the 3-months of consecutive work previously allowed. This should also help a bit in attracting people over here from overseas, whether it is for a short-term or long-term period.

Tags: , , , , ,

Builders in Townsville Advised Against Fixed Price Contracts

Builders in Townsville are being advised against fixed price and fixed date contracts. With a severe shortage of contractors and building supply costs increasing at a rapid pace it is nearly impossible to predict building costs at anything other than a month by month basis.

As a home renovator not having a contract with with a fixed price and fixed time frame is a serious worry. As I have discovered in the past it is vital for my own protection to get everything written down, including a fixed price and fixed dates.

With the building contract that we had signed with the contractor who did our front stairs, and who was supposed to do all the carpentry work for under the house, we had written down “ASAP” for the start date. For the construction time frame we had written down 90-days, which seems to be the standard time frame for this sort of work.

We had a verbal agreement that the construction under the house would be complete by Christmas last year (2006), but he hadn’t even started anything other than the front stairs by then. Technically he would have been in breach of his contract, as it had been well over 90-days from when he started the stairs, but because a good portion of our communication had been verbal it turned into our word against his. Terminating our contract with him became quite a messy and costly experience.

With our current builder, who should be done the bathroom renovation and the lock-up stage of construction by the end of this week, we have a written contract for the lock-up, but verbal for the bathroom. I was a bit worried about the idea of having a verbal agreement on the bathroom, but because the entire project was an unknown we didn’t really have any other choice.

So far things have been going really well with this builder. I have even had feedback from one of his other customers on this web-site about how good his work is.

Tags: , , ,

Bathroom Walls Sheeted and Floor Waterproofed

Bathroom Wall SheetedThe bathroom walls are all sheeted and the bathroom floor is waterproofed. The have also waterproofed the wall around the bath tub and the sheeted frame around the tub that is holding it up.

Bathroom Waterproofing

Tomorrow they should start to tile the bathroom and we hope that we will be able to start painting mid-week and move back into our house by the end of the weekend.

Office Ceiling SheetedThey have also replaced the sheeting on the office ceiling as they had to pull down that ceiling sheeting to secure the roof to the walls.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Townsville and Thuringowa to Merge – No More Twin Cities

The Queensland state government has decided to merge the twin cities of Townsville and Thuringowa.

In a move that will cut the number of local councils by more than half in Queensland the state government has begun the process of merging many of the smaller councils into regional councils. The number of Queensland councils will go from 156 to 72 with elections being help in March of next year.

Considering that Townsville and Thuringowa are virtually indistinguishable from one another I don’t find this move to be all that surprising. The new city will be called “Townsville” and the only remembrance that there will be of the name Thuringowa will be one of the suburbs called “Thuringowa Central”. We will go from two councils of 1 mayor and 10 councellors each, to one council with one mayor and 12 councellors. The total population will be about 164,000.

There are about 55 different businesses in Thuringowa that use the city name in their trading name. It will be interesting to see what happens to them, but quite a few have already expressed the fact that they will likely not be changing their name immediately.

I’m not sure that this will mean to building here in Townsville. There are reports already that some developers are putting a temporary hold on building project until things become a bit more clear. One of the biggest worries is that the two councils coming together will not be able to make decisions that benefit the entire city, but they will instead try only to serve their former city.

(Hopefully) our project should be completed, or at least mostly so, before the amalgamation of Townsville and Thuringowa happens in March of next year (2008). Already in the 19-months since our project was approved we have seen regulations change, so hopefully we won’t see too many more changes to building guidelines and regulations before the end of the building project. I’ll write more about some of those changes later.


Tags: , ,