Tradies worry as reno jobs cancelled


AUSSIES are cancelling renovations in droves as uncertainty over the next six months creates worry amongst tradies.

It comes as confusion reigns about whether plumbers, electricians and other workers will be allowed to attend emergency callouts during a potential lockdown.

Tradies in Business co-founder Nicole Cox, who runs her Ipswich-based business providing support to tradies across the country, said she has been inundated with questions about what a lockdown would mean for business.

"They're very confused about what happens if we have some kind of lockdown period and they have an emergency call out," Ms Cox said.

"If something electrical goes wrong in your house, you can't fix that yourself - are the tradies going to be allowed to get out and help?"

She said tradies had been reporting a significant drop in calls and a wave of cancellations, as people put off non-essential renovations due to the crisis.


Lachlan McKirdy from LCM Air Conditioning. Picture:AAP Image/Attila Csaszar
Lachlan McKirdy from LCM Air Conditioning. Picture:AAP Image/Attila Csaszar


"We're seeing some real concern from our tradies about what they are going to be able to do should we have a lockdown," Ms Cox said.

"They can't work at home, and many of our tradies are sole-traders."

Christina and Lachlan McKirdy, who run their family-owned airconditioning business LCM, said they were hit by a wave of cancellations.

"We particularly felt it last (week)," Ms McKirdy said.

"I know that we went from getting 10 new bookings a day to none."

She said most people were cancelling either for financial reasons, not wanting to other people into their homes, and because residents were in isolation.

Ms McKirdy said stimulus plans recently announced to aid small business were "promising" and hoped her family business could survive.

"I feel that we've got to weather the storm for about six months."

"A lot of the trades will follow in the same pattern as all these other industries, we're probably just a few steps behind."

Ms McKirdy said she wanted to keep her staff but wasn't sure how demand would play out over winter, when their airconditioning business was typically quieter.

"We like our team, we work well together."

Originally published as Tradies worry as reno jobs cancelled