Qualities of a great builder

What makes for a great builder?

Finding builders is simple these days – you have CanYa ūüėČ, Google and the entire internet. The problem is,¬†how do you know if you have a good builder or a GREAT builder? Turns out that there are some common characteristics that all great builders share.

CanYa is the place to find the best builders in your area

Licensing and insurance

Licensing is a very good place to start. Certain trades (usually the safety critical ones) require mandatory licensing to be able to work. Think plumbers, electricians, builders etc.

Having adequate insurance is another sign of a great builder. They need to be appropriately covered to protect themselves, you and your project. Make sure you check that your builder is licensed and insured before you hire them.

CanYa gives you the ability to find licensed and insured builders in your area.

Realistic quoting

The main gripe with hiring builders that you don’t know is the tendency to quote low but ultimately charge high. The reason for this is simple, people are mainly price sensitive when looking online because it is traditionally quite hard to measure a builders quality. The builder gets his (or her) foot in the door with a low quote and then adds on all the extras that weren’t in the original quote but are essential to getting a good result.

Look for a builder that gives you a detailed, reasonable and written quote.

CanYa is the home services app that gives you flexible and detailed quote for free

Professional

It is important to remember that this person is working for you. With this comes an expectation of professionalism. They should be open, honest, approachable and reasonable. Any deposits they require should be checked against State or Territory guidelines and given with plenty of notice.

A CanYa handyman about the get to work on a job he got from Australia's easiest way to hire local service providers

Contract

This is a very important aspect of the process that is routinely done poorly. You must have everything detailed in a very clear written contract (depending on the job size) and you need to have discussed expectations, timelines,  limitations, budget etc. A great builder will give you the time to read, change and amend the contract to accurately reflect your expectations.

CanYa saves you from having bad experiences with dodgy tradies

References/referrals

It is actually quite hard to find honest and candid references and referrals because it is usually the builder that provides them. What you need to do is find a platform like CanYa that lists all previous reviews (by score and written comments) to ensure that your builder is great quality.

CanYa gives you reviews so that you know you are hiring the right person
Know who you are hiring!

Example of a great builder

B. P. Building Services PTY LTD in Darwin (Australia) is CanYa’s Provider Of The Week and a perfect example of a GREAT builder. Brett is skilled in ceilings, roofing, flooring, bulkheads, cladding and framing, renovations, bathroom/kitchen fit outs and much more. Check out some of their handy work below:

All services that you require are on CanYa. Just find, book, pay and review them... that easy
Brett of many trades!
Find the best builders in Darwin on CanYa
No job too big or small

If you find yourself in need of a great builder in Darwin, hire B.P. Building Service today! If you need to find a great builder near you- who you can confirm their licenses & insurance, check their previous work and get a free quote- download Australia’s best way to hire local service today!

CanYa is available on iOS and Android, it is the easiest way to hire local service providers near you

 

 

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Household Tips for Winter

Winter is coming?

Eddard Stark has been telling us this for years and we have refused to believe him. Unfortunately the time has come; WINTER IS HERE!

Winter is here

Technically he is right; winter is here

Electrical tips for winter

We have to accept that winter has come (sigh) and that we have some preparation to do to make sure it is as bearable as possible. These tips will keep you warm, comfortable and most importantly, safe this season.

The shining_Frozen
If we learnt anything from this guy, it is to get help early!

Reverse your ceiling fan direction

It might come as a surprise but your fan actually works in two directions! The default is set to summer mode which spins in a direction that allows the cold air to be pushed down. During winter you should flick the switch on the main body of the fan to change it to winter mode. Winter mode will circulate the warm air from the top and push it back down to establish a more comfortable room temperature (with the help of a separate heater).

Fan_Winter Explanation
Winter mode helps disperse the warm air trapped at the top of the room

Clean heater filters

This is obviously a safety one. Checking your filters is extremely important, especially your heater filters during winter! We have previously posted about the importance of cleaning filters in our blog;¬†The Home Maintenance Schedule. It is actually a great opportunity to also service your air-conditioner whilst you aren’t using it.

Clean V Dirty Filters
Remember, you are breathing that stuff in too!

Check smoke alarms

The risk of a house fire increases during winter because of the extra use of heaters, powerboards, electric blankets and other household appliances. Make sure you have checked that you and your family are safe this winter by doing this quick and easy task! If you don’t know how to check the smoke alarm we have an informative how-to guide here.

Checking smoke alarms
Only takes a few seconds, stop and do it now.

Adjust your fridge

Did you know that your fridge has different settings for summer and for winter. When you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense. If it is hot outside, your fridge has to work a lot harder to keep it cold. Conversely, you need to tell you fridge that it is going to be cold outside so you don’t start freezing your food in the fridge.

Fridge_Summer V Winter
Check in your fridge for directions like these

Buy heaters with an auto-shut off feature

Chances are you threw out your old heater in the ecstasy of summer because you could never imagine needing a heater again! Well the time has come again; you need to buy a heater. It is a requirement now that heaters are equipped with an auto-shut off feature which turns in off if it detects it getting too hot. This is mandatory for current heating suppliers but if you are buying an old heater off GumTree, make sure you check it has the ability to save itself from overheating and igniting!

Electric Heater on Fire
Check your heater has an auto-shut off feature if it becomes too hot!

Overwhelmed? Ask for help!

Some of these tips might make you feel a little overwhelmed or uncertain of how to complete the tasks. The last thing we want is for you to end up like this hapless fool:

Electrical Shock
No one wants to be this guy

Thankfully there is a really easy option for you to get all the help you need this winter. CanYa is Australia’s easiest way to hire qualified and trusted electricians¬†and the free app is FULL of electricians that are ready to help!

POTW_Gaff Electrics
Alan from Gaff Electrics; CanYa’s Provider of the Week

Alan is a trusted electrician in the Melbourne region that has been recognised by CanYa as our Provider of the Week! He is fully licensed and has years of experience on the job as an electrician. The next time you need help from an electrician, make sure you look to CanYa so that you can hire local! To make it easy, you can check out Alan via his Facebook Page¬†or even better, you can check him out for free on Australia’s best way to hire local service providers: CanYa.

The local service providers you find on CanYa (like Alan) are very trustworthy, unlike this bloke:

Electrical Shock Prank
Leave it to the trustworthy professionals!

Sharing CanYa profiles with branch.io

CanYa’s Tech

In the last few years we have seen an explosion of specialised services, normally in the form of API’s (a good video to explain API is right here). At CanYa, we use a lot of third party services to leverage off of experts in a particular field, then build on top of those.

CanYa technology integration
CanYa’s integration of technologies

One of these that we particularly love is branch.io.

Users of CanYa probably won’t even notice that we are using an external service, but when you share your profile, it is powered by branch.io.

FullSizeRender 2
Sharing your CanYa link is simple. This one is https://app.canya.com.au/ROW484

 

How it works:

  1. Find your CanYa referral code in the main menu inside CanYa. Post on all your social media in the format:  app.canya.com.au/CODE (CAPS LOCK THE FIRST 3 LETTERS; eg: ABC123)
  2. Your friends & clients tap on the link.
    1. If they have CanYa installed already, it will open into your profile and favourite you.
    2. If they have not downloaded the app yet, it will take them to the App Store (either Apple iOS or Google Play Store). After installing, CanYa (with the help of branch.io) will know they tapped on your referral code, give you referral credit and ongoing CanYa Rewards!
    3. If you are on a desktop computer, you will be directed to our main website, https://canya.com.au
Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 2.47.43 pm
Referring is even easier with branch.io

There are multiple benefits to sharing your CanYa profile:

  • Receive $10 sign-up credit whenever somebody installs the app with your referral code!
  • Receive an ongoing 0.5% – 1.0% trailing commission (out of our fees) every time your direct or indirect referrals transact jobs inside CanYa. We call this CanYa Rewards.
  • Simply marketing your business¬†through social media.

Dollar Dollar Bills Y'all

Nerd details

So why do we need to use a 3rd party service to do this?  Well, it turns out this is a difficult problem to solve well across a bunch of devices and platforms. Each device platform has a different way of opening apps from links; for example iOS uses Universal Links where your app registers for a particular URL, in this case app.canya.com.au

In order to do this, you would need to add an apple-app-site-association structured file to your website, handle image previews, descriptions and titles for each link so iMessage & Facebook previews work well, then accurately track & fingerprint users who click on your link, save their details then match with app openings minutes afterwards, plus deliver a data payload of referral codes and so on.

Nerd meme

All we do is CNAME app.canya.com.au to the branch.io server, who handle the rest, including recently adding TLS encryption (https) automatically using the wonderful letsencrypt.org

Branch.io basically handles all of this across multiple platforms. Free!

Branch Metrics Logo

As we say in South Australia: Heaps good!

customer-satisfaction

The Home Maintenance Schedule

For most people the family home is the largest investment that they own. Keeping it in good condition is important but it is very easy to overlook or to get overwhelmed. Here is a schedule to keep you on top of it all and ensure you are protecting your largest investment.

1. Every week

These are the routine tasks to keep your house clean and tidy.

  • Wipe down all benches, tables and surfaces
  • Vacuum and mop all the floors
  • Clean microwave
  • Scrub the floor and tiles in the bathroom
  • Clean the toilet
  • Clear debris from the lawn
  • Disinfect all light switches and door handles
Cleaning
Get down and dirty with the basic weekly cleaning

2. Every month

Every month you should focus your efforts into the maintaining of your house.

  • Properly clean the inside of the oven; removing all oil and grime
  • Test your smoke alarms
  • Check filters (range hood, washing machine, dryer, vacuum cleaner etc)
  • Clean blinds/curtains (vacuum and/or wipe down)
  • Rinse out and clean wheelie bins
  • Wash and dry all bathroom and kitchen floor matts
  • Remove all weeds and large debris from the garden
House Maintenance
Maintaining the house is important and cannot be overlooked

3. Every quarter

Every quarter you need to address the larger issues around your house. These tasks take a lot longer to do but will keep your house in better condition for longer.

  • Pressure clean the driveway and patio areas
  • Clean out the gutters of all leaves and debris
  • Spray clean all windows and screens
  • Test all electrical trip switches
  • Check the water meter is operating correctly and free of debris
  • Clean under and behind larger appliances (fridge, dryer, washing machine etc)
  • Clean air-conditioner and check filters
  • Oil the garage mechanisms and wipe down the doors
  • Throw out all out-dated and expired foods from the cupboard and fridge and clean the empty shelves
Task compilation
Some of the tasks that can overwhelm you with help from local providers

4. Pop up tasks

Even with the above maintenance schedule you will find there are pop up tasks and odd-jobs that come about all through the year. When you find these issues you need to address them straight away with a DIY project or by hiring a local trusted provider. Some of these tasks might include:

  • Replacing blown lightbulbs
  • Fixing leaking taps or running toilets
  • Replacing ripped or torn fly screens
  • Cleaning and repairing the roof and drains
  • Chopping up and removing fallen palm fronds or trees
Jack of all trades
Getting help is easy, especially when you hire a jack of all trades!

Don’t suffer, get help!

Looking at the maintenance schedule for the house is pretty daunting. It is possible to keep chipping away and to complete it all by yourself but there is a better way!

copy-of-providermarketing_double
Get help with CanYa!

CanYa has local, trusted and verified providers that can help with the home maintenance schedule and burdens that comes with it. Many of the providers are “jack of all trades” and in one call-out¬†you can get somebody to help with the any one or all of your odd jobs and household tasks!

Nicko Boubaris (on of our Darwin based providers) is a good example of how flexible a CanYa service provider can be. Nicko provides services ranging from handyman, roofer, tiler, builder, plasterer to painting, appliance installation and bathroom/kitchen renovation. To get help from Nicko or to view his CanYa profile for free, simply click here and download Australia’s best app for hiring local providers.

Nicko Bourbaris
Nicko Boubaris – A man of many skills

 

Can Ya trust our babysitters?

What is the most important thing?

The sharing economy, collaborative consumption, the peer economy whatever you want to call it there has been a tectonic shift in consumer behaviour over the past decade. What does this shift rely on?

Simple, it’s trust.

CanYa_Trust Fall.jpg

Trust was once established via imposing marble buildings and¬†indecipherable legal jargon. Now it is given to the people via crisp user interfaces and mutual¬†reviewed profile views. The guys at AirBnB knew this despite being rejected over and over again by scoffing investors all asking the same question ‚Äúhow are you going to get people to trust random strangers to rent their houses for a weekend?‚ÄĚ.

Well, a great user experience, fantastically presented properties and a peer reviewed rating system has lead to millions of people all over the world doing exactly that (and a $30bn valuation!).

This concept is at the heart of everything that we do at CanYa. We provide a seamless experience to book local service providers; a process made a whole lot better when you have complete trust in the provider prior to the job starting.

We have completely flipped the premise adopted by other legacy service booking platforms.

canya_provider-profile
So what is the alternative to sending a job request out into the ether and receiving quotes from random providers at all hours of the day? CanYa empowers the user to browse the full range of local service providers in any given category before choosing the provider that best meets their requirements. This is a completely novel way of framing the booking process, yet, it is by far the most natural way for it to occur.


The user can view a highly detailed provider profile that lists:

  • Provider‚Äôs skills
  • Qualifications
  • Description
  • A full history of reviews from previous bookings

CanYa’s booking cycle and profile interface have helped our users book providers with confidence that is un-matched in today’s market place. This has lead to some very interesting results when the app was released to the public.

Babysitters, Trust and CanYa

One of the interesting developments was the surprising popularity of the babysitter category. This category was one of the original 90 categories made available for CanYa’s launch. We’ll admit now that the CanYa Team were dubious as to whether this category would work.

Could someone really trust a complete stranger, booked through a brand new app, to look after their children?

If they did it would be the ultimate validation of our booking process and provider profiles.

canya-icon_babysitter
Enter the babysitters!

Low and behold, when we had our soft launch in Darwin during December 2016, babysitters quickly became one of our most popular casual provider categories. In fact, within a month we had around twenty babysitters and a large volume of bookings.

The flipped booking flow and information rich profiles were working way better than we had anticipated. It was a good sign, if we could get users to trust our providers with their children than things were looking good for our other service categories!

canya_babysitter-trust
Early iteration of CanYa showing the popularity of babysitters in Darwin

CanYa has just launched in Adelaide and, again, babysitters have proven to be one of our most popular categories. So much so that CanYa recently ran a very successful competition giving out in-app credit so the winner could book a babysitter on Valentine’s day.

canya_competition_valentines-day
CanYa’s Valentine’s Day Competition

Another great feature of CanYa is our free in-app messaging and calling functions. Once parents have chosen the babysitter we have found that they also message and/or call the provider within CanYa as a final check before booking. These simple yet effective features all help to create the necessary level of comfort in a complete stranger such that you can trust them enough to look after your children.

canya_potw_courtney-furlan
Courtney Furlan – CanYa’s Provider of the Week for babysitting in Darwin

CanYa is still in its infancy, we have a long way to go as an app and as a company. Having said that, the popularity of babysitters in CanYa is indicative of a much bigger point; trust is key and, in this regard, our formula works!

Interested in checking out why people trust CanYa so much?

“Don’t Harm the Palm!”

Stephen Tobin is one of CanYa’s arborists – or in more common terms a ‘tree surgeon‘. ¬†He manages, maintains and cares for trees. Stephen is pretty handy around the garden, and along with tree-whispering can help with:

  • Weeding
  • Hedge trimming
  • Lawn mowing
  • Gutter clearing

As our provider of the week, we checked in with Stephen to get his top arborist/gardening tips.

Stephen_POTW_week8.jpg
CanYa’s Provider of the Week: Stephen Tobin

1. Don’t harm the palm

Stephen has been in the tree game for going on four years. One of the more memorable jobs – or challenges – as it turned out, was convincing a client to keep a neglected old palm tree. Originally he was called in to pull out the tree, but after a bit of¬†back and forth Stephen managed to¬†get her to agree to rejuvenating it instead. After some TLC, the tree stands tall and proud as the main feature of the garden. Working with what you’ve got often has stunning results. In the mood for more old trees? Check them out here.

2. Keep the customer happy

In his time as a service provider, the most important service Stephen offers is satisfaction. Stephen says he isn’t happy with his work, until the customer is.¬†He does this by carefully consulting with his customers before, during and after the work is completed. He is happy to tweak and fix his work until the desired look is achieved. This of course includes making sure the site is spick and span before he leaves. Big tick!

customer-satisfaction

3. License to arbor

What do you get when you add height, power tools and all sorts of weather conditions? A OH&S nightmare! But don’t worry, Stephen comes fully prepared for the dangers of his work, and has all the right tickets. Including:

  • Heavy Vehicle license
  • Work safely at heights card
  • License to perform high risk work
  • License to operate and maintain a chainsaw
  • White card
021-2Image source: http://www.crownslandscaping.com/arborist

Book Stephen today

  1. Download the best local services app for free
  2. Find Stephen in Adelaide (or heaps of other providers near you)
  3. Book, pay and review all in-app
  4. Enjoy your 10/10 garden, courtesy of CanYa