Though illuminating, our Building Fences debate didn’t generate one fence builder inquiry.
Number 8’s dad is now doing her fence and Number 12 has decided to sell!
My great social media vs tradies experiment is a fizzer.
Or is it?
From Damp Squib to Space Rocket
I was set to conclude that tradespeople have no use for the internet.
Then I had a fascinating interaction with Origin Energy.
Empire of the Sun
I’d spent several hours checking the ins and outs of a 1.5 kW solar electricity system.
It looked good, but Origin wanted me to cough up $998 to set the ball rolling.
This seemed risky, as no technician or tradesperson had visited Empire House to assess its suitability for the eight-panel installation.
Eye in the Sky
I voiced this concern to a nice lady from Origin. She said:
Your roof’s great, as there’s no shading. But since you don’t have enough north-facing slope, we’ll have to put the panels on the west side.
I asked how she could possibly know all this stuff about my property. She said:
I’m looking at it right now. There’s plenty of room. But from the 20 degree north-eastern skew of your block, you can expect a 10% loss of efficiency. Are you OK with that?
Despite living there for 12 years, I never knew I had a 20 degree skew. Then the penny dropped: Google Maps!
So we chatted about access and ladders and meters like we were sitting on my roof with cups of cocoa.
Every other thing I’ve had done to Empire House required a prior visit and quote from the relevant tradesperson.
If the job went ahead, I paid for this scoping visit. If not, the tradie lost his time investment.
How extraordinary, I thought, that building professionals can now check prospect premises without having to go in person.
Roofers, landscapers, antenna installers, chimney sweeps – even fridge deliverers. All can now check for narrow streets, big trees, brown dogs and razor wire.
This seems pretty fab to me. I wonder if tradespeople:
Calling All Carpenters
So, this is my second (and last?) transmission to tradies. If you’re watching, please tell us how you use this amazing (free!) technology.
And if you’re a non-trade supplier who does the odd pre-buy, fly-by eye-spy, I’d love to know your secrets too.
* Not really. This pic belongs to Google Maps.
Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire