A great time to be a tradie on the Northern Rivers
IT'S A great time to be a tradie on the Northern Rivers.
There's plenty of work and income has increased, with landscapers at the top of the list of tradies who are reaping the rewards of seeds sown in their businesses.
A new report from online company serviceseeking.com.au has shown that requests for landscapers resulted in a 14% average hourly income increase.
It is the biggest increase out of all trades.
Company representatives suggested home owners were choosing to invest in renovations rather than upgrading to a bigger house or buying extra property.
Booyong Landscapes owner Peter Sheraton has been landscaping on the Northern Rivers for 28 years and said enquiries for jobs had "doubled or tripled in the past few years".
"Work has been flat out ... there's certainly been a spike but where there's a spike there's also a dip," he said.
The owner of Kingscliff business AGT Landscape Solutions Andy Turnock said it had been a busier start to the year when compared to previous years.
"Whether there's more work now, after the global financial crisis, than prior is hard to say. You can never tell with the housing market," he said.
Mr Turnock said he'd been landscaping in the Ballina-Byron area and further north for eight or nine years and didn't get many requests for work on new properties.
"Most of my business comes from older people. Younger people often do it themselves," he said.
"People tend to spend a lot on the interior and then they have a tight budget and need to redo (the landscaping) in a few year's time."
Poinciana Landscaping owner Andrew Silvers said he'd landscaped on the Northern Rivers for about 20 years and the industry had always been strong but was largely driven by existing properties.
He guessed that of the past 12 jobs he'd done, only one was for a newly-built house.
But new housing estates in the region could change the scene.
Mr Silvers said he lived near the new subdivision in Lennox Head called Epiq and had "already fielded phone calls from people who have bought blocks of land".
All three men said the Northern Rivers' moderate climate meant housing designs tended to emphasise indoor/outdoor living spaces that had the potential to create work for landscapers.