When Michelle and David Black requested a quote to renovate the two bathrooms of their Blue Mountains weekender, they decided to sit on it until the time was right.
Three years later, another visit from their builder revealed that their $6500 quote had skyrocketed to $16,000.
"And that was just for one of the bathrooms. I couldn't believe it. I thought, 'is this the same bathroom?'" she said.
"It made me sit down and think ... in one respect it would have been better to increase the mortgage and pay for the renovations at the time, rather than wait three years to see [the cost] triple."
Ms Black is among many NSW consumers who have faced quote shock in the last few years, a result of NSW becoming the most expensive state in Australia in which to hire a tradesperson.
The average tradesperson in NSW now charges 3.2 per cent more than the national average, while the cost of renovating a home has risen more than 6 per cent since this time last year.
However, not all trades are experiencing a boost in cost.
While the cost of hiring builders and carpenters rose by 27.7 per cent and 25.5 per cent year-on-year respectively, the cost of hiring a concreter dropped 7.4 per cent, and that of electricians dropped 2 per cent since last year.
The figures come from the Renovation Consumer Price Index, a quarterly report which compares more than 52,000 quotes submitted by tradespeople on ServiceSeeking.com.au.
"Our interactive map highlights that the cheapest states to hire a tradesman are Victoria and Queensland, where home owners are getting the best bang for their buck," Jeremy Levitt, chief executive of ServiceSeeking.com.au, said.
"The Sydney property market has been hot for the last year, fuelling an increase in job listings. Savvy tradesmen have responded by increasing their prices."
Michelle and David Black were shocked when the quote for their renovation skyrocketed. Photo: Brook Mitchell
But Sydney builder Nash Khanji said it was more than just the property market being hot that was responsible for rising costs.
"It's about supply and demand. There is a huge shortage of tradespeople, and the construction of new homes in western Sydney is taking a lot of tradesmen."
Mr Khanji, who employs five people in his Chullora-based business Modern Tradies, said the shortage of tradespeople in NSW became apparent through the early to mid-2000s, when companies were "losing workers in the thousands" to mining states.
"Now there is more demand because [people are building] granny flats ... with the property boom everyone is extending," he said.
"[For] someone who wanted to put an extension on their house a few years ago, it was $50,000, now it's $80,000. But before your house was worth $400,000 and now it's worth $1 million."
According to figures from the Housing Industry Association, fluctuations in NSW property market over the past 10 years placed considerable strain on the industry's workforce and skills capacity.
"At its lowest level, in September 2009, the number of new housing projects to start was less than 24,000," Housing Industry Association spokesman Graham Wolfe said.
"Between 2005 and early 2013 NSW was under-building, building significantly fewer homes than needed to meet demand."
By December last year, the number of new starts rose to 58,864.
"When activity was low we took our eyes off the ball in terms of training young apprentices through the system, some of our trade contractors went to the mining states, Western Australia and Queensland. the cost of moving, workplace mobility and housing costs means it not easy for them to return."
Increasing development in Sydney today had led to a cross-section of high-level building activity with low-labour activity, he said.
"Because of that we can expect there to be a shortfall in trade and therefore demand for trades is going to exceed supply. That puts an uplifting pressure on prices."