Great home repair professionals – those you can trust to complete work properly, charge a fair price and be available when needed -- are worth their weight in gold. That’s why it’s vital to compile and keep handy a list of quality home repair professionals. You never know when you might need help with a leaky water pipe, balky garage door, flickering lights or an array of other common home fix-it needs.
Keeping in mind your home is likely the most important and expensive asset you own, it makes sense to employ a team of professionals to help you take care of it. You’ll enjoy greater use and benefit from a well-maintained home, plus down the road, you’ll more easily sell your home if it’s in good condition.
Assembling Your Home Repair Team
Who should be part of your home repair team? Start by thinking of repair or remodeling work you likely would not or should not attempt on your own, unless you have extensive specialized repair experience. This means your “core repair team” likely includes the following six members:
- Plumber – for plumbing fixture repairs, water leaks, water flow issues, etc.
- Electrician – for rewiring, installing switches, outlets, lamps or circuit breakers, etc.
- Carpenter – for building or repairing framing, installing doors, repairing drywall, etc.
- Roofer – for repairing loose shingles, fixing roof holes or replacing the entire roof
- Gas repair professional – for repairing or replacing any gas appliances
- HVAC professional – for maintaining, repairing or replacing any heating, ventilating or air conditioning (HVAC) appliance or component
In addition to the core repair professionals listed above, other contractors you might consider making part of your home repair team include:
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- Handyman – for simple home repairs or projects beyond your skillset or time
- Professional painter – for quality, mess-free interior and exterior painting work
- Flooring professional – for repairing, replacing or refinishing flooring and/or carpeting
- Garage door professional – for repairing or replacing garage doors, springs, openers, etc.
- Exterminator – for preventing and/or removing unwanted pests
- Interior designer or architect – for work involving the functionality or structure of your home
Rather than assembling your home repair team suddenly based on an urgent repair need, it’s better to be deliberate about the process and compile a list of resources before
they’re needed. That way, you’ll be better-assured that those you’re hiring to care for your most valuable asset are your best resources.
To start, ask friends, family members and neighbors for their recommendations on home repair professionals that they’ve used. This way, you can hear about – and potentially see firsthand – a contractor’s work.
Your most recent real estate agent may also be a great source of contractor referrals. Because agents are in the business of selling well-maintained homes, they likely know several quality home repair or remodeling professionals in your area. Plus, an agent can advise on what types of home repairs or remodeling will be most cost-effective for you.
You can also search for contractors and scan their reviews on several different online sites. Google, Yelp and Angi (formerly Angie’s List) offer consumer reviews of contractors. You can also check online with your state’s Better Business Bureau (BBB), a non-profit organization connecting consumers with trustworthy businesses. The BBB assigns businesses a rating of A (highest) to F (lowest) based on multiple criteria, including consumer complaints (if any), transparency and proper licensing. The BBB will also list the business owner’s name and contact information, and the year the business was founded.
Depending on where you live, your local electric or gas utility may offer a subscription-based home appliance repair service. In exchange for a monthly fee, your utility’s repair service will send someone to address issues with any kitchen, laundry or HVAC appliances covered under your repair contract. Even if you have such a service, however, you’ll likely still need professionals beyond appliance repair.
Who to Hire?
If you live in a well-populated area, the good news is you’ll likely have several contractors in each specialty to choose from to be on your home repair team. The challenge is eliminating candidates who may not be a good fit.
After getting input from others on potential contractors, including reviewing information you’ve gathered online, it’s time to start asking your candidates some questions. The bigger and more costly the need – for example, rewiring an entire house versus replacing a wall outlet – the more questions you’ll want to ask. Your questions may include some or all of the following:
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- How long have you been in business? (Longer may be better, as it suggests prior customer satisfaction)
- Can I see your license and proof of insurance? (This is especially important for larger projects)
- Can you provide a list of references or reviews? (Again, especially important for big projects)
- What’s your experience with a project like mine?
- How long will this project take?
- Who exactly will be working on my project, and if not you directly, what role will you play?
- Is a building permit required for my project, and if so, will you take care of it?
- What steps will you take to minimize disruption in my home and ensure safety?
- What and how do you charge? (Many projects will require at least partial payment up-front)
Before embarking on a major repair or remodeling project, it’s smart to get your finances in order. If you have built equity in your home, a home equity loan from Advancial may be just what you need to make your project a reality.
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offer several potential benefits. For starters, the interest paid on your loan may be tax deductible (consult your tax advisor for details). Plus, Advancial’s competitive loan rates and fees can help lower your financing costs. For more information, contact Advancial