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House Remodeling and Repairs
The best time to choose someone to
do repairs on your home is when you don't need them. When the water pipes have burst and the basement is
flooding it is not the ideal time to begin the search for a plumber. When an emergency occurs, you will likely
have to take whoever you can get. When the outside temperature is 10 degrees and the heating system goes south,
you will be scrambling for the Yellow Pages looking for the first large ad that catches your eye. Of course you
may find a very competent heating and air conditioning specialist this way, but you will be choosing them based
solely on the size of their advertising budget.
Where to find professional help for your house
Not only can finding a good contractor be difficult, evaluating the ones you have found can take a lot of time. Fortunately, there are other options. We have found a couple great sources of information--one is ServiceMagic--which independently and objectively evaluates tens of thousands of contractors in the United States. ServiceMagic's service professionals are thoroughly screened before being included in their network so you can be confident in your selection. You can also use profile information and Ratings & Reviews from past customers to help decide who's best for you. .
Another good source of finding repair people and contractors
is through personal referrals. Start by asking people that you know--friends and co-workers--who are the most reliable.
Since one of the most important characteristics you will be evaluating will be reliability of the worker, you don't
want a referral to come from someone who isn't reliable them self!
Once you get started, it gets easier.
A very good source of referrals for trade professionals are other professionals in unrelated fields. For example, once you have found a plumber in whom you have confidence, it is likely that he or she will be able to give you a few names of electricians. Then the electrician should be able to refer to you the names of good roofers and general carpenters. Before long you should have a number of possibilities for people in each of the trades.
How to evaluate professional help for your house
Once you have several choices for each trade you need to narrow it down to a primary choice and a backup (if your water heater is leaking and your choice for a plumber is at the beach, you will need an alternative!) The most important items to evaluate are on the following checklist.
When Your Choices are Made...
Keep track of your choices! Put them on your list of who to call when you need professional help and keep it in a readily accessible place.
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