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House Repairs

Whether you own a new or an old house, a large or a small house, sooner or later you will have to deal with the necessity of house repairs. Understanding your capabilities and talents in advance can save you a great deal of aggravation when you need a repair, whether of an emergency nature or not. By deciding which items you can handle on your own and which are better left to professionals you will be able to accomplish the repair in the best, most efficient fashion.

Do it yourself or pay to have it done?

Can you handle it? Probably the very first question you need to ask yourself when confronting a house repair is "does my level of expertise qualify me to do this work?" Experimenting with your capabilities is fine if you have the time and desire, but many people get in "over their heads" with repairs, never realizing that they are spending more time and money than is necessary by starting a project they can't complete rather than hiring a professional in the first place. (Not to mention the money spent paying the professional to undo their work--and then start over!)
Safety concerns. Many repairs around the home are fraught with potential dangers. High roofs, chimneys, and electricity can be pretty unforgiving. If you don't know exactly how to do a dangerous task, don't do it!
Quality of work. In the trades, it is called a "butcher job." If the repair doesn't "hold" because you did it incorrectly, was there any gain? If it looks like a shoddy repair, did you really save any money?
The cost of the job versus the cost of your time. Compare your hourly rate against the hourly rate that the professional is going to charge. If your personal time is worth more than the pro's, you can cost yourself money by doing it yourself, especially if it detracts from other duties (not to mention the loss of time with your family while you scramble on the roof!)

Finding a reliable contactor

If you decide that the best option is to have the work done for you, the next job is finding the right contractor to handle the job. A good source, available right on the Internet, is Service Magic. From maintenance to remodeling, these services are committed to providing homeowners with qualified and professional contractors. All their member contractors have been pre-screened to ensure they are properly licensed, and insured. You can get a free estimate for your repairs here at Service Magic.


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An option: Help the professional with the repair

When needing repairs done to your home, you may have a bit of success with a plan with a little twist: helping a professional do the work. Basically, the homeowner puts on their "helper" hat and does the backup work for the pro--running to the supply house for materials, being a second pair of hands when they are needed, or assisting the professional, much like an apprentice would. There are two potential advantages to the professional: 1) Savings on help (they don't have to pay an "assistant" and 2) Savings on time (if they were planning to do the job themselves they can get the work done quicker and move on to the next job). The advantages to you as the homeowner are a reduced price (paying with your labor instead of your wallet) and the chance to get a little experience in doing a particular job. This plan does not always work (some pros will look at you like you are nuts!), but when it does, you may save as much as 20% on the cost of a job.

Finding and Choosing Professional Help

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