Taking care of our homes is a costly business, and every house will undoubtedly require repair with time. Some repair problems tend to come up unexpectedly, causing great inconvenience and requiring skills beyond our DIY limits.
Such situations call for reliable home repair services, but how can you be sure the provider you choose is up to the task? As much as you may need the problem to be addressed immediately, doing sufficient homework first can help you avoid overspending on a provider who may end up doing unsatisfactory work.
Here are a few useful tips for finding the right home repair services.
Have a clear idea of what you need
Before you hire, it might be useful to first make a list of the work to be done, preferably in order of priority. Being clear on exactly what needs to be done means that once you start talking through the work with potential home repair service providers, you can assess how capable and knowledgeable each of them seems to be.
Knowing your stuff can also help you avoid being talked into paying for costly services that are either unnecessary or that contradict your vision.
Handyman or specialist tradesperson?
Once you have established the work to be done, before you contact anyone, it’s a good idea to first roughly estimate the size of the task to help you determine whether you need a handyman or a specialist.
A handyman is best used for small jobs, such as painting, minor repairs and plumbing fixes. A handyman is likely to have a breadth of general experience and should be able to efficiently tackle most basic repair work. However, it’s important to note that they do not need to be licenced and may lack the training and qualifications required to carry out specific jobs. Should you employ a handyman to undertake work for which they are not licenced, you would be liable for any problems arising as a result of the work completed.
A specialist tradesperson, on the other hand, is ideal for larger or more demanding repair work and construction jobs. They are fully trained professionals who are licenced to carry out work in a specialised area. Specialist tradespeople include electricians, plumbers and builders.
Shop around for services
Good research is essential when trying to find reliable home repair services. Careful research can help you establish the kind of service provider you’re looking for and provide you with a list of quality practitioners to choose from.
A great starting point is to ask friends, family and co-workers for the details of reliable and reasonably priced repair services that they have personally used. Choosing a repair service based on a personal recommendation can save you time and money and can offer peace of mind.
These days, it’s easy to do your own online search for trusted and approved service providers using sites such as TaskRabbit, TrustMark, Checkatrade, Buy with Confidence and Which? Trusted Trader.
In order to be listed on these sites, service providers are thoroughly vetted before being approved. The sites allow customers to rate the providers and write reviews, testimonials, and complaints. These can provide you with valuable advice and information, and can enlighten you on potential red flags to look out for.
Another useful approach is to contact your local council. They will have a list of approved and trusted local service providers who have proved their quality and professionalism.
Get everything in writing
Before signing a contract, it is a good idea to get everything in writing including:
- Prices and the payment schedule
- The start date and projected timings
- Materials and products to be used
- How unintended consequences or surprises will be addressed
- How and when any rubbish or waste will be dealt with
Insisting on getting everything in writing is not about mistrust – it is about ensuring a professional relationship where all expectations are agreed. No reliable service provider will have problem with setting everything out in print. A written contract can help to ensure you get what you’re paying for – or that you at least get some of your money back if you are not happy with the end result.
It is important to note that as soon as you give a service provider the go ahead, you’ve made a contract with them whether it’s written down or not.
Finding a reputable home repair service provider may take some time and effort on your part, but it could be well worth it. Putting the time in to find a reliable service provider could reduce stress and help ensure you get your full money’s worth.
If your home improvement project might involve renovation as well as repair, check out our article on renovating a house on a budget.
The post How to find reliable home repair services appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.
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