It’s midnight and pounding rain outside. Your smell a musty stench and head to the basement, your stomach sinking with every step.
You see water leaking out of the walls, making a pool on the floor below.
If you have a list of trusted service professionals on standby, you’ll know where to turn and who to call. If you’re empty-handed, an emergency situation just got a lot more worrisome.
Finding reputable, responsible local workers is an invaluable step for any homeowner. Today, we’re sharing a few ways you can sift through the options and connect with the best.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!
1. Do Your Due Diligence
Before you sign on the dotted line and team up with any contractor, repairman or service provider, request to see the following:
- A business license
- Proof of bonding capacity
- Proof of insurance
- A list of references
Once you have this information in hand, don’t take it at face value. Verify that all documents are valid, up-to-date and applicable to your situation. You can check the license of any Maryland business on this portal.
At the same time, contact each reference to learn more about how satisfied past clients were with the work they received.
In addition to personal, firsthand accounts, you can also hop online and conduct internet research on the company in question. Most relevant ones will have an active website that will include contact details, work hours, client reviews, a project photo gallery, and more.
Sure, your cousin’s best friend from college might be an excellent hobby plumber, but do you trust him with your expensive, critical pipework? You need a professional service team on your side from the beginning.
2. Be Cautious with Pricing
We all want to save money, but be wary about any service team that offers you an offer so low it raises your eyebrows. This is especially concerning if the bid comes in over the internet or telephone, site unseen.
Real service pros will need to come out to your property, assess the situation and sit down with you in person before they’re ready to offer a quote.
If a site visit occurs, and one team’s bid is still substantially lower than all of the rest, press for more details. Did they price cheaper materials or leave out an important service?
While high bids don’t always mean excellent service, you’ll find that in this industry, you often get what you pay for. If you find a company that’s willing to work for much less than average, there’s likely a catch, so ask what it is.
3. Avoid One-Time Lump Sum Payments
Most repairmen, contractors, and repair teams want to make sure you’re content with their work before sending you a bill for the totality of services rendered. That way, if anything is wrong or not up to your standards, they can make it right.
In most cases, you can expect to put down around one-third of the total project cost at the beginning. Then, you’ll pay the remainder upon completion.
Be wary of anyone who requests that you pay a full lump sum up-front before the work even begins. This signifies that payment is the top concern, even over your satisfaction.
4. Make Sure You’re Comfortable
A service manager might check all the right boxes and have all the right credentials, but if you aren’t comfortable working with him or her, trust your gut.
You should be able to communicate freely and openly with anyone you allow into your home. If a worker isn’t responding to your calls, dodges your questions or disrespects you in conversation, those are major red flags.
Find a contractor who listens well, responds quickly and asks pertinent and relevant questions to understand your project. Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so don’t let anyone work on it if you aren’t fully convinced of their character.
5. Question Door-to-Door Salesmen
It’s true that there are some valid and reliable contractors who choose to drum up business by walking or driving door-to-door around your neighborhood. Still, they’re the exception, not the rule.
Most top-tier service professionals will have enough glowing reviews and happy clients that word-of-mouth advertising will generate all the work they need.
One particular concern to look out for? Be especially cautious if anyone offers to inspect your roof without charge. This is a common type of roofing fraud that can get past even the most astute homeowners.
If you’re on the fence about a particular door-to-door contractor, ask for a business card. Then, send them away and tell them you’ll be in touch. Then, check their web presence, online ratings, and their standing with the Better Business Bureau before giving them your time and money.
Service Professionals You Can Trust, Every Time
You don’t want to start a new search or call a new number every time you experience a home repair issue. You should be busy scheduling a solution, not spinning your wheels.
It pays to take the time to curate a list of trusted service professionals you can rely on to fix every leak, creak, or crack.
If you’re in the greater Baltimore area, we’d love to be on that list.
We’re experienced, qualified and reliable contractors skilled in basement waterproofing, foundation crack repair, and crawlspace encapsulation.
Our locally-owned, veteran-owned and family-owned team has served the region for more than 20 years, solidifying our reputation every step of the way.
Contact us to schedule a free initial inspection and let’s take this next step together.Share