How to find a plumber/handyman/contractor you can trust to work on your home
Getting the roof fixed, and other adventures in home repair
'Oh boy, what a seeming simple question, worthy of a dozen ulcers.
I have been in construction myself for 20 year, but it is still a challenge sometimes to find skilled and competent tradesmen (tradespeople?) to work on my house. Even with profession trade relations with plumbers and electricians,carpenters and tile setters, it can be difficult. During the week I want them working on my jobs, not my house, plus they are frequently located someplace other than where I am. I have a great electrician whose company has done all of my work in the City of Boston for the past 15 years, but he is based an hour and a half north of the city and I am an hour and a half south. If I ask him to send me an electrician for a small job I can easily wind up spending money for a half day of traveling. Maybe in an emergency I can beg a "favor" but otherwise I am in the same boat as any homeowner, trying to find somebody local and good.
One of the best ways to locate a tradesman is to ask your friends for referrals, who has done work for them, did they like it, was it done when promised, for the quoted price, but that is not always possible, particularly if you are new to an area.
If you keep your eyes open as you drive around town, you will see trucks with names and phone numbers on them. If you are lucky enough to see a particular companies truck several times in your neighborhood, you can guess that they are good on turning up when they say they will and doing the work they say will do.
If there is a local lumberyard, or small town type hardware store (as opposed to a Home Depot or Lowes) you can frequently get referrals from the senior staff, they frequently know who in town has a good reputation.
Many tradesmen buy their lunch daily, and I can attest to having hired more than one subcontractor as a result of a conversation struck up while waiting in line at a Angelo's.
This approach is not without some stress, all you have to go on are the appearance of the tradesman and his vehicle, and your assessment of the way he or she responds to you questions, in this instance though, looks can count someone who is obviously taking care of his grooming, his tools and truck is likely to be an organized workman.
Note the names on trucks in your neighborhood
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