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Home Repairs: How to get home repairs done for less

Updated on December 30, 2008

Home Repairs: Some Tips

Yes, I know, home repairs are very expensive and difficult to find good contractors. If you are very DIY (DO-IT-YOURSELF) or a handy person or know enough about various stuff at home you may be able to save some money by doing it yourself. But most of us have to rely on outside contractors most of the time.

First thing which comes to mind when decision is made to hire a contractor is that will I be able to get a good contractor who can finish the job at a reasonable price. To achieve optimal results you need to gain some knowledge about the problem. So whether it is AC repair, Bathroom fixture, garage door fix or even painting, always try to go to google.com and find out more about the problem or the task at hand. Because this gives you better understanding of the situation and can talk in the language of the contractor.

There are so many ways to find a contractor like good old Yellow pages, referrals through friends and colleagues to internet searches. One good source I always use is website www.servicemagic.com which is a sister site of www.lendingtree.com and works very similar to lendingtree.

Gather contractors details from all the sources and then start calling one by one, ask them if they charge for giving estimates. Some contractors might come to your home to see the problem before giving estimates, for which some charge money and some don't. Do not commit to any contractor before talking to all potential contractors. Ask them if they charge by hour or per job for fixing the problem. Most of the time per hour rate will work out much cheaper than the per job cost.

Most of the time when a contractor comes to your home to give estimate and if the problem is simple they will offer to fix the problem. Don't think that you have to get the job done by this contractor, even they charge money for coming to your house to give estimate. If you think they are asking too much to fix the problem just pay for the estimate and let them go. When you call some other contractor and tell them what's the problem and you want them to fix that particular part, they might charge you lot less. I am telling this from my experience, recently there was a problem with central air condition at our home. After getting a contractor to assess the problem and give estimate to fix it, I realized that they are asking way too much. The problem was that capacitor in the air compressor outside home was gone and to fix it he asked $390 (plus $80 for estimate). This was ridiculous amount for a simple task and I immediately called some other contractor and asked him how much he would charge to fix the capacitor, he told me he would charge $150. That's it I immediately paid the guy from other company for coming to give estimate and I send him back. Even after paying for 2 contractors I still got it fixed for $230, a lot less than what first contractor would have charged me.

If you have lot of choice for contractors you can easily negotiate with contractors for a very reasonable good price. Don't forget to ask them if they give any guarantee on their work and if yes, how long.

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    • manjuvreddy profile imageAUTHOR

      manjuvreddy 

      9 years ago from USA

      Thanks for your input Morris.

    • Morris Streak profile image

      Morris Streak 

      9 years ago from UK

      I suppose, as a do-it-yourself person myself, that if we are to advise people on saving money on house maintenance, the first tip would be to do some research. Both on the net and by asking our friends and neighbors. You never know if a friend or neighbor is willing to help with the repairs, and even teach you a thing or two while he's at it. Such 'research' can also get us referrals. Our friend might know some honest contractors who get the job done without overpricing. I think this is a good way to learn, especially if the person who want to do the fixing him or herself is not that experienced with tools, and the accidents that can come with them.

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