When good houses go bad...
You know that feeling when a minor home repair suddenly becomes a major problem? Like when you change a light bulb, but the fixture still doesn't work, and you realize the problem is electrical. Or you hire someone to replace a window and find out that all the framing underneath it is rotten and needs to be replaced.
We've all been there. I once had a dripping faucet, and I ended up remodeling an entire kitchen.
But we won't let that happen to you! There ARE ways to keep home-ownership molehills from becoming mountains. Over the years, we here at the Be Moved Group have gotten to know a lot of people who specialize in keeping home repairs from spiraling out of control. From movers and cleaners to landscapers and roofers, chances are we know someone who can help you clean up any corner you might paint yourself into.
So if you find yourself in need of home repairs and you don't know who to call, call us first! We'll be happy to recommend someone to help you out. And in the mean time, we hope you enjoy a few of our personal stories about "When Good Houses Go Bad."
Amanda: Back in June, we hired a plumber to take care of a few minor requests: re-set a toilet with a leaking wax ring, install a garbage disposal, etc. But before we knew it, those minor requests led to the discovery of a leak under the kitchen sink, installing water shut off valves at the kitchen sink AND at the main water shut off (which can only be done by the city), and replacing a sprinkler valve that had somehow cracked over the winter. All told, we ended up paying over $4500 for plumbing repairs. But it could have been worse. The first plumber gave us quotes for astronomically high prices. I decided to pay the price of expediency, and asked him to fix about $1500 worth of stuff. But then I called a second plumber, and when he came out the next day he was able to quote better pricing. They were all honest, hardworking people but I was glad I went with the more affordable option for the majority of the work. He took time to explain things, and even helped me plan for future upgrades.
The lesson: If you hire someone to fix something and they significantly increase the scope of the repair, get a second opinion (and maybe a third) for anything beyond the original problem. And always find out which repairs are truly urgent, and which ones can be planned for the future.
Also, Amanda knows two plumbers off the top of her head. If you need a plumber and you don't have any plumbers' phone numbers in your phone but you do have Amanda's, call her. I bet she can recommend someone.
Jessie: Earlier this year, I hired a roofing contractor to fix my roof after a hailstorm. After seeing my roof (and taking video of the problem areas to show me), he said that the damage was serious enough that I should consider calling my insurance company to see if they would cover a whole new roof. When the insurance adjuster came out to inspect the roof, John (my contractor) was there. The adjuster spent less than 5 minutes up on the roof and then said they would cover replacement of four turtle vents.
Since I had seen the thorough video that John had taken while inspecting my roof, I decided to get a re-inspection by a different adjuster. When he arrived, he spent nearly an hour on the roof and walking around the house with John. Then he said that the entire roof, gutters, soffits, and fascia had storm damage and would be covered.
Not only did John do everything you'd expect a roofing contractor to do (like file all the paperwork and hire all the subcontractors to do the work), he also inspected the roof, took video of the damage, and orchestrated the insurance adjuster inspections. Now all I have to do is sit back an enjoy my new roof.
The lesson: A great contractor will advocate for you if you are dealing with insurance. And a great insurance company will re-inspect if you request it. Don't be afraid to ask.
Also, Jessie knows a really good roofing contractor, and probably a couple of insurance agents. If you need a roofer or advice on homeowner's insurance, call her. I bet she can recommend someone.
Matt: Recently, I was working with a client, and during the inspection process, mold was discovered in the attic insulation. It turns out someone had used insulation blocks, held together with tape, in the walls when they installed the bathroom. Due to improper ventilation, mold had developed in between the insulation blocks and the tape.
After a few conversations with the buyer, we decided it would be in everyone's best interest to use separate companies to test for mold levels/type, and another to make the remediation. The buyer felt it would be a conflict of interest to use the same company to test for mold and also perform the remediation; they weren't confident that there would be any objectivity if the company testing for mold was also hired to do the remediation. The sellers agreed, and we were able to move forward without that feeling that one of the companies was simply trying to “sell us” on their services.
The lesson: When an expert tells you that you "need" to do a home repair, it doesn't necessarily mean that they need to be the one to do it.
Also, Matt knows a couple of different mold testing/remediation specialists. If you've got a mold problem but no idea where to start, start with Matt! I bet he can recommend someone.