Hunting Down that Good Contractor

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: Necessary home improvements
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A radiator leak provided an important lesson in our house this weekend. Can you live without heat for a few days? Yes, assuming it’s not the dead of winter. Can you learn to fix a few things yourself? Yes, with the right advice from a good contractor or friend.

Owning a house is all about that fine balance between doing home repairs that protect your investment and keeping your kids’ college funds intact.

Leaks and Contractors

We discovered our bathroom radiator leak on Friday afternoon as we headed into no man’s land for contractors to return calls and the bewitching hour when plumbers turn into REAL expensive contractors–$168 per hour is the normal rate; time and a half gets real scary!

A major dilemma–we couldn’t let it go all weekend because the water was flowing down inside the walls from the second floor to the basement. (Not to mention that it was 40 degrees at night!) So, I called a few plumbing contractors to ask how to stop the water but still have some heat from our boiler. One great guy called me back and talked me through the whole process without charging a fee. I knew we’d call him Monday to fix it for good.

Calling All Good Contractors

The moral of the story is–find contractors you can trust, but always keep an eye on the cost. In this case, we had a big enough problem that we needed a licensed plumber, not a neighbor who can switch out a faucet. So, we paid for the real deal, but not until Monday morning, when $168 an hour seemed like a bargain.

Problem solved. Lesson learned. Have those contractors in line before you need them. You won’t be in a panic and can think logically. The next stop is to check around for plumbers who can work the same magic at a lower per hour fee. Perhaps a smaller company or one without all the overhead costs/fees. We’ll be prepared for next time!

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  1. One Response to “Hunting Down that Good Contractor”

  2. Coralyn
    May 25, 2011

    At last! Someone who understands! Thanks for posting!

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