Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How much?

     Once again my inspiration for today comes from Jill @ She wants to know how to keep from getting scammed. She has kids at home and is more or less at the mercy of an industry with a less than stellar reputation. In order to keep yourself and your bank account safe while ensuring the tradesman gets a fair price here is what you do. Check re-check and triple check. If it's a plumber then choose one who has been in business for long enough to have a good BBB rating. Same with an electrician. If you own a home and are likely to need the services of tradesmen start taking note of trucks and company names doing business in the neighborhood. Do not EVER do business with anyone who solicits work from you. If you did not call a business with a working phone number and schedule an appointment shut the door on them and deadbolt it.
      Always know a guy. You know that guy. He's the guy that even if he can't fix it he can tell what's wrong and tell you. A cracked fitting or a leaky valve, or simply a failed heating element do not necessarily mean the water heater is bad. The plumber may be giving you solid advice when he says you need a new one but it really depends on the age and condition of the tank. If it is old and inefficient you probably want a new one even if the old one can be repaired. Here is a tip if you have the vehicle that can do it and you know you need a new one then go get it yourself. There is typically a plate with all the pertinent information on it just write it down and head to the place that sells these things.
       When you get to the store find an old guy. I am not saying that the staple in a kids eyebrow or the bone in his nose makes him stupid, what I'm saying is sometimes there is no substitution for experience. All in all avoiding a scam is as simple as doing your homework. An honest business will be happy to give you references and you should check them. An honest business will have honest employees. Ask for ID and write down their names because you want to know who has been in your home. Also friends and family can be used as sources if they have recently had similar work done. An honest business will give you an invoice that includes all parts, labor and warranty information. When a tradesman shows up have a number ready. Tell them you need to be told if the price is going to exceed that number. Any project can get expensive quickly and it isn't always the fault of the tradesman trying to gyp you. But having a number agreed on between you can prevent a nasty surprise when they present the invoice.
      Once again thank you to Jill @ for the inspiration and good luck with any task you take on.