Home & Garden

Hire pros for home repairs

Q: I have a question I already know the answer to but I thought it might help others who might read your work. I hired a “handyman” to install some pipes in my home to turn a closet into a half bathroom. He got the pipes installed but cut through so many floor joists I had to hire a carpenter to repair them. It was the carpenter who suggested I get another opinion on the pipe installation and wouldn’t you know it, they were wrong. I hope people will read this and hire professionals rather than trying save a few dollars like we did.

A: As a home inspector I often see what can happen when repairs are made by an underqualified worker.

In one home I found the ductwork was incomplete and was just lying on the ground in the crawl space. The people had lived in the home for months not knowing why the home was so hard to heat.

At another home the owner complained of rattling in the water pipes. We found that the person who installed the copper supply pipes had drug the pipes across the crawl space floor and pea gravel had been pulled into the pipes. A plumber would have known better.

When someone wants to work on your home to do electrical, plumbing, heating or air conditioning, etc., ask to see his or her license. If the license belongs to the owner of the company, make sure the people they send to your home are qualified, licensed if required and insured. Contact the Better Business Bureau to find any complaints.

When you hire a company or contractor, make it a point to always work from a written contract you both sign. Any and all changes that arise during the work must be in writing and signed by both parties. Ask for references. If they’re proud of their work, you should be given a long list of happy clients.

C. Dwight Barnett is a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors. Reach him at d.Barnett@insightbb.com.