3 Questions to Ask About Home Repair Services

If you live in a house for more than a week, you will encounter something that needs repair. There are some common repairs that most people can make on their own. For instance, If your toilet has a simple clog, you can usually resolve that without hiring a plumber. If you need new curtains to block out the sun in your living room, that’s also a one-person job.

But not everything will be that simple. If your pipes are making weird noises at all hours of the day, or something similarly odd, you need to bring in a plumber to investigate. But first, you need to ask them the following questions.

When can you provide a cost estimate?

Let’s say you live in the Chicago suburbs and have decided to contact a plumber in Arlington Heights. After you describe the issue, they should be able to tell you pretty fast whether or not they think they can help. Remember that the operative word here is “think”. Sometimes they arrive at your house and find that the issue is more complicated than it sounded on the phone, and you may need a foundation repair in Southern IL, or wherever you are, to fix the problem. Should that happen, they may tell you to contact someone else with more specialized experience in this type of repair, which you can do and either schedule your appointment then and there, or ask for estimates if you would like to ask a few companies for quotes.

Once you get confirmation that they can stop by your house and take a look, ask them how soon they can provide you with a cost estimate. Saying “that should cost about $200” might work in the short term, but you’ll need a written estimate before any serious work starts. A written estimate protects both you and the person performing the work. If there are any questions at the end of the process, you can both go back to the paperwork and see what it says. In some states, there are even laws that outline how written estimates should look and when they should be provided.
Is it a multi-day project?
The fridge you’ve had for the last five years is not cooling anymore. In addition to that, the ice machine is no longer making ice. This means you’ll need to look for local appliance repair services. In fact, the lack of cooling alone could be reason enough to hire emergency repair services, as it doesn’t take long for the food in your fridge to spoil.
When the repairperson arrives, you shouldn’t immediately ask how long the project will take — let them get the lay of the land first. But you don’t want to wait until they’re knee-deep in work to find out that it’s going to take a week to get everything done.
Because most people can’t go a week without a fridge. Most people would have trouble going without a refrigerator for more than a day or two. Take-out food is fun in small doses, but it can get old fast when it’s your only option. The situation is even more urgent if your toilet or shower is going to be out of commission for more than a few hours. In that case, you may need a hotel room to stay in until the repairs are finished and your bathroom is in good working order again.

Should I leave the house?
There are some people who like to stay at home and supervise home repairs. That can feel like a more comforting option than just leaving the house and waiting for a call saying all the repairs have been made. But the most comforting option won’t always be the best one.

You can mean well and still get in the way of the repair team’s work. This is more likely if you live in a small house or apartment, but it can happen in the most palatial mansion too. The nature of the repair work could mean it’s hazardous for you to stick around without a hardhat. You don’t want to create any liability issues for the repair company.

To avoid any awkward situations, just ask if you need to leave. If they say yes, accept that and ask them to call you when the scene is clear.
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