If you’re like most homeowners, you probably have a number of small inconveniences you would like to have corrected, but can’t do yourself. You put them off until a major problem comes up, and then you call the plumber, electrician or handyman. Most of these service people charge a standard fee just to show up, so if your job is small and takes less than an hour, you will still be assessed the minimum fee.
In order to save money, keep a list somewhere of the things you need done, so that when you do call someone, you can have everything taken care of in one visit. It will cost you less to combine tasks, and you can throw away that list and begin the next one.
The same thing applies to sewer cleaners. If you have an emergency plumbing problem, you will be charged a set fee for them to come to your house. Normally, they will ask you if any other drains need attention. If they forget to do this, make sure you mention any other similar problems you have been having, so they can work on them while they are there.
Just as we mentioned in an earlier blog about exercising caution when buying from vendors who have a kiosk in a larger store, you should also be careful about using someone other than the store’s recommended installer when purchasing home improvement items.
For instance, if you have hired a contractor to install windows in your home, he or she might be making the purchases for you. If something goes wrong with the product, such as a window that doesn’t seal, you will have to rely on the contractor to return the window to the store and exchange it for another one. The contractor may be too busy to take care of it right away, or worse yet, he may have left town or gone bankrupt. The store may blame the problem on the contractor, and be unwilling to correct the problem if you were not the buyer.
In order to avoid this, find out the store’s policy before hiring your own installer. The store might even be willing to lower their own installation charge to get your business.
You may have noticed that large retailers sometime lend out space to smaller companies. These vendors often have a kiosk within the store and offer services that the larger retailer doesn’t provide. For instance, a lumber company may rent space to a window salesman, or a home improvement store may offer space to a floor installer. It’s a benefit for the smaller vendor because they can be seen by more people, and it’s a benefit to the larger store because their customers can take care of the purchase and installation all in one location.
However, there is something to be aware of when doing business with these independent contractors. Just because they are located in the larger store doesn’t mean that their services are guaranteed by that store. Before you complete the deal, check with the manager of the larger store to see what the policy is. Otherwise, if there is a problem and the vendor goes out of business or doesn’t do the work, you may be out of luck and a great deal of money.