A happy home consists of the people in it, and also of its systems and features.
Many of the latter are easy to DIY when they’re in need of repairs. Others are better off in the hands of the men and women who make it their business to know your home.
Finding the right contractor
First, it’s important to know that not all contractors are created equally.
Before outsourcing any work, do your research.
Check their references, business license, insurance, and online reputation. Improvenet’s Match Me With Pros tool is a great place to begin your search.
You can also check with your local Better Business Bureau for registered members.
The electrical system is the heart of the home and is more than just outlets, plugs, and switches.
It is comprised of a complex series of wires, connectors, capacitors, and other components that come together in the breaker box.
Everything connected to electricity in your home is dependent upon the flow of energy. Something as simple as an ungrounded wire or improperly-connected light fixture can lead to system failure or fire.
A licensed electrician will know exactly how each piece fits together and can save you from disaster.
If the electrical system serves as your home’s heart, the plumbing system is its veins.
The pipes, supply lines, and plumbing fixtures deliver the water you need to cook, clean, and drink.
An educated plumber can ensure that your plumbing system serves its purpose and can help you avoid property damage, according to the experts at Pure-Line Plumbing.
Plumbing repairs aren’t usually cheap, however, so it pays to hire a reputable plumber from the start to avoid further expenses.
Main line replacement can run you as much as $250 per linear foot, and this is one repair you don’t want left to chance.
Your home breathes just like you, but instead of lungs, it has a heating and air conditioning system.
The HVAC system keeps your family comfortable when the weather outside is frightful. In most cases, a licensed HVAC technician is legally required to perform repairs on a heating or air conditioning unit, since refrigerant usage is regulated by law.
A yearly tune-up, which costs between $50 and $150, can keep your system humming all year long.
Anything dealing with the structure or foundation of your home should also be outsourced to a licensed, bonded, insured, and experienced professional.
This includes things like the deck, brick repair, gutters, and frame. A carpenter will know how to identify a load-bearing wall; if you accidentally knock out one of these, you put your entire home at risk of collapse.
Freestanding and attached structures are also expected to follow local codes.
Decks, for example, are regulated by Internal Building Codes but may also be subject to local building ordinances.
If you erect a structure on your home without the proper permits and licenses, you may be fined by your city.
Considering that decking material alone can cost $10,000, you’re better off outsourcing this addition to avoid being legally forced to tear it down later.
Even projects that look straightforward, such as paving a driveway, may not be as easy as they appear on the surface.
A company specializing in asphalt, concrete, or aggregate driveways will understand how to reinforce the land to hold the added load of both the materials and vehicles.
They will be experienced in mixing the materials so that they dry and harden appropriately.
This is certainly not a full list of projects to outsource, but it’s a good starting point if you’re getting ready to plan a large-scale renovation.
While you may incur higher costs in the beginning, using a professional can keep you from losing money due to an accident, injury, or repair failure.
For more on home repairs to outsource, check out this article by Moneyning’s Linsey Knerl.
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