While watching TV the other day, I got hooked on disaster construction jobs – watching people either tackle projects themselves or hire the wrong contractor. I just keep going back to so many jobs we have been called to look at, or properties I am showing my clients, that have some of these traits – rafters that don’t meet, walls that move, floors that have been laid wrong, appliances installed incorrect, wires not grounded, poor frame job, concrete slabs out of symmetric, leaky plumbing, and the list goes on.
So what happens in cases like these? First, some owners who hire someone might not even know or find these things until another disaster occurs or they try to sell their home and an inspection report reveals the issues. One thing you can always do, hire an inspector to tell you what is wrong with your home. But in the mean time here are some things to ponder on.
As a builder, we actually turn down jobs when people want to continue to just patch an area and refuse to do it correctly, or want something repaired that is actually tied into one of the disaster areas and don’t want to address it, or want a job done for a certain amount of money that is totally impossible to do. Listen to your contractor and do the job right. You hire them for their knowledge and abilities. Look at this scenario, if you go to get your car fixed and they tell you they need to replace a belt, and they also tell you it would be best to replace another belt while they are in there because of the location and wear – what would you do? Have them go ahead and do it all at once, or wait for the next one to break? It’s the same concept for construction. If you fix something, it might lead to something else, or cause another issue if not addressed. An honest contractor will tell you if it is better to address it now verses waiting.
Do you have a handy person in the family? Trying to save money by using your family person that saw the fix on TV, read a book, or can just fix stuff? Some can do it, some think they can do it, and some just don’t get it. We have seen it all. Yes, you might think you are saving money, but do you realize the job can end up costing you two or three times more? If you have to call someone out to repair what your family member has done, first off, they normally have to tear out the recent repair. And if they have to tear it out, some or all of the materials might not be salvageable. Then you have to buy all new. See what I mean? If the job calls for electrical or plumbing needs, I highly recommend you call in someone licensed and with a good reputation.
Disaster jobs might not look like a disaster on the outside or by just looking at it, but they can surprise you. Imagine a new wall with sheet rock was just done. Was it secured to the floor? Was it secured to the wall and boards properly? If not, you can have someone lean on it and the whole wall move or they can actually even fall through it. But it sure looked good! What about installing that new hot water heater without a catch pan? I see this one all the time. What happens if it leaks? Big mess if you have some of the newer wooden floors that don’t like water. So as you see, some things that seem simple and look perfectly fine can really come back with a vengeance, costing you much more than you initially thought.
I wish I had been taking pictures of all the disaster jobs I have seen. It might have made an amusing book. So when you think you want to save money by hiring the cheapest person you find, or trying to do it yourself, what can this job actually end up costing you?
Last but not least, it’s always good to call in an expert or get a second opinion. And ask about what kind of warranty you get on the job. And finally – check those references! You sure don’t want to be the next disaster job televised on TV.
For all your real estate and building needs or questions, call Debbie at 830-833-4249 or 713-818-6658, or send an email to debbie@vallone realestate.net.