• Home Repairs: How to Know You Need a Professional

    Posted on February 5, 2019 by in Helpful tips, Home

     Photo by Jesse Roberts on Unsplash

    When it comes to your property, a homeowner’s work is never done. However, when it comes to major repairs that require significant construction, you need to know when to walk away and call in a professional for help. After all, if a repair isn’t done right the first time, it will end up costing you so much more in time, frustration, and, of course, money in the long run.


    Furthermore, some home repairs require permits to ensure that all construction is done safely and under the confines of the law. Permits are purchased through your city government and create a record that ensures official inspectors will check your property for any safety violations. These records are also helpful if you ever sell or refinance your home. Both buyers and lenders check for any history of remodels and frown upon anything that goes against building codes.


    Projects that will always require one or more permits include:

    • Fence installation and repairs
    • Window installations
    • Plumbing
    • Electrical
    • Changes to the load-bearing walls
    • Changes to balconies, decks, and porches
    • Changes to roof
    • Changes to foundation flooring
    • Heating/Cooling Maintenance
    • Additions and remodels


    If you hire a professional contractor, they should tell you all about the required project permits. But as a homeowner, being knowledgeable about these things can help protect you from fraud, additional repairs, and huge fines based on your neighborhood covenants.


    Structural Repairs


    Changes to your home’s structural integrity can be the result of ground movement, inadequately restrained walls, timber decay, failing building materials, movement fatigue, or mechanical disturbance. Signs that your home may need structural repairs include things like cracks in your walls or above windows and door frames, doors or windows sticking, and uneven floors. These signs aren’t just unsightly, as even small cracks can lead to big problems if not addressed immediately. If you notice cracks, contact your home insurer immediately. They will send a structural surveyor to check everything out and see if any work is necessary. If your home needs it, you can proceed to hire a contractor from there.


    Roof Replacements


    A home isn’t a home without an effective roof. If your home needs a roof replacement, shop around with different local companies and get quotes. You want to go with a local and reputable roofing company, especially if you’re noticing roof damage after a major storm. There is a particular breed of scammers in the roofing industry called storm chasers. They sweep through town after a natural disaster or destructive storm and offer roof and siding repairs door to door.


    To be safe, get at least three opinions on the repairs your roof needs. Don’t base your decision on which roofer offers the cheapest work — go with the company that has the best reputation. Sometimes roofers will propose a low bottom line and tack on extra charges as the work goes on. Get a solid offer in writing from a licensed and insured roofer before the work ever begins.


    Electrical Work


    Electrical work gone wrong can be deadly — that’s why it’s so important to contact professionals as soon as you notice problems. Signs that your home may need electrical work include dimmed ceiling lights, smoke, buzzing, crackling, sizzling, burning smells, discoloration around outlets, warm outlets, and frayed wiring. When interviewing electricians, always check their state license as well as proof of insurance and make sure they are up to date. Also, check their references and online reputation to make sure you’re working with a reputable business. In the end, hire the electrician who has the best reputation and attitude.


    Every homeowner loves a good DIY project, but when it comes to certain renovations and repairs, it’s best left to the professionals. First of all, many major repairs require permits for construction, and a good contractor can get you through that. Projects that require professionals range from the inside out including structural repairs, roof replacements, and electrical work. Hiring a professional can definitely save you some headaches in the long run.

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