Just in Case
As a homeowner, you have a big investment to maintain. For the most part, caring for your home is a matter of routine maintenance and long-term planning, but there are occasions when you need help in a hurry. Those are the times when you really want to have a few trusted, reliable home professionals in your list of contacts.
It's helpful to establish working relationships with key local professionals before you have a household emergency. To do this, bring in pros for routine jobs, and stick with the ones you like. You'll find that people who know you and appreciate your business may be more responsive when you call them with a crisis. You don't need an army of workers at the ready, just a handful of pros you can call when you need them. Here's a list of the people you should keep on speed dial, just in case.
HVAC Repair Service
Why does it seem that your heating or air-conditioning system breaks down on the worst possible day of the year? Get ahead of any HVAC issues by scheduling seasonal tune-ups to ensure that your system is ready for the weather to come—before a breakdown occurs. If your system still goes down, you'll have the number of a reputable HVAC pro at your fingertips.
Many of the most common household emergencies involve the plumbing system. Plumbers can fix leaky water lines, unclog drains, and even detect and repair indoor gas leaks. Even if you have a real mess on your hands, a good plumber will get you fixed up in no time.
When you notice a pest problem, you should reach out to a professional promptly, before the issue gets worse. Exterminators protect your property against infestations of insects, such as termites, roaches, bees, ants, and bed bugs. They can also take care of other unwelcome pests, including mice, rats, bats, moles, squirrels, and other animals inside the house or in your yard.
Sometimes it takes a tree branch coming down on the garage before a homeowner calls in an arborist. But anyone whose property contains trees should be in contact with a good arborist. Arborists have extensive training in care and pruning techniques that keep trees healthier and protect the house and property from damage. Ideally, homeowners should call in an arborist once a year to monitor the physical health and structural integrity of their trees. As well, when trees suffer storm damage, contact a certified arborist to do the cleanup safely.
Roofing problems can be caused by severe weather or long-term wear and tear. Don’t wait for wet spots to show up on your ceiling. If you suspect damage, contact a roofer right away for an inspection and to make necessary repairs to prevent damage to your home’s interior. Roofers are also the ones to call for repairing or replacing gutters and downspouts.
If you want a pristine lawn, vivid seasonal color, and perfectly manicured hedges, then you’ll want to keep your landscaper on speed dial. An expert landscape professional will be proactive about maintenance and help keep you in good standing with your homeowners association. And if your irrigation system blows a head on a Saturday morning, your regular landscaper will be there to patch it up right away.
Business Referral Service
Whenever possible, it’s best to establish long-lasting, consistent relationships with local businesses. But sometimes you need a one-off service for a single event—like a broken window or getting locked out of the house. To find someone reliable quickly, check out business referral websites like HomeAdvisor.com, Angieslist.com, or Thumbtack.com. Look for businesses that have received high ratings from many customers.
If you are a do-it-yourselfer, save time by keeping the contact info for your regular building materials, hardware, and landscape suppliers in your phone. And while you're adding contacts, don't forget about 811, the nationwide "call before you dig" service. Call this free service a few days before you dig to have utility lines flagged so you can dig safely.
A Trusted Neighbor
OK, your neighbor probably isn't a plumber or heating contractor, but it's important for any homeowner to maintain a local network. Neighbors can keep an eye on your house and water your plants when you're on vacation, and they will almost certainly be able to recommend local professional services that they’ve used. Who knows? Your neighbor might even become your DIY buddy.
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