Photo: Chimney cap with cracks and mortar separation. Can lead to water penetration and damage to house interior structure. In need of replacement.
You’ve had your home inspection done and received the report. In the end you decided to purchase the property. The keys are in your hand and you are ready to tackle the deficiency list that the inspector has identified.
After a few phone calls you’ve struck out. No one is interested in your doing the work or coming over to give you a quotation. So what to do now?
Facts of Life
Trades persons always a challenge to find. Even though the real estate market has come off it recent multi-year high, construction activity is still at an all time high throughout the Sunshine Coast. Here’s what we suggest to do to find appropriate contractors…
Go Where Builders Go
Check out the local building supply stores. Go to the order counter and ask to speak to the manager. Explain to them that you are new in town and describe what your requirements are for the repairs. Usually they are very good at identifying 2 or 3 contractors who can do what you need to do. Many stores will even have a bulletin board or pigeon holes filled with business cards of the local contractors.
Drop into the office of a local general contractor, they usually have a list of all the trades they work with and you may be able to benefit from their experience.
Identify Who Does What
If it’s an issue related to let’s say the chimney, visit the local heating and plumbing company. The chimney is part of the heating system and they should have someone they have worked with in the past and can recommend.
Check with your agent. They have been paid handsomely in the real estate transaction. They may be able to provide you with some of their contacts. Most realtors work with a small handyman contracting firm to fix items in a house. This handyman service may be OK if they have done this type of work before.
Face to Face
Whenever possible, if there is a retail outlet, it is best to visit the store in person rather than call. It’s easy to dismiss a phone caller if it’s busy in the store.
One Important Question
It’s not easy to find competent help but it can be done with a methodical search. Likely you will also learn a lot about how to fix it. When you finally do find someone, always ask yourself the question… “Can I do this repair myself?” If so, not only will you learn more about your property, but it will also give you more confidence to tackle some of those other items to be fixed.
If the property is going to be a rental unit, then consider hiring a management company to look after your investment. They will take care of all the needed repairs with their labour crews or connections. Unfortunately their resources are not usually available to a private home owner.
Welcome to the nitty gritty of home and property ownership!