Sometimes, it might look like there are so many home maintenance tasks that need to be completed and so little time to finish them all in time. While some of them can be turned into weekend DIY projects, there are others that require the use of a professional contractor.
Examples of home maintenance tasks that would require a contractor include making any exterior repairs to your home, adding a new air conditioning system, repairing tile and grout in the kitchen or bathroom or getting any major electrical or plumbing work done. For other tasks – such as pruning the shrubs or repainting the house – you can usually find a handyman to do the job.
There’s a big difference in the choice between using a contractor or a handyman. A job for a handyman is something you might ask your boyfriend or husband to do – putting up shelves, unclogging the toilet, or mowing the lawn. A job for a contractor is one that requires a written contract, with all costs clearly labeled. Most contractors charge on a “cost-plus” basis, meaning they charge for labor, plus a standard markup of 10-25% for materials. Given the scale of the jobs they are asked to complete, they also typically require a deposit of 10-30% up front to cover initial expenses. One of the examples of such contractors is gutter cleaning contractor. You can find one here at Tip Top Eaves eavestrough cleaning service
There’s also one other important factor to keep in mind when hiring a contractor – you have to make sure that they are licensed, bonded and insured. Sometimes, they will tell you this right at the outset, or you’ll notice a number of initials or letters after the name of the company, telling you which Canadian organizations have licensed their work
So, for example, let’s just take one of the home maintenance tasks – making exterior repairs to your house – to see how to find the best contractor. One classic home maintenance task is cleaning out the gutters and fixing any drainage problems. In the Toronto area, these are typically called eavestrough contractors.
You would first research the various options available for gutters, to get an idea of the materials used in the project. You would then do a basic price estimate of how much it would cost you to complete the project before getting any contractors to give you their price quotes. You might need to invite the contractor to come out and see the house and give a full estimate. And you can do this with several contractors, as you try to see who’s giving you the best possible offer.
But be careful when it comes to price! Often, the lowest bid offer is not the best offer. That may be a signal that the contractor is not licensed or insured. Or, it could be a signal that he or she is using inferior materials on the project. Take the gutter project above – they may be using inexpensive wire mesh gutter guards instead of more expensive materials that provide better protection against debris and rain. That’s why it’s always good to have a bit of knowledge about the project you are undertaking – as you examine the contract, you can check that the pricing is OK and that all the required and suggested steps are being taken as well.
If you’re not sure about where to find the right contractor for a job, you have several options. One is simply word-of-mouth: ask people you know whom they would recommend. Or drive around your Toronto neighborhood – some residences that are getting work done on the premises will have signs out front telling you who’s doing the work. Another option is to use an online community like Angie’s List to get names of local contractors. Finally, one popular option is to see if your local hardware store or home improvement superstore works with contractors on specific projects.
Once you have the contact info of several contractors, it’s time to start making a few calls. Often, these contractors will specialize in certain projects, and will be able to guide you through the whole process, so you don’t have to worry about knowing all the specialized jargon. Just tell them your problem and how you’d like to fix it, and the rest they will handle.