It’s a common story that you hear all too often amongst homeowners. A small problem quickly becomes a big one, eventually leading to a full-on home renovation you were not prepared for. This could be a burst pipe flooding your basement, or a slow leak under a toilet eroding your bathroom floor. Whatever the cause, often what starts out as a panicked call to a Pro has a tendency to turn into something more. Learn how to handle these situations, so that when it happens to you, you’re ready for what comes next.
Don’t Blame the Pro
Pros are often put in a bad position during these types of events. They came out to deal with an emergency, only to have to deliver some bad news; the emergency is over but the problem is far from fixed. Remember that this isn’t the Pro’s fault. They didn’t cause the issue, and even if they needed to cut open walls or make a mess to fix the initial problem, it’s still not their fault if you need more work to be done. Too many homeowners forget this fact, getting upset at the Pro when they tell you that there needs to be more work done than they can do right now.
Instead, work with the Pro. They are standing right there and has a lot more information and knowledge about these types of things than you do. Take advantage of this and start asking questions. Get the scope of the work that needs to be done, ask if they’ve done this type of work before, and get a ballpark quote. Ask them to follow up on that quote in writing after the fact in case you decide to go with them for the following work.
After the emergency has passed and the first Pro on the scene has left, take a few minutes to start calling around and getting more information and quotes. Just because you had one Pro come out and fix the leak or stop the immediate problem doesn’t mean you’re committed to using them going forward.
Even if you were to use the first Pro, work probably wouldn’t begin right away. This means that you do have a few days to get other estimates and find the right Pro for the job. You can stress the urgency of your need when you speak to other Pros if needed, but you don’t have to feel pressured at this point. If the first Pro was willing to come out right away, but ultimately isn’t the best fit for the job, feel free to pay him for his time and move on to someone else.
Get a Contingency Fund Together
Surprise home improvements are never something that you plan for, and you may find yourself scrambling for funds. Remember, though, that as you call your bank for a loan or check in with your town hall for grants, that the scope of the work may change again once things get started. Budget for an additional 20% to be held aside in case this happens. This type of contingency fund is normal. Most banks will factor it into the loan you take out. Remember that now is not the time to cut corners; you want the work you do on your home to last, even if it is a bit of a surprise strain on your finances.
Above all else, remember to stay calm throughout this process. Think of it as an adventure that will leave your home better off than it was before, even if it wasn’t something you were planning on taking on.
If you need help finding the right Pro for the job, be sure to sign up with BEYREP where our matching service will help you find the right Pro every time. Sign up with BEYREP and change how you view home improvements.