By Brentnie Daggett
Being a homeowner is a considerable responsibility, and likely one of the largest investments you'll make in your life. In order to protect your investment, you need to proactively care for your property, which means taking the correct steps to prevent problems from happening or quickly resolve issues when they do arise.
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Depending on your handyman skills, you may be able to handle basic home repairs on your own, but odds are, you'll need the help of a few licensed contractors at some point in your homeowner experience.
When it's time to enlist the help of an outside contractor, it's important to choose a reliable and experienced individual. Picking the right person for the job can be a more intricate process than many are led to believe, but with careful screening, you'll be able to build a list of qualified contractors to work with when things go wrong. Here are five essential contractors that every homeowner should keep in their contacts:
A carpenter is one of the most common contractors a homeowner will work with. While you may be able to handle some carpentry-related tasks on your own, depending on your experience, having a carpenter you trust will come in handy for larger, more complicated projects.
Carpenters will deal with the construction, repair and installation of any structures made from wood or similar materials. This can include walls, windows, doors, flooring and other types of molding or frames. Carpenters may insulate buildings, install cabinetry, assemble framework or build new walls. Because carpenters provide valuable help to both the interior and exterior of your home, consider making this relationship one of the first you seek out when purchasing a property.
Faulty wiring and other electrical malfunctions are something you shouldn't attempt to repair on your own if you don't have experience in this field. Performing even minor electrical work presents a series of risks to both the worker and those occupying the property, and the electrical system in your home can impact nearly every aspect of your property. Faulty electrical work can cause inconvenience, significant damage or even create a fire hazard in extreme cases. Due to safety codes involved with electrical work, it's best to keep a reliable electrician on call.
An easy way to find an electrician you trust is to follow recommendations from another homeowner whose opinion you value. Request to see the license and ask about professional history to make sure the electrician you choose will be the best fit.
Plumbing and piping can be one of the most intimidating parts of a home. While fixing small leaks or unclogging drains is something you'll likely learn to do on your own over time, you may require the help of an experienced plumber sooner or later for bigger issues. Plumbers are suited to take care of extensive damage and repairs, and can also provide you with data such as quotes, isometric drawings or anything else you may need for repairs or remodels.
Even as little as a quarter-inch of standing water can cause structural damage to a home, so make sure you choose a plumber who'll answer your calls and be readily available.
Since roofing involves a highly complex set of skills, it's advisable to not try to tackle this project yourself (unless you have specific roofing experience, of course). Roofers can install, repair or replace the roof of a building using various materials such as shingles, bitumen or metal.
Roof work can be expensive so it's important to perform regular maintenance to catch small issues before they turn into major ones. This part of a home's exterior is directly exposed to weather-related damage, and preventing extensive damage like leaks or mildew build-up is critical to protecting your property.
Walls, fences and other related structures usually fall into the landscaping category, so a mason may not be a contractor that's at the top of your list. However, these projects are complex and usually require the assistance of a skilled professional. If any of these structures are located on your property, or if you plan to build something to improve the quality and market value of your home, it doesn't hurt to find someone skilled in masonry.
Depending on the materials they work with, there are three main types of masons: brick masons, stonemasons and block masons. As the titles suggest, they can work with brick, natural stones or concrete blocks to build walls, fences and other structures.
It's important to build a list of trusted professional contractors before you need them. That way, when something comes up, you won't be left scrambling to settle for the first available person you can find. While there are certain tasks you can and should perform on your own, most repairs and remodels are best done with the assistance of a licensed professional.
Brentnie Daggett is a writer and infographic master for the rental and property management industry. She loves to share tips and tricks to assist landlords and renters alike. To learn more about Daggett, and to discover more great tips for renters, visit www.rentecdirect.com.