Every time I take my car to the shop, I feel out of control.
A visit for a simple oil change could turn into much more – Rotate tires – New Brake Pads – “Scheduled Maintenance” etc – and the costs pile on.
A few weeks after my last oil change, my car started “Knocking” when I started it. I wondered if maybe it was low on oil, so I checked . . . It didn’t register on the dip stick, so I added a quart . . . 3 days later same thing – Another quart . . . 3 days later same thing – a 3rd quart after which it registered as it should on the dip stick.
Yep! They had drained the old oil and didn’t put enough new oil back in.
They didn’t do the oil change right.
That got me wondering.
Did they replace my brakes right?
What else hasn’t been done right?
This made me think about home inspections. Once the house is under contract, the Buyer typically hires a professional home inspector to find anything and everything that might be wrong with the house.
I’ve witnessed hundreds of these inspections, and I’ve noticed some interesting trends in the findings.
The most significant of these trends (Other than “Deferred Maintenance”) centers around things that were installed improperly.
The shame of this is that whoever installed those things was probably a “Professional” who that Home Owner trusted to do the job right, and he didn’t.
Here are some things I see an many inspection reports:
- Safety Anchor bracket of stove not attached to wall
- Air conditioning Return vents not sealed so they draft (unclean) air from inside the walls or crawl space
- air conditioning ducts not suspended properly in the crawl space
- Debris left in the attic and crawl space
- Roof ridge vents installed but the ridges aren’t cut so there’s no venting
- Toilets not properly seated on wax rings
- Electrical Panel “double taps” and improper grounding
- Water Heater Pressure Release Valve extension not long enough or wrong material
- Bathroom exhaust fans venting into the attic
My list could continue.
My point is that most (if not all) of these were done by “Professionals” whom the Owner trusted to do the job right and paid them accordingly.
It’s shameful when these deficiencies aren’t discovered until months and years after installation resulting in unexpected costly repairs for the Seller when trying to sell the house . . . not to mention the number of “Safety Issues” that can go for years undiscovered until they cause a fire.
So . . . How DO you know if it’s done right?
Often you don’t until it surfaces as an issue.
One of my commanding officers in the army always stressed upon us younger officers the importance of identifying issues/problems and coming up with with solutions before bringing them to the attention of their superiors . . . so they present a problem with a few possible solutions.
This one’s tough, but it boils down to trust and accountability.
If you want it done right the first time, hire only people you already know and trust . . .
If you don’t already know anyone who does this, find someone you know and trust who will refer someone.
At the beginning of the relationship (when you hire the person), make it clear that you expect the job to be done right and confirm that the Professional is willing to be held accountable if you discover it’s not done right?
Get that “Warranty” in writing.
Odds are decent, they’ll be more attentive to detail when they know they’ll be held accountable.
At Pareto Realty, we align ourselves with nothing but the best “allied resources” . . . all are Professional Specialists in their fields (Lenders, title companies, Inspectors, tradesmen, Handymen, contractors) . . . and WE hold them accountable to doing it right, so we don’t have as many messes to clean up when we sell houses 🙂