In the past year, between my home and my rental properties I have had to replace two air conditioning units, a water heater, and have had a several plumbing obstacles.
When problems arose my first instinct was to find a local company to come out to diagnose and repair the issue. Just the visit alone can cost $70-$100. I learned pretty quickly that I could not afford to call an expert every time an appliance broke or a leak started.
I have saved hundreds of dollars by implementing these tips when a home repair is needed.
YouTube “How to”
Simply typing into YouTube, “How to fix a dishwasher that will not drain” can lead you to videos with quick troubleshooting tips. These tips will help you fix the issues all on your own.
Just recently my dishwasher would not drain. My boyfriend and I wasted time calling appliance companies to get estimates. When we found out that it would cost hundreds of dollars we took matters into our own hands.
We found several videos on YouTube to help us troubleshoot the issue. I took the pipes apart, while my boyfriend took apart the draining system.
Please note that neither of us have ever fixed a dishwasher, nor do we have any plumbing skills.
The videos, and our careful attention to detail, gave us enough confidence to take things apart and trouble shoot the issue. My boyfriend ended up finding a piece of glass that was wedged in the drain, stopping it from working. Once it was removed it worked like a charm.
If we had not done our research, we would have spent $70 just on a service call. $70 for someone to take a piece of glass out of our drain would have been a complete waist of money.
Ask Your Network
Asking other home owners who they have used for repairs is the best way to get an idea of what something could cost. It can also lead you to discover that your friends and family have hidden talents that they are willing to use to help you with your repair.
Side note, to get repairs done by friends beer and pizza can be the best bartering gift.
When my air conditioning unit blew I reached out to a family member who had just gotten hers replaced. I found out that the company she used had been around for over 20 years and had a policy that they would beat any other quote out there.
They ended up coming out the same day and the new unit was installed in 48 hours for $1000 less then the original quote I attained. Which brings me to the next tip….
Get Multiple Quotes
Many appliance and service companies have a standard fee to come out and give you a quote. Although you may waist $50-$70 getting a quote, you could save thousands by getting two quotes. The standard fee is also almost always put towards the cost of service if you choose to go with that company. So the cost of the service fee is essentially waived.
Just recently my mom got a quote from an air conditioning repair company. They told her she would need to replace her entire unit for $6000. Knowing that the unit was not very old, she had another company come out to give an estimate to fix it.
The second company ended up doing their research to find out that the unit was still completely under warranty. Leading me to the next tip…
Save/Check Your Warranty
One of the best pieces of advice I was given, as a first time home owner, was to save all my receipts and manuals for appliances.
Many appliances and services come with warranties, some can even be extended at time of purchase.
It is crucial that you keep warranty paperwork where you can find it. Many times if a product is under warranty the company will fix or replace it at no cost to you.
Being able to find and check your warranty could save you time and money.
Have you ever heard that saying, “Cash is king?” Well, take it from me, it is. Service providers have to pay upfront for appliances, often before they have collected money from you.
Leveraging the option to pay cash as a bartering tool is an easy way to get a discount. Even a 10%-20% savings can be a good deal of money when you owe a few hundred dollars.
Sometimes just asking for a discount can open the door to additional payment options.
Ask for a Discount/Search for Coupons
Many companies offer discounts and specials for first time services. Some service companies will even wave their service fee if you decide to use them for your services. These discounts are often disclosed either over the phone or on their website. If you don’t see a discount, then ask for one.
Asking for a discount is the easiest way to learn about specials a company offers. You never know if you don’t ask. What’s the worst that could happen, they say no? Well at least you know.