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Home Repairs. How to Get a Company to Come Back

Repairs to Your Home

Home Repairs: Siding

A friend recommended I write a post about how to get a company you’ve already paid to come back to make home repairs.  Let’s say you’ve had a company come out to your home to do work.  Maybe they installed a deck or replaced your hot water heater.  It’s been a few weeks or months since the work was done and you now have something that isn’t quite right.  You’ve made several calls to the company and they have yet to respond.  Or, they’ve responded but your home repairs keep getting pushed into the future.  What can you do to get the company to come back to fix the problem?

Hire The Good Ones

If you are having problems getting a company you hired to come back for home repairs, you probably don’t want to hear this but I will say it anyway.  Properly checking out a company before hiring them to do work on your home is the most important thing you can do.  First, if you hire the right company, you shouldn’t have any home repairs.  Second, if you do have an item or two that needs to be fixed, a reputable company will come back and take care of it no questions asked.  If you want some tips on how to locate and screen companies to work on your home projects, check out this video on finding quality subcontractors.

Home Repairs: First Ask Nicely

If you’ve ever worked in a customer service role, you know what I’m talking about when I say, give them a chance before you attack them.  Most people are happy to help you as long as you treat them with respect.  But what do you do if they don’t respond to your respectful request for your home repairs?  First, make sure you document all conversations.  This would include the date, time and the person you spoke with.  If you had a builder’s consultant help you with your project, this would be a good time to have them also call the company.  Builders sometimes have a little more authority because of the ongoing work they provide.  Don’t forget to use this to your advantage.

Written Correspondence

The second request for home repairs should be in writing.  This could be an email, fax or certified letter.  Be sure to keep the confirmation of the sent email, fax or certified letter receipt. This correspondence should be very specific on what the home repairs are and give details on when you first requested service.  You should also include information on when the original work was done, what type of materials were used (example = give the manufacturer and model number of the hot water tank they installed), and what the warranty is for the product or work you hired them to do.  This should be in the contract or in your scopes of work and specifications.

After waiting a fair amount of time for a response without getting a specific date to complete your home repairs, it’s time to pull out the big guns and show them you are serious.  Send a certified letter (with signature required) directly to the owner of the company.  Do everyone a favor and leave out your emotions.  I know you will be tempted to let them know what jerks they are and how horrible you have been treated.  But if you stick with the facts, you will have a better chance at getting your home repairs completed.  Include in your letter to the company owner the following…

  • the first two attempts at getting your home repairs fixed (time, date and person corresponded with)
  • your contract/scopes of work and specifications highlighting the warranty details and why you are still covered
  • your expectations for when the work needs to be completed (give them a fair date)
  • state your intentions if you don’t get an acceptable response:  contacting Better Business Bureau,, Angies List, Ripoff Report… to place your experience in front of the public.  Also let them know you will be contacting the local building department to complain (many home remodeling and repair companies must be registered within a city to do work).  If they are a licensed contractor (plumbing, electrical, roofing…etc.), let them know you will be reporting them to the licensing board.
If your repair is an emergency situation, like a plumbing leak or a non-working furnace, your actions will obviously require a different approach.  Letters will be out of the question, but you will still want to document conversations (person spoken to, date, and time).  Should you be forced to hire another company to fix the work, the documentation will help your chances of getting reimbursed for your expenses.

This should help you get your home repairs completed.  If not, you may want to contact one of your attorney friends (the documentation above will help you with this).  Ideally, you will hire only good companies that see customer service as another opportunity to show you how good they are.  There are many building and repair companies that operate this way…you just need to find them.  Have you had any problems getting a company to come back for home repairs?  What type of contractor was it (i.e. plumbing, electrical, remodeling, general…)?  What methods did you use to get them to come back?  Did they work?

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1 Comment for Home Repairs. How to Get a Company to Come Back

Home Repairs: Hiring Companies to Work on Your Home- Armchair Builder :: Blog :: Build, renovate, & repair your own home. Save money as an owner-builder. | November 5, 2012 at 11:50 am

[…] Description of Work When describing the work to be done in the contract, you really can’t have too much information.  You should never assume anything.  Take drywall repairs as an example.  Does the repair include priming and painting?  If so, is the paint and primer included?  If you are having an electrician install new recessed lights, is all the material included?  How about the lights themselves?  Is he/she taking care of any drywall damage that happens?  This is a big one.  I have seen electricians and plumbers that have total disregard for walls and cut them up like swiss cheese. . Not all companies out there are bad.  In fact, the majority are good, hard working, honest people.  Unfortunately, the few bad ones out there require you to do your due diligence.  If you want to see a video about how you can be taken advantage of, check out this story from last week on the Today Show.  Want some more ideas for hiring good companies to work on your home or project?  Check out these resources… – No More Nightmare Experiences Getting Work Done on My Home – Deck Builders: Hiring for Your New Project – New Roof:  Builder Tips and Secrets to Save – Home Repairs:  How to Get a Company to Come Back […]