One of the problems is the roof... it's leaking, but we're not sure quite where (small leak). We just noticed it last week but I am guessing it's related to a hurricane last month. So is it too late to submit a claim to our insurance? They did take pics of the roof after the hurricane -- we had another unrelated claim (that they denied after saying it would be covered!!) -- so maybe they already have it on file??? Do I talk to insurance before or after repairing the roof? And since the leak isn't obvious, how do I know that what I pay the roofer for will actually fix the leak? And he said there are other problems with our chimney and vents and we need a plumber to move one of the vents before he'll even touch the job... so are these guys generally honest & upright or do they find random "problems" so they can charge us more???
I'm trying to get friends to recommend reliable people but no one seems to know anyone so we're kind of on our own... And DH is laid off so our financial resources are limited, we CAN'T get ripped off on this...
Oh and will a plumber cause lots of internal repair stuff (drywall etc.) or are they good at working around that??? Any other generic tips on hiring professionals could be useful too... *sigh*
I usually go through the website service magic. They usually have several local contractors and you just leave a thing on the website for what you want to do and then the contracts will call you to discuss your problem. I think I usually get about 4 different people who want to give us quotes. For picking one I just go with my gut. There's always a couple who try to push me around or do a hard sale and I avoid those. I pick the one that I'm most comfortable with and who I feel is the most honest. The last guy actually gave me a different way to fix something that I'd never thought of and saved about $6,000. I never do anything without a written contract and I price things beforehand to get an estimate (i use cost helper's website for home repair estimates).
As for hurricane damage, not sure about your state, but I know the news was telling me here that time was running out to file a claim. You want to talk to your insurance first because a lot will not reimburse for work done before a claim was filed. We had some minor damage. but our hurricane deductible was so high it was better for us to just repair without going through insurance.
You can usually find roofers who will guarantee their work, but smaller companies often do not. I would hope a good roofer could pinpoint your leak before replacing anything. When we looked at repairing our roof the companies around here would only replace a whole side of a roof (they wouldn't do a patch or something small to fix a leak unless it was on the very end of the roofline).
Make sure when you get a quote from a plumber to move stuff around that their quote includes the price of clean up and repair of any walls. Depending on what they have to do, yes they may have to open up parts of your wall.
Think that's about all. I would just say don't do business with anyone you don't feel comfortable with. Every time we try to do a simple repair it always ends up being more complicated and a good relationship with the repairman makes it a lot easier.
-Us , Him and her
Our ins. gave us the amount they would cover, so will we need to submit receipts and stuff to them? And what if it costs a lot more or less than what they will cover??