Well, so much for my degree in Economics. This is the third time in 30 years of business that the economy has knocked me around. I love the career I chose. No uniforms, suits.
When the economy took a downturn, I decided to cut back on both fixed and variable expenses. Many less fortunate contractors have had to roll up their tents.
The American dream of owning a home is still a reality. But, in the middle of a poor economy and we see our neighbors losing their jobs and homes, it hard to imagine that this too will pass. God willing, a change will be sooner than later.
Anyway, those of us who still have our homes must realize a few things. As one of our most valuable investments, the single-family residence requires constant maintenance to preserve. I have been experiencing many visits with home owners who have deferred their property maintenance. Unfortunately, this decision ends up costing them much more then the preventative maintenance would have had they addressed it in the first place.
In the current market, the wise homeowner is taking care of his/her property. Why is now a good time to take care of your home you ask? With so many craftsmen out of work, there are more craftsmen to choose from. It is the old principle of supply and demand. Currently, there are more tradesmen ready, willing, and able to provide services than there are property owners looking to spend money on home improvements. This means you not only can get projects done around the house started sooner and completed more quickly but also get them done for less money than before this “Great Recession 2010.”
Before you contract with any of these craftsmen, make sure they are not so insolvent that they let their licenses and/or liability insurance lapse. If they bring workers besides themselves onto your property, make sure you also verify their Worker’s Compensation Insurance is current. Many tradesmen are now on COD at the suppliers too. Check with Dunn and Bradstreet, Better Business Bureau, California Contractors’ State License Board, and ask for Certificates of Insurance as well as recent references. Doing this preventive maintenance on your craftsmen will ensure the preventive maintenance done on your primary investment will be trouble-free.