Angie’s List: What the pros wish you knew

(WKOW) — When you call in a service pro to get a project done on your home you expect them to be the expert. While they may be the expert, there are a few things homeowners could do some research on to make a pro’s life just a bit easier. What service pros wish you already knew before you picked up the phone is today’s Angie’s List Report.

First things first, make sure you know what project you want done and the kind of pro you’re looking for before reaching out.

“There’s a thousand landscapers, thousands of people out there, thousands of companies that range from a simple “mow-and-go” to full on master plans, designs and maintenance. Know what you want and really find the right fit. It might take a little research, it might take meeting with a few different people,” said Dan Klindera, general manager and Certified arborist at Greenwise Organic Lawncare.

Decide on your budget before you meet with a pro – while they can help you see what you can achieve within a set budget, only you know how much you can and are willing to spend.

“Really consider what your budget is and what you honestly have plans to do with it. When you hire a professional who knows what they’re doing, they will work with the budget to get you as many things off that list as they possibly can. Whereas if you don’t hire somebody with a budget in mind, these are the horror stories where it spirals out of control and people end up spending way more money than they intended to,” said Karl Sponholtz, an architectural and interior designer.

Know what your ultimate goal is. Whether your completing a project that you and your family can enjoy for years on end or if your looking to increase the ROI on your home for when you sell, Jim Brandon, Owner of Landmark DBM says that that can potentially change the direction the project takes.

“If you said, “I’m going to sell the house in a year” well, that will lead me in a different direction than if somebody’s priority is, “where do I entertain my family friends when they come over?” Or “ I just hate my backyard – its overgrown” then that will lead us in that direction,” said Jim Brandon, owner of Landmark DBM.

Finally, Angie reminds us to get to know the local and state licensing requirements for the service professional that you are looking to hire – this will come in handy so you can check their credentials right off the bat.

“Confirm their credentials. Ask to see the professionals trade licensing and confirm that is it actually in compliance with state and local requirements. Also be sure the professional is appropriately bonded and insured,” said Angie Hicks, co-founder of Angie’s List. 

The most common advice we received from service pros across multiple trades was to know your budget and to stick to it. By just doing some quick research into the project you want completed and the company you are thinking of hiring you can save yourself – and service professionals – time, money, and unnecessary frustrations down the road.



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