The trick is finding someone to do the work who is not only competent, but also reliable. Not an easy task.
It’s not that we don’t have enough choices; just flip through the telephone book under Plumber, and you could drown in the myriad options beginning with AAAAAAA Plumbing. I know what goes through your mind: Is it better to go with a full-page ad (more successful company, but probably hires less-experienced workers) or with the catchy name (Tom’s Plumbing sounds too boring), or go in-between and find the small ad, multi-color. Or do you phone them and see who has the friendliest receptionist, or the best price. Ugh. No matter what, the odds of being utterly disappointed and ripped-off is astronomically high.
Enter the Home Owners Club.
For a nominal fee, you enter the world of guaranteed work and peace of mind. The Club screens all of its contractors for you, and guarantees that the work is done to your satisfaction. You pay the Club, rather than the Contractor, so you literally don’t pay until the work is completed to your specifications (which are all outlined in the proposals submitted by all the Contractors to the Club, and approved by you in writing before the work begins).
The Contractors have an enormous incentive to be on the roster with Home Owners Club because they have over 15,000 members here in the Greater Seattle Area, which drives a LOT of business to these small companies. If you have ever had shoddy work done before and bemoaned the fact that you were only ONE customer, making very little impact with your complaints, sign up with the Club NOW. The collective power of the Club ensures excellent work.
I spoke with a Club plumber a while back who is also a Member. He emphatically praised the value of the Club, and uses its referrals for anything he can’t do himself. He said that the Club customers pay the same price for the work as non-Club members, but the Club takes a percentage of the contract price. Sounds like a win-win-win to me.
I have used the Club for a few plumbing projects, painting (next week), extermination, and removal/reinstallation of insulation. All have been incredibly well-organized, competent and helpful. Contrast this to the nightmares I have endured in the past with painters , roofers (see my post on this one), fence builders, gardening service. My blood pressure goes up just thinking about this.
If price is your only criterion, then the Club isn’t for you. You won’t get a bargain, which certainly does exist out there if you are willing to spend a lot of time contacting and interviewing scores of candidates, then doing your homework and tracing down references and background checks. Those days are over for me. Now, I want the work done with minimal stress. I still get a few bids, all referred by the Club, and then go with my gut.
I give the Home Owners Club my highest recommendation.