When the HVAC is broken, when the oven won’t turn on, or when the dishwasher is leaking water all over the kitchen floor – these are not times to wish you knew a general contractor or had a home warranty.
If you’ve had any of the above happen to you, and you do not have a home warranty, this is likely what you typed into Google: General Contractors Near Me.
And, what did you find?
Likely your search generated several ads as well as manipulated review sites and other “pay for play” options to choose from.
Why is finding a general contractor so hard?
It’s hard because everyone wants your business, but when a system or an appliance breaks down the last thing you need is someone to make the situation harder or more complicated than it already is.
What Do General Contractors Do?
Whether it’s an appliance that gets used every day, like a dishwasher or a washing machine, or a system, like your HVAC, finding the right contractor – who is qualified, available, and reliable – can be downright overwhelming. In some cases, you may already know someone. Or, you know someone who knows someone. But if they’re not local, not available, or they’re not the type of contractor you need, then what do you do?
Reviews are subjective. Results may vary. And, landing the right general contractor isn’t only a matter of price – although, it’s a good idea to know how much they plan on charging you before they come into your home and if they have an upcharge or a markup that you should know about. What’s really important is if they’re going to show up on time and if they're prepared to do the job – and if they’ll do a good job.
So, whose recommendation will you trust?
Like most questions we have, a lot of homeowners will turn to the internet first. They’ll mine Google for resources typing, “General contractor near me who can fix my HVAC.” Or, they’ll pick up their phone and say, “Siri, find me a general contractor who can fix an oven.” When times get really desperate, some homeowners might even find themselves saying, “Alexa, fix my dishwasher.”
But you know who doesn’t have to do Google searches in the middle of the night for “general contractors near me”? Homeowners who purchased a home warranty.
Home Warranty General Contractor Networks
A home warranty offers homeowners peace of mind. Besides appliance and home system coverage – like dishwashing machines, laundry machines, microwaves, refrigerators, and HVACs – and covering the replacement costs for when and if these appliances and systems break due to normal wear and tear, a home warranty offers another big benefit: access to a network of pre-screened contractors and local technicians who can be there when you need them. This includes all the times when the HVAC breaks down or starts acting funny during the hot summer months and when the oven won’t turn on right as you start to cook your Thanksgiving turkey or your Christmas ham. (Choice Home Warranty had plenty of examples of how their technicians have gone above and beyond over the years, which you can read in this article: The Importance – and the Value – of Having a Network of Prescreened, Local Technicians.)
For homeowners who have a home warranty, as soon as their dishwasher starts leaking (provided their dishwasher is included in their coverage), they know who to call. Their home warranty company will connect them to a local contractor who can take on the repair. The claims process is easy and predictable. Home warranty customers simply make a call or start their claim on the home warranty’s website. The service fee for a general contractor usually costs between $50 and $75. The monthly cost is typically around $40 per month depending on your insurance provider.
In many cases, contractors and technicians in a home warranty company’s network are licensed and insured as well – an important distinction, and nothing you want to be concerned with verifying when you have water leaking on your floor or an appliance not working. (Tip: most states require contracting individuals and companies to have insurance and licenses covering the work they’ll be doing, but it’s still an important detail to confirm. It’s a good idea to ask for a copy of the license or proof of insurance if a company says they have it.)
Home warranty companies work hard to provide vetted contractors to assist their customers. They monitor performance and ensure high rates of customer satisfaction. Choice Home Warranty, for example, ranks their technicians through internal and external key performance indicators. They ask questions like, “Would you use the technician again?” and “Was the job completed to your satisfaction?”
Certified contractors and technicians are loyal partners for home warranty companies, and when you purchase a home warranty, these professionals come with it. Frankly, most people think a home warranty is coverage and coverage alone. They’re not aware that their peace of mind also includes a network of professionals they, too, can rely on.