Walking the High Wire Hiring People to Work in your Home?


water heater on fire

Walking the High Wire Hiring People to Work in your Home?

Saving what seems like pennies on the dollar while trading your safety and or the safety of your family for a few dollars today has never and will never be money wisely saved. For some strange reason consumers have this belief that licensed professionals in the construction service trade services is not entirely necessary to ensure a correct installation. Where this belief is born is a mystery.

It takes a lifetime to learn the trades. Traditionally apprenticeship school is a 4-5 year investment in higher education. The same time required as major colleges to receive a degree. In many cases the requirements are much tougher for the apprentice than a college student. The idea that a person is given the keys to a van and now you’re a plumber is false. The industry is ever changing and it is necessary to keep up with continuing education to keep up with code changes, new products, and concepts.

I find it odd that a home owner would decide to use a less qualified person to do work in their home or business. I do understand the home owner is not privileged to know and understand everything that is involved. It appears easier than it really is. The advent of home centers and DIY’s shops that say visit us for 30 minutes to learn how to install a faucet is a mistake. It takes more than 30 minutes to know and understand that you need supply a line that will carry more than 100 psi and why that is true. I have never met a person that learned the trade in 30 minutes and master that trade. Why a p-trap is required and what does it do cannot be learned in 30 minutes or less. Monkey see, monkey do, has never been a qualifier to say that you can do the work. Just because you can does not mean you should.

Did you know when you hire an unqualified and unlicensed person to do work in your home you the home owner now take over the responsibility to cover workman’s comp? If this person gets hurt doing a job you are paying them for you are responsible. You cover all of the hospital bills or possibly workman’s comp to pay for their hurt back for the rest of their life. If for some reason damage to your property occurs you are responsible for the insurance to cover the damage or payment if your insurance company does not cover the person you hired illegally.

Try collecting money from an unqualified or unlicensed person when things go awry. Better yet try finding them to get it take care of the problem. Chances are huge that they do not have the money to make things right or else they would get their licensed, be properly insured, and qualified to do the work. No insurance will cover fraud and doing work without a license or insurance is fraud. You trust a person that has started the relationship with a lie and criminal intent. They have a catch me if you can mentality and you the consumer are left holding the bag. All this risk for a few dollars saved. Is it really worth it to you to throw the dice up against the wall in an alleyway?

Examples of consumers making horrible decisions:
A home owner decided to purchase a water heater from a local home center. The home center provided the consumer with a person to do the installation. The price for the water heater and installation are extremely low and this means there I no room for mistakes concerning the installation. It so happens that this area requires a permit. When the water heater is located in the living space of a home a pan to catch small leaks is also required. The price quoted did not cover the cost of a permit or a new installation of a pan and drain line.

The reason a new water heater was required is and get this a faulty installation that caused an electrical problem. This problem required the tenant to call the fire department as it was on fire. The person the owner contracted to do the original installation did not follow the code, pull a permit, and was unqualified to do the installation. The owner of the property chose to act the same way and hire a person the home center recommended. 1 close call is not enough and this home owner may need the property to burn down before he decides to become responsible.

Once again the home owner trusts a company that does not care about the home, or the safety of the people in that home. Their only interest is collecting a small amount of money from the home owner. The big home center does not care that the heater they sold is properly installed or that code requirements are followed. They never informed the home owner to the regulations required to install the water heater.

Home Depot and Lowes should not be allowed to sell these type fixtures. They are not qualified to sell the merchandise. They are not qualified to explain to the home owner what is involved for the proper installation. I am not sure they even know the guidelines that are required to install water heaters. The money that is paid to do their installations does not provide enough income to the installer to make sure all the requirements are fulfilled. The idea is to get there install and get out as fast as possible. It is a let the buyer beware without the buyer being aware of the consequences to an inefficient and improper installation.

This is not the first instance with a home center that sold the wrong equipment. Not too long ago a home center sold a conventional gas water heater and vented the heater out the side wall of a garage. The carbon monoxide traveled directly to the eaves and into the attic. The saving to the home owner for this heater over the correct water heater is roughly 3 times less. However the chance of the home owner becoming ill or possibly dying from carbon monoxide increased 100 times. The person installing the heater did not understand why a different type heater is required in this instance from a standard water heater.

I am here to inform you that your health and safety means more to me. When I know of a circumstance where illegal work by unqualified or cheating licensed contractors is occurring you will be turned into the proper authorities. This also means home owners that hire unqualified personnel to do the work. Your stupidity not only affects the people in the home but those that surround the home, family, and friends. Your actions shed a horrible light on the industry and pose a safety problem to the public.

I am calling on all professional licensed contractors to do the same. This includes turning into the authorities licensed contractors that neglect to pull permits when required to pull them. You are not saving the home owner anything when you do not. A permit and inspection proves that the home owner has a job that is completed that is safe. It is 3rd party protection for the home owner. When the home owner sells the property the new owner is assured that the work was completed properly. This eliminates the possibility of placing money in escrow to cover any type work that has become an epidemic such as pin-hole leaks in copper piping a few years back.

Take that gun from your forehead and hire licensed qualified professionals that stand behind their work. It is well worth the peace of mind that if something were to go wrong they will be there to protect you. It is their license and insurance on the line to ensure that codes are followed and you receive the best possible job. Pay a little more today for a lifetime of knowing you are safe.

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About practicebetterbusiness

Author of Outside the Business Box: All about Sales Build a better you and increase your earning potential

Posted on July 13, 2013, in construction services, How to sell HVAC, How to sell plumbing, HVAC sales, plumbing sales, Selling HVAC, Selling Plumbing, service industry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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