Some Repairs You Should Leave to the Professionals

October 8, 2020

The Cape Gazette published an article recently titled Home Renovations That Can Hurt (and Help) Property Value. It lists Remodels that Pay off in higher market value and higher resale price: Steel Doors, Solar Panels, New Siding, and Broadband Access. A subject of equal value, when preparing a house for sale, there are some repairs you should leave to the professionals
Almost any landlord can do things like mowing the lawn, painting, or repairing a clogged toilet. However, it would help if you recognized that some repairs you should leave to the professionals. Saving money and watching the bottom line are essential, but you need to know your limitations.

Here are five property tasks you are better off outsourcing.

  1. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t attempt to do anything that could potentially burn your property down. Just like there is no such thing as minor surgery, there is no such thing as minor electrical work. One false step or mix up can cause legitimate significant problems. Even if you have some background working with electrical, it doesn’t make you an expert.
  2. There is a difference between getting on a ladder to clean the gutters and climbing the ladder to the roof to repair some shingles. Once you start talking about going on the roof, it is a different ballgame. Not only can you fall and get seriously injured, but you also need to be able to carry heavy bags of shingles up the ladder and then perform whatever task needs doing.  Any inspector or potential home buyer will notice lazy or unprofessional work on the roof. It leads them to think there are other issues with the house done in the same manner. You need to hire a professional roofer for your property.
  3. Chimney cleaning. A fireplace is an excellent amenity in any property. Like most other things in a rental property, your tenant will not take care of things the same way a homeowner would. Every winter, you should have the fireplace professionally cleaned. Professional cleaning is not the same as vacuuming up the remnants of last year’s soot and debris. With every fire, there are particles and even chemicals that attach to the flue. You don’t want to have your tenants lighting fires unless you know the chimney, and fireplace, are professionally cleaned.
  4. While most people probably can repair a patch or hole in a wall, it doesn’t mean it will look good. There is a definite skill in repairing nicks in the wall to look smooth and clean. A blemish in the living room wall will stick out like a sore thumb. If sheetrock needs replacing, you would be shocked at how much work goes into replacing even one piece. Not only are the pieces heavy, but they can also create quite a mess.
  5. Plumbing/sewer. Minor plumbing repairs like unclogging a toilet are something every landlord should know how to do. However, if you are not careful, you can create more significant, more expensive problems. A slow drip in a sink or a running toilet can add hundreds to the water bill. Fixing one thing may lead to additional problems. If pipes need to be cut or fixed in the basement, this should be an automatic call to a plumber. Even if it is just a patch job, you don’t want to do it wrong and get a call from your tenant in the middle of the night telling you the basement is flooding.

Jane Perillo
2700 Kirkwood Highway
Newark, DE 19711
(302) 995-2535
(302) 995-2550 fax
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