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Precautions for hiring a heating contractor

Karen Stiles

Precautions for hiring a heating contractor

CREATED Feb. 5, 2013

MILWAUKEE - If you plan to hire a contractor to fix your furnace, listen up.

There are a few precautions that you may want to take to avoid costly issues later.

What should people do before hiring a heating contractor?

When the heat goes out, especially during cold weather, we may be anxious to hire the first contractor who can get to our house the fastest.

However, this can prove to be costly later if you do not take the time to check things out.

Before telling the contractor to come on over, ask questions.

Get an estimate for the of the service call, the hourly rate that you will be charged, cost of repairs, and ask for proof of insurance and licensing.

Check out the reputation of the contractor with consumer or trade organizations, and check to see if the contractor has been involved in any legal action.

Shop around. You may find a big difference in cost and recommended solutions for fixing your furnace.

What should you do if the contractor gets there, and you are concerned about the price or work to be performed?

Trust your gut instinct.

If you are not comfortable, try to get a second opinion before proceeding with the work.

Watch out for high pressure sales tactics that may be used to try to get you to pay for a costly service on the spot.

You might also want to pay with a credit card so that you can dispute the charge later if things do not go well.

What can you do if you run into problems with a repair?

If you cannot get resolution with the contractor, contact consumer groups like our Call 4 Action office.

We will do whatever we can to help you resolve this and other consumer related problems.