Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What About the Warranty?

I worked for a long time customer today. The job was to replace the p-trap under the bathroom sink and to replace the stems in the faucet. It was a fairly simple job although I had to make a run for some specialized parts.

After I was done, we were looking at some repairs that she wanted done in the future. One was that her kitchen faucet was loose. It wasn’t that the faucet was loose from the sink but the body was loose from the mounting plate. Sometimes there are screws that can be tightened and other times the mount has broken. We talked about seeing on the next trip if it can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced.

After I talked to her I remembered that the faucet should have a warranty as it was a good brand. I looked it up and found out that it had a lifetime warranty. I gave her a call and asked if she has her receipt or other paperwork. That will come in handy if it needs to be replaced.

This brings up the subject of warranties. Most products have them but you need the receipt or another proof of purchase for it to be honored. It’s a good idea to have a specific place where you keep paperwork like that. Even if you throw it in a box without any organization it will be there if you ever need it. In the case of this particular faucet the replacement cost is about $50.00. Of course they don’t usually cover labor charges but at least she wouldn’t have to pay for the faucet itself.

On another subject, I talked to a new customer this week about some sprinkler heads she needed moved. As we talked she told me about how she had hired someone to do various work after he came to her door giving his sad story and told her he was willing to do any work to support his family. She said he did several repairs okay and then he asked for some money upfront for some painting he was going to do. Of course you can guess the rest, the painting was never done. Another reminder to be very careful of who you hire and especially if they ask for money before the job is complete.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

History Builds Trust

I had similar conversations with two customers in the last week. Both recalled that when I first worked for them, their oldest children were infants. One of those kids graduated from High School last week and the other is in college.

It’s that history that enables the trust they have in me. The customer whose daughter graduated from High School left me a blank check that I filled out when I was done with her jobs. We met in the morning to go over the list and then she left for work.

While we were looking at the jobs she had, she told me that she had recently hired someone to build her a new fence. She paid him up front for the materials and after that he didn’t do the work. I could tell that she was very upset by the loss of the money but more importantly that she had trusted someone and then been ripped off.

When I work for someone it is very rare for me to ask for any money ahead of time. My custom is to complete the job and then collect for labor and material costs at that time.

If you are asked to pay money ahead of time you better be very careful. Why does the person need the money and what assurance do you have that they will buy the materials and complete the work. It seems that when many people get money up front, their motivation to do the work evaporates.

History builds trust both that the job will be done right and in so many other ways. Customers trust me in their homes when they are gone and they trust me to be honest with what I charge them.

It really meant a lot to me when I received a call from my customer who had been ripped off saying how glad she was to have someone who not only does a good job but who can be trusted. I can’t imagine doing business any other way but I know that in this day it can be very hard to find trustworthy workers.

I have been in business since 1984. I have an excellent rating with the Denver BBB and have many customers ready to vouch for my work ethic.

Let me know how I can be of service to you.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tax Credit for Home Buyers

I came across some information that I wanted to pass on to you. If you or someone you know is in the market to buy a home as a first-time homebuyer, you could get a big boost with a tax credit.

The following is courtesy of Jeff Galligan who is a realtor in the Harvey Park area.

The government stimulus package recently gave real estate a big shot in the arm with the introduction of the tax CREDIT for first-time home buyers.

The plan works like this:

Qualified First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

  • Must Buy and Close on a New Residence Before 12/1/2009
  • Enjoy Up To $8,000 in Federal Income Tax Credits

How to Qualify:

I. If neither you nor your spouse has owned an interest in a principal residence (in the U.S.) during the last 36 months ending on the date of the purchase of your current residence (if you owned one).

a. But you do NOT buy:

i. From a related party (such as a family member)

ii. Property located outside the U.S.

2. You are buying the property to become your primary residence (not an investment property).

3. Property may be a single dwelling, condominium, houseboat, or mobile home.

How Much of a Credit:

1. Up to $8,000 (not to exceed 10% of the home price) and if your 2009 adjusted gross income (AGI) does not exceed $75,000 for single and $150,000 if you are married filing jointly.

2. No credit if your 2009 AGI exceeds $95,000 for single and $170,000 if you are married filing jointly.

3. Partial credit if your AGI is between $75,000 and $95,000 for single and between $150,000 and $170,000 if you are married filing jointly.

4. If you have no tax liability for 2009 and have a credit, the IRS will actually pay you the credit amount when your 2009 tax return is filed.


You must continue using the property as your primary residence for 3 years. If the property is sold or no longer your primary residence you are liable to compute and payback the portion of the credit that was not earned and report it on your tax return for the year of change.


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