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To save bundles of money on service people...

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like electricians, plumbers, exterminators, chimney sweeps, make sure you find a tiny local company and you deal with the owner.


For example:

Our chimney sweep had to stay an extra 1.5 hours the first time he cleaned our chimney. He said it was the worst chimney he'd seen. BUT--he didn't charge extra for his time and effort because he said, "You just moved in. It's not your fault that the previous owners didn't have it cleaned." (Owner/sole employee)


Our heater/ac unit was ancient. Our heater/plumber guy told us we needed a new one (he was right), but when we said we wanted to keep the old one limping along, he would tell dh how to fix it over the phone (for free), so that we could save money by doing the work ourselves. (Owner/has 2 employees, but he still does most of the work.)


The exterminator told me over the phone how much bedbug removal typically costs, but when he saw my house and saw that the infestation was localized to just one spot in the house, he halved his fee. (Owner/sole employee.)


The home improvement guy didn't really do anything over the top, other than he answered all our questions and did an awesome job putting up the fence. (Owner/sole employee--unless his teen-aged sons help.)


My advice: if you ever need someone for jobs around the house, find a tiny local company and try to get the owner to come out. You'll be treated like gold.

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We've had both good and (really) bad experiences using small businesses in our community. One guy was as you described, the other treated us to the worst customer service we've ever had. He has single-handedly driven my husband right back to Home Depot. :glare:

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