Israel Home, Repair & Maintenance Services – 20 Top Household Maintenance Tips
Is your plumber a drip? Does your electrician come at lightening speed? Is your mechanic a monster?
Maintenance standards differ in Israel. Finding a reputable technician or contractor is important and finding one that speaks English, in some parts of the country, can be challenging. A repair gone wrong is costly. We often hear horror stories about unscrupulous technicians, service and repairmen and we don’t want to be their next victim. Ask a friend and most likely the Hebrew slang word “fryer” which means sucker, will come up in the conversation. We are not saying that every technician is going to take advantage of you and that they are all dishonest, on the contrary most want to give good service, but here are a few tips, things to look out for and questions to ask:
- Ask your friends, ask on on social networks, ask neighbors and co-workers for recommendations.
- Find out if they speak English
- Ask about their qualifications. Make sure your electrician is licensed. Plumbers from abroad are mostly licensed while local plumbers are not.
- Is there a minimum call out fee?
- Do they provide a written quote?
- Will they help you to save money by giving you some tips and advice for the future?
- Do they tidy up after they have finished the job?
- Will a solid repair now, rather than just a quick-fix, save you money in the long term?
- Do they come on time, as promised
- Be prepared to negotiate
- Insist on an invoice
- Check if there is a guarantee; is the guarantee on their labor and/or on the parts
- If you sign up for a service contract, make sure you understand it 100 per cent and then do the maths. You may spend more on the premiums than you are likely to spend on repairs.
- Does your household insurance policy allow you to call your own technician? Do you have to use the insurance companies contractor?
- Does your landlord insist on using his contractor? Perhaps you can call your own and then deduct the cost of the repair from your rent.
- Some suggest telling the technician that you are new to Israel and are sure that the technician will empathize and give a discount. Some suggest never letting on that your are new to Israel otherwise the technician will take advantage of your lack of experience in these matters.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions or stand your ground.
- If he wears a kippah it does not always mean he is an honest business man.
- If possible, for large jobs, get written estimates from at least 3 contractors, keeping in mind the lowest bidder may not be the best choice or be giving the best solution.
- When comparing quotes don’t only look at the price. Compare the material and parts. A contractor could deliberately be quoting on inferior material and parts in order to get the job.