I don’t have many, but I have made my own little vouchsafed list that I keep on hand. And, they’ve come through once more. With all the hellacious stories you hear about repair guys, it can be easy to get overly cynical. But good ones do exist…

My condo was burdened with a squirrel hole. My neighbor (the guy who owns the other side of the house) alerted me to the situation and said that he’d get his guy to offer up a price when he gave the estimate for some roof venting my neighbor wants (and seems to think I’ll cover half the cost of, even though I’ve never given it my okay). I respond that I’ll get my own estimate from my guy and get the work done. Well, neighbor-boy goes ahead and gets an estimate and it’s $600. The hole needs fixing and, by the way, the gutter needs replacing and so on and so forth. I get my guy’s estimate – $240. Guess which I went with. I would have gone with my person, regardless, though. One day I needed work done, just some simple things that really didn’t merit a contractor. I found House Doctors. They’ve got franchises all over and do tiny jobs or big jobs. And, they take credit cards. They did one job and I was very pleased. Good work, good price and good people. Then they did another and another… fast estimates and the work gets done pronto. These were the guys who bailed my fat ass out this winter by taking care of the ice dams the former owner of my new house let build and left untreated. Out there the day after my email and even offered to charge less than the estimate since my house was small and low to the ground (falling off the room wasn’t going to break anyone’s back like some of the 3-story places that are common around here – my single story is actually a bit of an anomaly). Squirrel hole is now properly repaired and I will probably have them out again at some point to do some work around this house and will be on-call help for when my condo needs help that my future tenant (fingers crossed) yells for.

Yesterday, the devil pointed his finger at my central AC and commanded it fail. And it did. Frickin’ satanist… Well, I turned the thing off after finding ice patches on lines and, first thing this morning, called my go-to HVAC guys. They installed the central air at my condo and it was a fantastic experience. Quick (ductless Mitsubishi units that I wholeheartedly recommend) and not one penny charged over the estimate. When I needed the furnace serviced at the condo – same folks. Today, make my phone call and there’s a service tech out at 3:30 pm. Got me squared away quickly with no “suggestions” about additional services. Signed up for their yearly service plan and will do the same thing when I have them back in a month or two for furnace checking. They do the job right, the people are honest and decent and they don’t bankrupt you for the work you need.

I’ve had my share of crappy experiences. I’ve had plumbers who tried to charge me for time they spent talking on their cell phones to wives or buddies, car repair people who refused to let me see supposedly broken parts, rubbish removal companies who low-balled me miserably on their estimate then hit me with a huge bill when they were done, etc., etc., etc. But some people restore your faith. They take pride in their work and aren’t out to rob you blind. I’m glad there are still people like that in the world. Now, if I could only find one of those people at my bank…

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