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Is your professional a PINO?


Professional in Name Only, PINO, great words of wisdom from Russel Ray in San Diego, CA. If you are needing work done check this out, Russel offers pertinent information and advice that you will do well to follow!

From roof replacement to painting, make the calls to 3 qualified companies and go with the middle. And ASK QUESTIONS! And make sure that if a permit is needed it will be obtained! You will often see a line for "permit fee" in the quote, ask if you do not see it.  Some work will not need a permit, if you are unsure call the New Milford CT Building Department yourself and check.

Thank you Russel, for some very good information on how to pick a professional to do the work on your home!


Contact Russel Ray for all your home inspection needsMany times when people go to get quotes for work to be done on their homes, they simply choose the least expensive professional.

One of the problems with this approach — and there are many — is that the professional being considered quotes one price for the complete job.

The definition of "complete" is what is at issue here.

New windowsI had a discussion yesterday with a Client about replacing windows. Some window installers will do just that, replace the windows. The quote for their work does not include repairing the damage to the stucco. After all, they are not stucco professionals, they are window installers. Electricians do the same thing if you have to have an electric panel replaced.

When you get quotes for work to be done, first make sure that you get at least three quotes. Then pretend that you're a judge at the Olympics: throw out the high and the low and take the middle one. That will generally ensure that you get quality materials with quality workmanship and quality service. The high quote, especially if it comes in more than 5% higher than the middle quote, is price gouging. The low quote, especially if it comes in more than 5% lower than the middle quote, is taking shortcuts somewhere.

For all of your quotes, request a line item description of all the work that is to be done, from prep to installation to cleanup.

Time to replace the roofFor example, if you're having the roof replaced, prep will probably involve having a 20' dumpster delivered to your property. How far in advance? You sure don't want it sitting on your lawn for a week before the work ever begins. How long will it sit there after the work has been completed? Who is responsible for cleaning up the small stuff that falls from the roof into your flower beds? Who is responsible for damage to your trees, flowers, and grass?

The Internet is a great place to begin your research in determining what professionals should be doing as professionals. In fact, I would suggest using Angie's List, Done Right, and the Better Business Bureau as the place to begin looking for professionals. Also ask around among your family, friends, and business associates to see if they have had any experience with certain professionals, both good or bad.

Is your professional a PINO?
(Professional In Name Only)


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Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate

2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors

2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor


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Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776


© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017

 Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

Comment balloon 6 commentsAndrea Swiedler • April 24 2010 10:46AM


Andrea, I keep on hearing about problems in a selling a house because permits were not pulled when the work was done.  Something like that does not take much time to do, seems to waste a lot of time later.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 8 years ago

Andrea, I will agree with all of this to a point..My husband is contractor, as you know..Taking the estimate in the middle is a good basis to follow, BUT one should ALWAYS ask to see license of the person doing the work on your house and being the most expensive does not always mean price gouging..we have to pay for lots of insurance...does your contractor have insurance???  and last note re: Better business bureau..ummm not all they seem to be, if you sign up and pay to be on their list all is good...????  we don't pay for good references..ask your contractor for referrals AND call them...thanks Andrea..

Posted by Diane Fairclough over 8 years ago

George, you are so right. I go to the town hall and check for permits for work done. It can and will come back and bite the home owner in the you know where. Permits that are not there and open permits certainly raise a of red flags to me!

Diane, you are right. I think Russel has a good rule of thumb for the general public, however nothing beats referrals! When MY clients need work, I have a list of qualified contractors that I know are licensed, that do the job correctly, and are whose prices are in line with their level of service. I think people who just pick up the phone book and use the finger pointing method can sometimes pay the price! And I agree, when I have searched the BBB I have not always found what I was looking for.

Realtors have lists of well qualified, licensed and insured contractors for a reason. In my list they have consistanlty provided a high quality service to my clients in a timely manner, they are professional through and through. We all want to make sure we are getting what we pay for, that the work is going to be high quality and done correctly.

And folks, Diane's husband is one of the best electrical contractors in the area. He remains on MY list of qualified contractors for a reason! I have never had an issue with his work, My clients are getting the highest quality work done in a timely fashion, and.... they clean up after themselves! (:D) To me, there is no one else to call when I need electrical work done, Doctor Electric beats them all hands down!

Remember folks, you get what you pay for!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 8 years ago

Hey Andrea, thank you for re-blogging this valuable information. Makes you stop and think doesn't it? We missed it originally so thank you.  

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 8 years ago

Hi Andrea, I saw this on 4/24 (Sat) but by the time my mind was into it it disappeared, (my mind, that is) You just have to love the people that go through the motions of giving an estimate with the hopes of getting the job and hitting the owner for add on, because that's not what was on the estimate. Buyer beware

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 8 years ago

Hi Al & Peggy, you are very welcome!

Ed, glad you remembered, LOL. If you don't have a trustworthy contractor you might be sorry, bottom line.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 8 years ago