Dear Angie: When you have electrical, plumbing or certain other kinds of work done that may require a hole in a wall, who's responsible for repairing it? The plumber or electrician? Or do I need to hire someone else?
— Christina S., Dumfries, Virginia
Dear Christina: You ask a good, and common, question. The short answer is that you probably don't want an electrician or plumber fixing a hole in your wall — it's not their specialty.
My experience is that most plumbers and electricians who've earned top ratings from Angie's List members don't build this kind of repair work into their bids. They focus on their core competency. Some may repair very small holes, but will likely include that in their bid.
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This is something you should talk with your service pro about before you sign a contract or make a hire.
My bet is you'll probably be happier if this repair work is done by a professional who specializes in wall repair, such as a drywall expert or interior painter. For instance, textured walls and ceilings or plaster often prove to be difficult for novice drywall finishers.
If your repair job is simple or very small, you may be better off hiring a handyman service or making it a DIY project. If you choose to complete the patch yourself, you'll need certain tools and materials, including drywall tape, joint finishing compound and a joint knife.
If you decide to hire someone, you can expect to pay an hourly rate. Angie's List members report costs starting at $50 for small, uncomplicated patches, but prices will vary, depending on the service provider's specialty and the complexity of the repair.
When the patch is done, it will need to be painted. Because minor variations in sheen, texture or color can make the repair easy to detect, highly rated painters suggest re-painting the whole wall. Or, use the opportunity to give the entire room a fresh coat of paint. Having a service provider do the painting will, of course, increase the cost of a complete wall repair.
As always, hire service providers who are well-reviewed on a trusted consumer site, are appropriately licensed and insured, and will provide important details in writing.
Angie Hicks compiles the best advice from the most highly rated service pros on Angieslist.com to answer your questions. Ask Angie your question at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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