Indianapolis Contractors Save Homeowners from Holiday Disasters

Indianapolis Contractors Save Homeowners from Holiday Disasters

You’re home for the holidays. No one is working, schools are closed, and it’s time to enjoy the company of loved ones. But what happens if you have everyone gathered at the homestead and the furnace breaks? Or a pipe bursts? Emergencies transpire, and they don’t stop occurring just because it’s a holiday. Thankfully, as these Angie’s List members will attest, there are highly rated companies throughout Indianapolis who are willing to help save the day — even if that day is Christmas.

No furnace, four kids

Member Zach Frizzell says he knew the minute he woke up on December 23rd that his 25-year-old furnace had stopped heating his Southside Indianapolis home. “The old battle-ax finally died,” he says. “It was in that moment that I started to panic.”

Frizzell says he jumped on Angie’s List and called six or seven companies for help, none of which could get to his house until after Christmas. “I was starting to come to the realization that Christmas with my wife and four kids would encompass two twin beds and a continental breakfast at a nearby motel,” he says. “There had to be someone out there that could help me!”

In a last-ditch effort, he reached out to highly rated Plumbing Heating Paramedics in Fishers, Indiana, nearly 30 miles away. “I spoke with Ryan [Carpenter], the owner, and he stated he has a soft-spot for children and didn’t want them to have their Christmas ruined by not having heat,” Frizzell says. “Not only did someone come out within the hour to assess the furnace, they installed a blower and had the furnace running by the time I got home from work!”


board games (Photo by )
Indianapolis member Zach Frizzell and his wife Julia and their children, Anita, Julian, and Charlotte, enjoyed Christmas at home thanks to a fixed furnace. (Photo by Steve C. Mitchell) (Photo by )

And the story only gets better — after Frizzell arrived home from work, he called Carpenter to thank him for saving his family’s Christmas and inquire about the bill. “When asking him what I owed him for the long trip down to the Southside, the blower, the labor, and any other costs, he stated ‘There is no charge today. Merry Christmas,’” Frizzell says, estimating the cost would’ve been at least $700. “I was dumbfounded.”

Carpenter says he purposefully models his business to put the customer first, regardless of the day and hour. In Frizzell’s case, he says he needed a new furnace, but he didn’t want Frizzell to feel pressured to buy one right before Christmas. “I made a judgment call,” Carpenter says. “We fixed the blower so he and his family would have heat for the holiday. He appreciated it so much.”

So much so, that Frizzell did end up buying an entirely new $7,000 HVAC system from Carpenter after the holidays. “Now I have two high-efficiency units and my return on investment is rapid,” Frizzell says. “Ryan’s generosity got him a lifetime customer.”

Related: What should you do if you have a holiday emergency?

Hot water woes

Christmas Eve began like any other day for Angie’s List member Joanna Jones. That is, until she opened her garage door on her way to work and saw a flood of water covering the floor. “My water heater was leaking,” she says. “I was very worried about getting it repaired or replaced. Being Christmas Eve, I was concerned it could be several days before anyone would be able to come out. I wasn’t looking forward to the possibility of not having hot water!”

Having just moved to Greenwood, Indiana two years before, she relied on Angie’s List to help find an available plumber who was nearby. She came across highly rated Carter’s My Plumber, and gave them a call as soon as they opened.

“Their receptionist was very pleasant and the plumber who came to the house was knowledgeable and professional,” Jones says. “Once they diagnosed the problem and we decided on a new water heater, they were able to have one delivered from their shop, had it installed and the old one removed — all within a few hours.”

Jones says she appreciated the fact that they didn’t charge her any additional fees for it being Christmas Eve, and that the $1,295 price tag for the new water heater was fair. “I was very pleased with their work,” she says.

Related: Stressed about the holidays? Let a concierge service tackle your to-do list

Holiday emergencies can happen to anyone

The thing about pipes breaking or a water heater leaking is, it can happen to anyone at any time. Just ask Chris Cunningham, owner of highly rated Service Plus Heating Cooling Plumbing in Fishers. “We don’t shut down,” he says. “Heating, plumbing and cooling break down when you have guests over on the weekend or a house full of family for the holidays. Our customers know, if they have a problem, they can pick up the phone and call us.”

Cunningham says instances with the elderly or pregnant moms stand out the most to him, as he recalls the time his company received a call on July 4th from a customer who was eight-months pregnant and her A/C broke. “My wife — who had recently delivered our son — answered the phone,” he says. “She told the customer we’d have someone there in an hour. And we did, even though it was a holiday.”

Member Mike Scime of the Near Eastside of Indianapolis certainly appreciated the holiday availability of highly rated Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain Services, located in Fall Creek. When he went down to the basement to clean the litter box on Christmas morning, he says he saw nothing but water. “The sewer line clogged, and backed up through the floor drain,” Scime says. “It’s not pleasant having sewage in your basement.”

He quickly found Roto-Rooter on Angie’s List, who sent out a plumber a few hours later to snake the drain and remove the clog. Fearing a huge holiday markup, Scime says he was pleasantly surprised the bill only totaled $295. “It was a great deal,” he says. “Especially since he had to remove the basement door to get the equipment inside and had to move the washer and dryer in order to fix it.”

Paying the dreaded “off-hour” rate is a common concern for homeowners who are in a pinch, but Cunningham says there are still companies out there who charge regular rates, regardless of the situation. “We took a policy of no more overtime charges,” he says. “Our weekends and holidays are normal rates. The last thing I want is a customer to be uncomfortable or without plumbing or heat because they think they have to wait until 9:00 Monday morning. We have people scheduled to work nights and weekends, so don’t hesitate to give us a call.”

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What happens if your pipes burst or your furnace breaks on Christmas? Angie’s List members share their stories of getting emergency help on the holidays.

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