Whether you are renting a small flat in Vienna or reside in pure luxury in one of the old villas, you probably know that there’s always something broken, something to be fixed, something to do!
No matter if it’s the heating not working properly, a clogged drain, leaking window seals, broken floor tiles, or “just” an appliance acting up – there’s always a reason for calling in a professional to help fix the mess. (And yes, we do know that some things can be just as easily fixed by yourself, but … we’re all thumbs, on a good day.)
But once you pick up the phone to call in a contractor, your bad luck (should) end right there and then. Viennese handymen, on average, are superbly skilled, friendly, and do draw on a long history and tradition, as well as solid training and a wide range of skills.
The simple fact that Europe has a long tradition of specialised and highly skilled trades and crafts is one of the reasons why Viennese contractors definitely know what they are doing. Other reasons are that handymen have to pass at least 3 years of vocational training in oder to get hired, and need even more education if they want to start their own company, and that all contractors in town are mandatory members of the Austrian Economic Chamber (the Wirtschaftskammer), who do keep a close eye on the standards and quality of service offered.
As a rule of thumb, you can rely on contractors in Vienna being reliable and on time (though they may cite you arrival times that span several hours). More often than not they require advance booking (at least several days, often weeks before the desired date) for routine services like planned repairs, check-ups, etc. Basically all companies offer a 24/7 emergency service for those times when the heating decides to break down in the middle of the coldest night of the year, or the oven goes while the Christmas roast is still in it – though at a noticeable higher rate.
But whether it’s a planned routine visit or a late-night emergency, and whether it’s a plumber, electrician, or tiler you need: chances are, you will be satisfied with the professional you contract.
All of the above, obviously, only stands if you employ a licensed company (German: “konzessioniertes Unternehmen”). Sadly, a number of black sheep been popping up offering their emergency services over the past few years. Particularly when it comes to locksmiths you will really want to watch whom you are calling in. If at all possible, make use of a company that comes personally recommended, or one you picked after googling around for a bit. Always compare prices as well (particularly in cases of emergency). And try to get your hands on a written estimate of cost before hiring someone for the job. Doing it this way might take a little longer, but it will save you a lot of money and nerves in the long run.