Stainless Steel Dent Removal: Who to Hire?

Updated August 18, 2021
John Keeble/Moment via Getty Images

You love your stainless steel appliances, but sometimes you need to hire a pro to help keep your stainless looking sublime

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There’s nothing quite like the fresh, modern look of stainless steel appliances. And you’ve probably paid a bit extra to get it. In fact, stainless steel appliances can cost as much as $300 more than traditional white appliances. That means you’re going to want to do all you can to protect your investment and keep your kitchen looking glam.

An appliance repair professional usually removes dents from stainless steel appliances, either by repairing the dent or, for more significant damage, replacing the problem panel entirely.  But when it comes to hiring a pro to remove those inevitable dents and dings from your stainless steel, you want to make sure you hire the right person.

An Appliance Repair Professional Removes Dents From Stainless Steel Appliances

Appliance repair professionals are your go-to pros for removing dents from stainless steel appliances. They usually do this in one of two ways: they can “pop” out the dent using special tools, such as suction devices, heat guns, or dry ice. Some pros will opt to hammer out the dent, though this tends to leave visible marks.

Where the damage is extensive, your pro may choose to replace the panel entirely.

Some minor repairs can be made at your home, but for more extensive repairs, or those requiring special tools, your pro may need to transport the appliance to their repair shop.

Before You Hire an Appliance Repair Professional

Before you hire an appliance repair professional, consider whether repairing or replacing your appliance is your best bet, especially if your appliances take a lot of punishment from your busy family, meaning the damage is likely to recur.

Once you’ve settled on a repair, then you’ll need to do your research. Bend the ear of friends and family to find out who they use. And fire up the internet to research top-rated pros in your area. Then reach out to your top candidates with a list of questions to ensure you’re going to be getting exactly the service you want, at the price and on the timeline you need. Above all, before you move forward with hiring anyone, get every aspect of the work project down in writing. 

Below we tell you just what you should know about each step of the hiring process.

1. Consider Your Needs

You just can’t deny the sophisticated, high-end look of stainless steel. But, if you’ve had stainless for a while, you know those gleaming surfaces are magnets for scratches, dings, and dents.

So, before you hire a pro, you should consider your needs and whether a repair is really the best option. For example, if you have a large family, young kids, or a particularly bustling kitchen, you may find that any repairs won’t last long.

That means that the first decision you need to make is whether you’d be better off investing your time and money in a more durable replacement than ongoing repairs. You might opt for a heavier duty stainless model, or you may prefer a less damage-prone finish, such as classic white or black.

The cost to replace your appliances, though, will very much depend on the kind of appliance, the model and features you choose, and the surface finishes. At the very least, expect new appliances to outlast your stainless steel repairs in high-traffic and damage-prone environments.

2. Do Your Research

If you’ve taken stock of your needs, or you just can’t bear to say goodbye to your beloved stainless steel fridge with the fancy see-through doors and app (we feel you, no judgment here!), then the next step is to find a pro to fix those dents and dings.

And, like almost every other question in life, you can start by Googling it. Get on the internet and look for reviews and ratings for the best appliance repair pros in your area. And don’t forget about social media.

Whether customers have a good or bad experience with a company, chances are you can find out about it on social media or even solicit recommendations from your friends and connections.

This brings us to the next best practice: trust word of mouth. Talk to friends and family members. Neighbors who have had similar work done are a great resource, too.

3. Check Your Pro’s Credentials and Qualifications

Once you’ve checked reviews and picked the brains of trusted friends and family, it’s time to narrow the list to your top few candidates. Select your most promising three to five pros and hop back online.

Check them and their businesses for necessary credentials. Look for licensing and certifications and ensure they’re current. Make sure they are bonded and insured. Check with consumer organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau, to see if any complaints have been filed.

Know What to Ask and What to Look For

Close-up of a hand cleaning a stainless steel stove
Grace Cary/Moment via Getty Images

Confirming credentials and qualifications helps you identify and weed out problem contactors, but you shouldn’t settle on a repair pro just yet.

Instead, at this point, go ahead and reach out to your top three candidates with a list of critical questions. At the very least, you should find out:

  • How they structure their fees: Do they charge by the hour or a flat rate for the job? Does it include parts and labor, or are those extra?

  • Whether they charge for estimates: Most appliance repair pros will need to come to your home to inspect the appliance and provide an estimate. You’ll need to determine if and how much they charge for coming out to your home to give an estimate.

  • If the appliance has to be repaired offsite: Some stainless steel appliance repairs can be made at your home. However, more serious repairs will likely have to be made offsite, where your repairperson has more specialized tools. This, not surprisingly, usually costs more.

  • Whether parts and equipment are available: If the damage is too severe to be repaired, your pro may need to order a replacement panel. If so, ensure the panel is in stock or check to see how long it will take to arrive.

  • When the job will be finished: Even if the parts are in stock, that doesn’t necessarily mean the repairs will be done quickly. Have your pro check their schedule and get a firm deadline when the job will be complete.

4. Get at Least Three Itemized Estimates—In Writing

They say a verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. That’s true when it comes to estimates, as well.

Get itemized written estimates from at least three of your top candidates. And make sure everything is included, from parts to labor to appliance transport or other service fees.

In general, contractors will charge between $99 and $150 per half hour, but the good news is that dents in your stainless steel appliances can usually be taken care of pretty quickly. With the proper tools, your contractor can often just pop them right out in a matter of a few minutes.

5. Get the Contract in Writing Too

Once you’ve settled on the exact kind of repair you need and you’ve found the perfect pro for the job, then you need a work contract. Don’t rely on the written estimate alone. To protect yourself and ensure you get what you want, then your contract should include the following:

  • An itemized list of the fees, including parts and labor

  • A detailed list of the work to be done

  • Your payment type and schedule, and the final total and last payment date

  • Details on how they will handle potential problems, such as an unexpected delay or discovery of an unknown issue with your appliance. Specify that no work can be done, parts ordered, or fees imposed beyond those explicitly listed in your contract unless you provide written consent.

We know: this might all seem like a lot of hassle and more than a little added drama for a simple dent repair. But a little extra caution can go a long way. And, besides, when you’re surrounded once again by your beautiful, blemish-free stainless steel appliances, it will all be worth it!

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