Oftentimes, when owning a home, an issue comes up that isn’t your typical repair. It falls outside the regular plumber or electrician call. These odd jobs are best handled by a local handyman. They have skills and experience in a variety of household jobs, maintenance work and minor remodeling that could easily solve smaller household issues.
As most handymen have different specialties, it’s always best to get more than one opinion before you hire a handyman. Most handyman services have an average cost of $370 per project, so this is not a decision to take lightly. Find someone you can trust and you know will do the work well. Considering the following questions should help you choose the right handyman for your home project.
1. How Did You Find the Handyman?
First, you need to evaluate how you found them. Though you can easily google “handyman” and click on the first name you find, that likely is not how you want to handle your important home repair. Start by asking friends and family who they would recommend, based on what they know of your project. Through the network of people you know, you’re likely to get a trusted referral to one or two potential candidates.
Looking local is helpful in finding the right handyman as they’re familiar with the area and common problems. Try searching community message boards and bulletin boards for recommendations. Ask neighbors if they have any recommendations. Local box stores will typically have a list of handymen available as well. Always make sure they come to see the project so you have the ability to ask them a few important questions.
2. How Long Has the Handyman Been In Business?
From mounting TV’s to repairing trim, handymen have skills in a wide range of repairs and maintenance. Take a look at how long they have been in business. This is important because it’s an indication of experience and quality of work. If the handyman has been in business for some time, it shows that they typically do good work.
Maybe you have a more complicated project, such as changing a light fixture, where it would be a good idea to look to hire someone with more experience. Additionally, asking about experience will help show you if they’re committed to their work.
3. Is the Handyman Insured?
Each state has their own laws for handymen; some require licensure, certification and insurance while others do not. While licensure is not always necessary for handymen duties, insurance is highly recommended for liability sake. If the handyman is injured while working on your property, you’re held responsible.
There are many types of insurance handymen can choose from, ranging from general liability to dump truck insurance. To find out if they’re insured for your project, ask if they’re insured for the work you need done. Many handymen carry a copy of their insurance certificate, so feel free to ask for it if you have any concerns.
4. Do They Have Any References?
Don’t shy away from asking your handyman candidate for references. A prepared handyman will have about three to five readily available, likely from previous customers. If they don’t have any references, they likely don’t have the scope of work you’re looking for. Here are some questions to ask the reference.
- What project did you hire this handyman for?
- Did he or she complete the project on time?
- If they ever ran late, did they call?
- How was communication handled with this handyman?
- Were you pleased with the results? Why so?
5. Can You Find Reviews?
With the help of the Internet, it’s easy to find reviews on handymen. One of the first stops you should be making is at the Better Business Bureau. Here, you’ll be able to see if they’re BBB accredited, their rating and any complaints or government action.
Additionally, there are multiple sites where you can go to find reviews, such as yelp, that provide detail into customer compliments and complaints. Of course, every experience is different, so take that into consideration when reviewing.
6. Did They Present You With An Estimate?
When they come to see the project, you’ll likely discuss plans and expectations. However, once you have narrowed it down to a few remaining candidates, begin to get your estimates. A good handyman will present you with some sort of written estimate and plan. It may be a rough outline of what to expect, but it should explain the problem and how it will be fixed.
Know how the handyman will charge for his or her work. Do they give free estimates? Do they charge by the hour or by the project? Are there any other additional service costs? Ask any questions you have about the cost and estimate upfront. A good handyman will help you understand how their pricing.
It may be tempting to go with the lowest bidder, but sometimes, they may be missing quality or important steps. Examine each plan and your experience with them so far to base your decision on the value you will receive.
When you have finally hired your handyman, be sure to stay involved with the process by checking in and addressing concerns. A good handyman will be available to give you answers and show you progress in the project.
Finding the perfect handyman for your home repair work is not impossible. By asking the right questions, finding the right person for the job will be easy and eventually, lead to someone you know you can count on if repairs are needed.
Are you looking to get work done on your home? Call a pro today and receive up to four free estimates.