If you need to get something repaired, installed or changed around your house, hiring a handyman sounds like a reasonable solution. Even if you think that you’re able to cope with this or that task (like installing a new ceiling fan or repairing a leaky faucet), sometimes it’s cheaper to hire a professional with his own tools than buying the tools you won’t probably use on a regular basis. And, as handymen are quite universal home improvement workers who charge by hour, it’s better to hire one of them if your house or backyard has a couple of things that have to be done. For instance, if you have a faucet in your bathroom that has been leaking for a while, a faulty conditioner and a major paint job to complete, it’s better to find a handyman to deal with these task instead of hiring separate contractors and paying each of them for their services. General contractors rarely run a single-person business, so they need to hire employees. Thus, their rates for the same jobs are higher than the handymen’s rates. Besides, specialized contractors usually work with their own materials.
However, if you hire a handyman, you’ll be able to provide him with the kind of materials you’d like to be used in your own house. Maybe, you already have a bucket of paint to remodel the bedroom or the wood to repair the deck. Why should you pay more? Finally, hiring a professional to deal with a couple of small to moderate household projects will definitely save your time and effort, as well as ensure good-looking (or good-working) results. The only issue is that you need to choose a handyman carefully in order to be satisfied with the outcome of his work. That’s why I’ve decided to point out a couple of thing you need to consider or pay attention to while looking for and hiring a handyman. So, let’s jump right into it, shall we?
10 steps to hire a reliable handyman
- The word of mouth. It is the way most great independent repairmen and handymen find work and projects. Ask any good one and they’ll tell you that customer referrals are their livelihoods. Just let everybody know that you’re looking for a good and experienced handyman, and you’ll probably get a few referrals from people you can trust. Ask your friends and neighbors if they’ve had any home improvement or repair work done, and if they have, who did their work. And, of course, they’ll say whether they would recommend them to someone else. That doesn’t automatically mean they’re a good handyman, and it doesn’t mean you should hire them right out of the gate, but it’s a good start. At least, you’ll find out if someone was disappointed with someone’s operation. Make sure to get several suggestions. Remember, that even if a handyman coped with one kind of home improvement jobs great, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s good at other tasks. That’s why it’s better to hire a person who’s already finished a similar project in someone’s house.
- Looking for a handyman online is a great idea if you want to find a professional who’s qualified in the spheres you need him to be good at. Besides, you’ll be able to compare the rates and referrals of different people online. Internet, especially job hunting websites, is probably the first place handymen promote their services. And, it’s the place they get a ton of jobs from. Most importantly, Internet is the easiest way for you to find a local one quickly. Go to HireRush.com to look through the handymen’s profiles. This service is quite reliable and super easy to use. Find out the areas of their specialization and contact a couple of professional directly from the website. Another great option is to post a home improvement project and let the handymen who’re ready to take on this very job right now. Post a task for handymen
- Be careful not to get scammed. Avoid handymen who contact you with unsolicited phone calls or knock on your door to promote their services. You should also think twice before hiring any handyman who refuses to give any guarantees regarding the price of his job or asks for a full upfront payment. Reliable and reputable handymen don’t expect to get paid before the project is completed. At the same time, it’s totally normal for most professionals to ask for a small deposit. As they get scammed too, they want to receive a guarantee that they will get paid after they finish the work. Or, at least that they won’t waste their own money on materials.
- Interview a couple of handyman and get their estimates. Once you have a short list of handymen, you need to interview them to see if they are able to handle the work you need done. It’s better to do that before you invite a handyman into your house and let him do any work around it. It’s also the time to discuss the details of the job you a handyman to perform, clearly explain your demands, talk about the materials and their cost and get a somewhat definite estimate for the handyman’s work.
- Check the candidates’ references. Call the handymen you’ve chosen or meet with them. Ask them about the kinds of work they’ve done in the past. Ask what their expertise is, and whether they’ve done this kind of work before. Even handymen who’ve not been operating on the market for too long have referrals from their previous clients. And it’s quite suspicious when a person doesn’t want to give you just a couple of them. As every decent professional will be glad to offer you the most reliable proof of the fact that they’re great at what they’re doing. By the way, the before and after pictures are highly appreciated.
- Make sure that there’re no major complaints about the handyman’s previous projects. Visit the Better Business Bureau’s website to check if any serious complaints have been registered against the handyman you’re about to hire. If you find anything, read the details of those complaints carefully and ask a handyman a couple of questions about the case before offering a job. You should check this website before saying “Yes” to a handyman or any home services specialist.
- Determine the scope of the handyman’s actions and get a detailed plan. Even the most minor home improvement tasks and repairs should have a plan. It doesn’t have to be a full-on project plan, but it definitely should be in writing. It should include the details on what the handyman is planning to do to fix the problem, what materials and equipment he’s going to use and, most importantly, the fixed total cost of the entire project. Unexpected expenses might happen, but they shouldn’t turn into a rule.
- Look out for the insurance. In most states, independent handymen don’t have to receive a license to be able to operate on the market. However, liability insurance is something a responsible professional has to have. It will protect both client and provider from the unexpected damages. So, ask a handyman if he has one before giving him a job approval.
- Don’t pay the full price up front. As we’ve already determined, asking for a small deposit is totally normal for a handyman. First of all, he’ll cover the materials’ cost with it. Secondly, he’ll be sure that you won’t scam him and he won’t lose his own money and time. But, it’s not common for reputable handymen to ask for a full payment before he finishes the task.
- The final step. Even if you expect a handyman complete the simplest repair or home improvement job, it’s still better to sign a simple contract with him. It’s especially recommended if you’ve not worked with this particular handyman before. You’ll set your common responsibilities, job outlines and price. You’ll both benefit from it. So, signing a written agreement should be the last step of the handyman hiring process.