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Tips for Hiring a Handyman

Posted on May 28, 2017 at 4:40 PM

Before You Hire Your Home Repair Handyman…

Make a detailed list of the work you need done.

Take the time to list exactly what you want your handyman to accomplish before you contact one. Be upfront with what you expect, so the handyman can determine if your requests are within his abilities. Don’t throw in any surprises mid-way through the job.  List most important projects first!  Honey-Do List's work everytime!

*  Get good reliable local references and online reviews.

Nothing will ease your mind better than a glowing report from a neighbor a few blocks stating that a particular handyman was prompt, did quality work, and completely lived up to expectations. Handymen rely on word-of-mouth to build their businesses. One that’s worth hiring will easily be able to supply you with at least 3 good references.  Also check their References/Reviews online if they're listed on service sites or have their own website.

 Make sure your handyman is licensed, bonded, and insured.

If someone working on your property should become injured, unless they have their own liability insurance you will be fully liable. Reputable handymen carry insurance for this purpose and to cover them if they should cause damage to your property.

*  Request cost estimates for both labor and materials ahead of time.

Generally speaking, an estimate should be within 10% of the actual cost. Make this fact clear to potential candidates in order to prevent them giving you a low-ball offer just to get you to hire them. If they know up front that there will be no further payment beyond a specific amount, then they have the option of turning down the job (which may be better for you in the long run). If a detailed estimate requires them to go price shopping, expect to pay a fair hourly wage for their effort.

 Make sure you’re comfortable with how they price their work.

For example, do they expect to be paid by the hour? Or are they willing to be paid by the job? This needs to be settled before any work is started and especially before any supplies or parts are ordered.

*  Establish a schedule for the work to be done.

Determine how soon the work will be started, when it will most likely be completed, and a timeframe as to when your handyman expects to be on the job. Once the project starts, hold him to the schedule you’ve both agreed to. Sometimes, if a handyman gets a better offer on a project down the road, they will sideline yours in order to go work for the more profitable customer. 

*  Get a contract in writing.

With a written agreement there will be no confusion, miscommunication, or forgotten details. Not only will you be clearly defining what’s expected, but in the event that your handyman doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain, you will have documented proof to take with you to court.

*  Don’t be cheap.  

You will usually get exactly what you pay for!

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