How To Find and Hire a Handyman
Hiring a handyman is a useful endeavor for any homeowner that has various minor repairs to take care of that do not require large-scale contractors. Examples of this might be minor wiring issues, plumbing, fixture replacement or repair, and small installations. The important thing about finding a handyman is finding a reputable one that knows what he is doing when it comes to fixing things around the house. But how do you find the best one in your area?
Word of Mouth
References are an important part of finding a good handyman. Ask friends, neighbors, and co-workers for recommendations. Another possibility is to ask for recommendations from other trusted businesses. Contractors in similar fields often keep lists of recommendations from other related businesses. Additionally, many good handymen should have a list of references available for potential clients.
There are great sources for finding local handyman services. Handyman businesses often post ads on Craigslist advertising their services. HomeAdvisor is a free source for looking at multiple local handyman services in your area and seeing how they’ve been rated by past customers.
Hardware Stores & Organized Communities
Hardware stores often have bulletin boards where contractors and other related business can post business cards. Another option might be to ask managers of these stores for references, as handyman businesses might have accounts with the store. If a homeowner lives in an organized community such as a mobile home or condo community, they can check with the manager of the park or the bulletin boards there. Often, certain contractors do regular business with organized communities, and this can be a way to find out which handymen they’re using.
After compiling a list of contacts, it’s important to follow-up with these steps.
- Interview the handyman through email or over the phone. Ask about previous work and what they do.
- Meet with the handyman and have them look at the project in question.
- Ask for an estimate, but do not hire them on the spot.
- Get a contractor’s license number if applicable and then verify it. Some states do not require handymen to be licensed.
- Ask for references. A good handyman should have plenty of these and be willing to mention people he has previously worked for.
- Follow up on references. Call the references and, if possible, go see the work.
Tips for Choosing
- Resist the temptation to go with the lowest bidder. An excessively low bid can mean that the handyman thinks the job is easier than it is or plans to skimp on something.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Do not choose the one that promises the world.
- Look for the one with a detailed plan to complete the job. Ask for the plan in writing.
- Make sure that the business or handyman has insurance. Even if they are not required to be licensed, liability insurance of some type is a must.
- Do not accept a proposal that includes upfront payment. A legitimate business should be able to pay for all materials and charge only after work is complete.
After choosing a handyman to complete a home repair project, make sure you stay involved in all aspects of the job. Resist the temptation to let them in and walk away. Ask questions and make sure you understand what the project entails and what the end result will be.