What to Look for When Hiring a Handyman

What to Look for When Hiring a Handyman

Hiring a handyman can make you want to pull your hair out. Unfortunately, that's totally normal. The easiest way to approach this is to break it down a bit. You want to have a good understanding of the exact work you need done so you know what kind of handyman you are looking for. The word handyman is an umbrella for many things. It's important to remember that a handyman is just that. He's handy to help with many home projects. However, not all handymen are experienced plumbers, electricians, or tradesmen of any sort for that matter. Here are a few things to look for when hiring a handyman.

Specializes in a certain type of home improvement

It's important to find a handyman that specializes, or at least has a lot of experience, in the type of work you want done. Ask them about similar projects they have completed locally. A good handyman who is experienced in the line of work you need done should always have local references, but we'll get to that. Ask about prior projects they have completed. Sometimes they will even have pictures they can show you. Now days everyone has a smart phone and many handymen that are proud of their work will take pictures.

References

Definitely ask for references, but ask specifically for local references. Many handymen rely on word of mouth for their advertising. A trustworthy handyman will be able to provide you with some good local references. If this particular handyman was not referred by a friend or neighbor, don't be afraid to actually call the references he provides. Most of them will not mind. Nothing will set your mind more at ease than a reference who tells you that the handyman you are considering showed up on time, did good work, and didn't try to rake them over the coals when it came time to pay up.

Licensed, Insured, and Bonded

The handyman that you hire should be all of these things and he should be able to provide proof. It is for your protection and for his. This is not negotiable. If you hire a handyman who is not properly insured and he gets injured while working on your property, then you are liable. He should have his own insurance to cover this. It should also cover him if there is accidental damage to your property while he is working. Accidents happen all the time. They cannot always be prevented but your handyman should have the proper insurance to correct them without further headache or liability on your part.

Pricing and Scheduling

An experienced handyman will be able to provide these up front and in writing. This is not inconvenient, and if it is, then he is not the right one. Your handyman should be able to provide you with a written estimate. All of the charges should be transparent. You should know if he is charging by the hour or by the job. Nothing is more insulting than a handyman who goes to the local hardware store and then tries to mark up the price of materials by thirty percent. On the flip side, you do need to be willing to pay an honest wage for good work and for his time to pick up your materials.

Guarantee

Ask about a guarantee or a warranty for the work being done. Of course, it will vary with the type of work being performed. However, you do want a handyman that does good work and stands behind it. If there is a failure in the workmanship provided, you need to know that it will be corrected at no charge. It's also good to set a time frame. Should this specific problem arise, it will be addressed in a certain number of days. This should also be in writing and a good handyman won't mind providing it.

Conclusion

If you follow these steps then you should find a good handyman. Don't let yourself be clouded by excuses why this or that cannot be provided. These things are non-negotiable. They are for your protection and for his. A good, experienced handyman won't blink an eye because he'll be used to it.

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