Any homeowner knows that hat it’s not always possible to get to all the repairs and maintenance that home ownership requires. Hiring a good handyman is the ideal remedy for the overworked and under-rested homeowner. However, the question isn’t whether or not to hire someone to help you out but rather how do you go about finding a good contractor in the first place?
Finding a quality handyman is tricky when you’re a homeowner.
First of all, when you think of a handyman, the usual concept is of a workman with nominal skill in a wide variety of home improvement or home repair trades; such as painting, dry wall, doors and windows, leaky faucets, etc.
Good handymen offer a variety of handyman services and can help you out with a lot of the smaller jobs where you need specialist tools or skills.
But, finding someone for general handyman work is difficult or nearly impossible in many localities; even without any issues of emergency or urgency. Almost every local building authority has building code requirements that insist electrical or plumbing work be done by a licensed professional.
A very important fact to remember is that a handyman contractor usually is not skilled in all areas of home repair. Typically, contractor handymen are trade professionals highly skilled in only one area.
But anyway, you are probably already convinced that you could really use a good handyman to help you out around the house. While not being able to check for a license makes it a little more difficult to find and hire a good handyman; it doesn’t make it impossible!
A lot of homeowners would prefer to go with a nationally recognized brand or franchise and while that is always an option, as most homeowners have discovered they can be a lot more expensive than the independent, local alternatives.
However, let’s look at some tips that can help you find some of the better handymen in your area.
1. The main objective when hiring any contractor or handyman is to find out as much information as possible about the quality of work the contractor or handyman is capable of prior to making a hiring decision.
a) Ask your trusted friends, neighbors and family for a handyman referral.
b) Look online and find a handyman which has good reviews and testimonials.
2. The only way you can guarantee that you hire a well-qualified and experienced professional is by qualifying the contractor you hire yourself. Sure there are a lot of companies out there that offer “screening” services but those companies won’t be as thorough as you could be.
a) Make a list of specific tasks you want done. Be sure to accurately define each task, so that you can select a handyman contractor with the necessary skills to successfully complete them.
b) Before you deem a handyman suitable for a bid you’ll also want to check out some of the basics. You’ll want to check to see if he has a local street address and phone number. How long has he been in business?
c) For the best result you’ll want to interview several handymen and at least get three separate bids to compare and contrast.
Handyman prices can vary drastically from one service provider to the next. Establish in writing how a candidate structures pricing for his services; by the job, by the hour, or by the half hour. Do they provide free estimates?
3. Once you find a good match you can proceed to asking for references. Most handymen will be happy to provide contact details from previous clients that you can call and ask about the quality and reliability of a handyman service. Checking references is a powerful tool to ensure you get a good quality handyman.
4. And finally if the handyman is going to be working on or anywhere around your house you may want to require that he carry some form of general liability insurance if something goes wrong.
Sometimes accidents happen. Who pays for the damage when an accident occurs in your home? If the handyman has liability insurance, the insurance company should take care of it. Avoid awkward situations by making sure the handyman you hire has insurance.
Hiring a good handyman is one of the best ways to free up some of your time for some of the more important things in life. The key is finding a good home improvement professional that has the skills you’re looking for and qualifying him to make sure he’s well-qualified and experienced.