Home Maintenance Help: Tips on Finding a Good Handyman

While most homeowners can do the majority of home maintenance tasks, sometimes it’s mHome Maintenance Help: Tips on Finding a Good Handyman ore cost efficient to call in a pro.

He’ll know what needs to be done and will have the tools – and the skills – needed to do the job right the first time.

While you could call in a contractor to help with your maintenance issues, sometimes a handyman can get the job done quickly and for less than what a contractor might charge.

Not all handymen are the some; some only handle outdoor repairs such as lawn mowing, brush clearing and other yard work, whereas others are much more versatile in what they can do for you.

So how can you find a handyman to help with your maintenance?

Since the regulations surrounding what a handyman does aren’t as stringent in most states as say a plumber or electrician, it will take some digging on your part to find a good and dependable handyman to help with your home maintenance needs.

Here’s how to get started:

Due diligence checklist

Write a list of what needs done

You’ll need this list when you’re searching for a handyman. This will help the handyman to determine if he’s got the skills and know-how to do the job you want done…before any work begins.

Get local references

Ask your neighbors and others in the community you do business with for their recommendations. If a handyman has been in business for any length of time he should be able to provide you with at least 3 good references.

Look around your area

The small daily newspaper, the bulletin board at the neighborhood supermarket or laundromat, the local Better Business Bureau, the Yellow Pages and of course the search engines are all good resources to help you find handymen working in your neighborhood.

Check if he or she is insured, bonded and licensed

If anyone working on your property gets injured, you could be fully liable if they don’t carry their own liability coverage. 

Ask for an estimate of labor and material costs before work begins

When hiring a handyman to do maintenance advise them that you expect their estimate to be within 10% of the actual cost – which is typically the norm.

This will prevent people “low-balling” you in an effort to get hired, and then turn around and stick you with a much higher bill. If they need to price shop to get you a detailed estimate, then expect to pay them for their time doing so.

Make sure that you’re comfortable with their pricing

Some handymen charge by the hour…some by the job. Make sure you understand how they expect to be compensated and that you’re comfortable with their pricing method…before any materials are purchased for the job(s).

Iron out the schedule ahead of time

Nail down when the work will begin and when it’s expected to be completed. Note that some handymen will “cherry pick” their jobs, opting to work on the most lucrative ones while setting aside others that aren’t quite as profitable.

Don’t let this happen to you…hold the handyman accountable to what you’ve both agreed upon.

Get a contract in writing

Written contracts are vital in any business relationship; hiring a handyman is no different. When you have the terms and agreements in writing there won’t be any confusion or miscommunication…and the details won’t be forgotten.

Also, should you be unfortunate enough to have to take your handyman to court you’ll have the documentation to prove that he failed to perform…making it easier for both your attorney and the judge to help you recover what you’ve lost.

Ask for a guarantee

Finally, ask for a guarantee. Most reputable handymen will have no issue with providing a guarantee of their work. Try to get it in writing that they will take care of any product or workmanship issues within a specified time at no charge as this will help your case should the need for legislation ever arise.

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