Photo Source: Shutterstock
Sometimes you just don't have the time to get all your home repairs complete. Or perhaps you have home repair projects that are outside of your do-it-yourself realm. From tasks like gutter cleaning to home repairs like building a deck, hiring a handyman can save you a lot of time, frustration and money. But finding the right handyman is essential.
Here are 10 things you should consider before hiring a local handyman to trust with your home and your hard-earned money.
Photo Source: Shutterstock1. Know exactly what you want
It's great to have an idea of what home repairs or maintenance projects you want to tackle, but you can't expect someone else to share your vision.
It's essential to know exactly what work you need completed before hiring a handyman near you. If you have many small home repairs, make a detailed list of what needs to be repaired or replaced and where it is.
If you're hiring a handyman near you for a building project, be specific with exactly what you want before you start planning. By knowing exactly what you want, your handyman can give you a better estimate of material cost and time it will take to complete the project.
By adding more small home repair projects after you've hired someone, you'll not only frustrate your handyman, your cost and time for completion could spiral beyond what you were expecting.
Finding the right local handyman for your home repair project is essential. You need to know you're hiring a professional, responsible and reliable handyman to trust with your home. The best recommendation we have is to ask your friends and neighbors if they've used a handyman near you. Word of mouth is the best reference for any handyman service, so having someone you trust offer their recommendation is a good start.
If you don't know anyone who's hired a handyman near you try going to your local hardware store or checking community message boards. Quite often, handymen will put business cards in these locations or someone at the hardware store can give you a few suggestions a handyman near you.
Checking online for a handyman service and customer reviews is also essential.
Photo Source: Shutterstock3. Know what to watch out for
Be wary of a handyman service that don't seem to be on the up-and-up. Know what to look for and when to be concerned when it comes to a handyman near you. The more informed you are, the less likely you are to end up with a local handyman who may not provide the services you're paying for.
Here are some of the things that should raise concerns with a local handyman service:
If you've never had to worry about hiring a handyman before, you probably don't know the right questions to ask when interviewing one. You want to ensure you're hiring a handyman who is reputable, established, insured and trustworthy.
Here are some questions to ask before hiring a handyman near you:
Photo Source: Shutterstock5. Not all handymen are plumbers, carpenters or electricians
It's important to understand the scope of your home repairs. Does installing your new toilet require any plumbing work? Does your new ceiling fan require rewiring?
Many handymen are skilled in basic home repairs, but they aren't licensed plumbers, carpenters or electricians.
Where a handyman may be suitable for small plumbing and carpentry jobs, larger jobs like remodeling should be contracted to a licensed tradesman. This is especially important when dealing with electrical work.
If the handyman says he can complete your home repair project but they aren't licensed, use your discretion. If you feel the job requires too much work, go with your gut and hire a licensed tradesman.
You should have a firm idea of what your budget is before hiring any local handyman service. Be prepared with a little buffer for any unseen incidentals, but you should be confident that your handyman will stay within the agreed upon budget.
Discuss with your handyman how they want to get paid. While most handymen are paid hourly, some may quote you a price for the full job. Get the estimate on the hours required to complete the home repairs and get a written estimate on the cost up front.
Photo Source: Shutterstock7. Establish a schedule
Your home repairs may include several projects. Your handyman should have a clear schedule on when each project will be started and completed.
If the home repair project requires a few days to complete, your handyman should give you a schedule for what he will be working on and when, so your home isn't in disrepair for longer than expected.
Always be sure to get references before hiring a handyman and follow up on them. Happy customers will tell you a lot about the local handyman you're considering. Unhappy customers will always let you know if there are red flags to watch out for.
If you are hiring a handyman to build a new deck for instance, ask for references from people who he has built decks for in the past. If the reference is willing to let you come see the final product, it's worth looking at.
Ask how recent the references are. If the handyman only gives references that are several years old, this should be cause for concern.
Photo Source: Shutterstock9. Get a clear, written contract
Do not take a verbal estimate on cost, schedule of completion or work agreement. Ensure you're getting a full and clear written contract that specifies the fees to be paid, the schedule of completion and outlines the work you're hiring for.
The contract should include a detailed list of supplies the handyman service needs to purchase for your project and their detailed fees. Ensure there are no “hidden” fees and everything is clear before signing off on the contract.
A typical handyman service will offer a work guarantee. Be sure to ask how long they guarantee their work for, and how they intend to fix any issues if they do arise.
As mentioned earlier, a typical guarantee may be 1-3 years depending on the home repair project. Ask how quickly you can expect the handyman to return if you do need to call on him to repair something.
Be very wary of any handyman who doesn't offer a guarantee on his work. When the project is complete, do a walk-through with the handyman to ensure all repairs were completed to your satisfaction. If you notice issues right away, be sure to bring them up before signing off on the project.