How to hire a licensed handyman near you

If you have never hired a licensed handyman near you before here are some tips on how to find the best local handyman for your needs.

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Your home is the most important place in your life, and home repairs can seem endless. If you've never hired a local handyman before you probably don't know where to start.

Don't hire the first handyman near you and hope for the best. Let us help you find the best local handyman services for all your home repairs.

Know where to start

The first step in finding a licensed handyman near you is quite simple: look in the right places. Resist the urge to find the biggest ad you can and hire on the spot. Your home isn't something you want to leave in the hands of just anyone.



Ask neighbors and family if they have hired a local handyman for their home repairs.

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1. Word of Mouth

You trust your family, friends and neighbors right? Ask around the neighborhood if they have used a local handyman for their home repairs. If so, ask what handyman or handyman service they used and if they recommend them.

If you spread the word that you're looking for a handyman near you, chances are you'll get some referrals from trusted friends and neighbors. That doesn't necessarily mean the handyman can do the home repairs you need help with, or that you should hire them on the spot, but it's a great place to start looking.

Most good, local handyman services will rely on word of mouth for their livelihood as well, so they know good service can make – or poor service can break – their business.


2. Go to your local hardware store

It may seem like a no-brainer, but many people don't even consider going to the hardware store. Many hardware stores will have bulletin boards for local handyman services and licensed handyman to put their business cards, website information or phone numbers.

If they don't have a bulletin board, ask the employees if they know handyman businesses. It's likely that a handyman near you will buy supplies at the hardware store and may be known to staff.


3. Community message boards

This is especially good if you live in a small town, housing community or condo complex. Often, you'll find community message boards or bulletin boards in a public location, or a website or Facebook page dedicated to community messages.

It's also a great way for you to post what you're looking for where a lot of people can see it and offer suggestions for you.



Make a list of potential handyman services, then do a little background research

Once you have a few good options to choose from, do a little research on the local handyman or handyman services you're considering. See if there are any complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Many people still lodge complaints with the BBB so it's a great, fast resource to see if there are any issues with your potential handyman.



Before you go any further, interview

You may not find any complaints about your list of handymen but you still need to make sure they are capable and qualified to do the home repairs you're hiring them for.

Whether you're looking for some simple yard work or building an addition to your house, you need to speak with them first. Don't agree to let anyone work on your home repairs until they've seen the house and what you need them to do.

Never accept a raw estimate for work you need done, especially if they haven't seen your home or the scope of the project. They can tell you they charge $500 for building a deck, but not all decks are the same. There could be more work involved than anticipated which ultimately affects your cost.



Before hiring a local handyman for your home repairs ask if they have expertise in the work you want completed especially plumbing or electrical.

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Ask what their expertise is and if they've done the kind of work you need before. Some jobs may require trade skills plumbing or electrical work and you need to be sure your handyman is qualified to tackle the entire home repair project.

Some people may give you a quote or estimate during your interview. This is fine, but remember that it doesn't obligate you to hire them. Make it clear that the quote isn't binding and you are not hiring them yet.



Ask if they are licensed and insured

Many states require licensing for handyman services but not all work you need done requires someone licensed.

If you have a licensed handyman, ask for their license number and verify it. Never hire a handyman near you for electrical or plumbing work without a license as you don't know the quality or safety of the work they are providing.

If the home repairs you are hiring for are simple jobs and you're comfortable hiring an unlicensed handyman you will likely save yourself some money in the long run.

Even if they don't have a license, any handyman should be insured. This not only protects you and your home from damages, it protects the handyman from injuries.



Get references

References are probably the most important part of finding the right handyman to work on your home.

Don't just take a list of references as proof the handyman is qualified and capable. Go see the work they've completed, talk to home owners they've worked for. That's the point of references, after all.

Ask if you can see the work yourself, and make sure the customer was happy with the handyman services and that the work provided has held up over time.



Always get a written estimate from your handyman for all home repairs including cost and estimate of completion.

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Get a quote

Once you've narrowed down your list of handyman candidates, get a quote for the job (if they haven't already given you one during the interview.)

Never hire a handyman without first getting a written estimate. Make sure all charges are clearly listed so that there are no hidden fees and that both parties agree on the charges.

Get a plan for the work, including an estimate on completion. Most handyman service providers won't put too much effort into a plan until they're hired, but good ones can at least give you a rough idea of what to expect.



Remember the Don'ts

There's a couple of things to remember what not to do. Don't choose the lowest bidder. Even if all estimates are around the same amount, the lowest bidder is likely skimping on something or may be underestimating the scope of the project. This doesn't mean you have to go with the highest bidder, but remember you get what you pay for.

Don't believe anything that seems too good to be true. If one handyman is promising the work will be done in half the time the others estimate, or if they downplay how easy a complicated home repair project is, be wary. It doesn't necessarily mean they are scamming you, but it could mean trouble after the work is started.

Listen to your gut, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.