Our guest author, Jennifer Bennett of Anytime Plumbing, shares five things to consider when hiring a handyman. Old or new, every home is going to need a little handy work taken care of occasionally. Whether it’s a clogged toilet that needs a good plumber or a room that needs to have a fresh coat of paint or new door knobs, you don’t always need to call an expensive contractor when a handyman can take care of everything for you.
While many women can handle the work on their own without the need for a handyman at all, there are also many who need to hire someone capable. Don’t let an unscrupulous person take advantage of you if you’re not familiar with what needs done to repair the problem you have at your home. Before you hire just anyone off the streets, you need to take time to consider some things to make sure you hire the right person for the task at hand.
No matter what type of repair work you need taken care of, you need to take time to research, and then research some more. Check with friends and family to see if they can recommend a trustworthy handyman. You may find that people you know personally will have great tips on the best handymen in your area. If you don’t know anyone that can refer you to someone, then take time to do a little online search and when you find a few listed, check them out.
When you are searching for a handyman, don’t hire the first one you see listed. Check them out to see if they have reviews listed online and how they respond to negative reviews. Find out what they believe it will take to complete the work you need done and this means a timeline as well as a price for materials. Whether you need a major home remodel or something small like hanging a new door or repairing a window, checking the handyman out before you hire is very important.
2. Verify Insurance and License
Unfortunately, there are some handymen that will look you in the eyes and tell you they have a million-dollar general liability policy and that they just renewed their contractor's license and they will be lying as they smile and look straight into your eyes. If you live in a state that requires insurance and a contractor’s license, you can easily check to verify whether a handyman is up to date on everything. Ensuring that the handyman is insured is important because if he messes anything, causes damage to your home or even has an accident, you could find yourself responsible for thousands of dollars in repair work or medical bills.
3. Steer Clear of Cheap Services
Everyone likes to save money and pay low rates on services. When you need repair work at your home, you really need to hire someone who offers quality services instead of someone who offers the lowest price. You may find that someone who underbids everyone else will buy supplies that are not going to last like higher quality materials and you can end up having the same repair job done time and time again. It is best to fix things right the first time, so they last for many years.
4. Get Your Own Permits
You may have a great handyman who tells you they can get the necessary permits for the repair job, but to save time and money, go get your own permits if you have time. You can contact your local building and codes inspector for your county to find out which permits you need and how to obtain them.
If you hire a handyman and they tell you they need the full amount upfront, then continue looking for a handyman! It is normal for a handyman to ask for a deposit to cover materials upfront, but it should set off red flags if someone demands all the money before they do any work. If they have all the money, they can now work slowly, purchase inadequate materials and even skip out without completing the work. There are legal remedies for people who do these things but heading to court could mean more out of pocket for you to file paperwork or have your day in court. So, either pay a small deposit and keep accurate records showing what has been purchased or pay it all upfront and risk having them skip out on the work you need done.
Finding a good handyman can seem overwhelming if you are not familiar with the work that needs to be handled, but with a little research and careful planning, you can find an experienced handyman who will take care of your home just as you need them to do.
Jennifer Bennet has a passion for decorating, home design and remodeling. Jen and her husband have experience in remodeling their own homes and homes for clients. Her husband admits that he would be lost without her when it comes to design and function.