Hiring a handyman can be very useful in getting a lot of smaller tasks accomplished. They can also be a much more affordable option than hiring a licensed contractor. For this reason, these individuals might be the best option for projects involving various tasks.
Nonetheless, like with all other business decisions you should proceed with caution. The search for the right handyman starts with you.
What’s a handyman?
A handyman or handy-person (male or female) is someone who gets paid to do various household tasks and repairs. A handyman can do odd jobs ranging from weeding or cleaning gutters. Likewise, they can also do minor home repairs or improvements such as painting. The range of skills a handyman has varied greatly from person to person.
Make a detailed list
Handymen such as those available on Craigslist are typically useful for smaller projects or one-time jobs. Hence, do not expect every handyman to have the necessary (male or female) to do everything around the house. Whereas, handymen with a wide range of skills are typically more expensive. You might be able to save money by finding one who specializes in just your particular needs.
If you simply need someone to paint a room, hiring a professional who has electrical skills and carpentry knowledge might prove to be more costly. However, if you have a long list of tasks, choosing someone with a diverse range of skills can save time and money. Ask detailed questions about their experience and rates.
Getting references is important
Ensuring your handyman is trustworthy and well respected is essential in ensuring a good job. There are many stories of disastrous labor experiences from tacky work to outright theft. The best way to find a quality worker is by referral.
Many handymen stay busy simply on word-of-mouth referrals from happy customers. Talk to neighbors, family, and friends to see if they have had positive experiences.
Get a written estimate
A written estimate including the price and time for completion can help with any future miscommunication. Dishonest handymen may give a verbal estimate and come up with a significantly different total when it is time to pay. They may come up with a list of things that raised the price higher than expected. Therefore, you should know up-front what the work will cost and any variables that may affect a change.
Get a contract in writing
Similar to an estimate a contract will protect you if anything goes wrong. In most cases, a handyman who is willing to put it in writing is usually more trustworthy also. On the other hand, If they are not willing to do this, you might have to proceed at your own risk.
In any case, check to see if they have valid liability insurance and get proof. Although you may opt to forego this for smaller jobs, keep in mind there can be damages if things go awry. On a whole, you should be covered by some kind of insurance.
Summing up, check skill levels and references before making a final decision, and be sure you are comfortable with the person. Remember that this person will have access to your home so you want to feel secure in your choice.