7 Ways to Protect Yourself and Your Home When Hiring a Handyman

Roofing contractors

Some home building or repair tasks, such as putting on an addition or installing a new roof, take specialized contractors. But there are many others that are less demanding — and yet still out of most homeowners’ comfort zones. In these cases, handyman repair services are often the best option. What is a handyman? This is an experienced person (man or woman, despite the common term) who can help you with tasks such as laying tile, doing simple roofing repairs, fixing leaky plumbing, or even hanging paintings and drapes in hard-to-reach spots. He or she is a “jack of all trades,” and is usually paid by the hour regardless of the type of project.

Since you will often only work with a handyman for a short amount of time, the toughest part of finding reliable handyman services is weeding out qualified, competent individuals from those who are willing to do shoddy work (hoping you won’t know the difference) and then move on to the next homeowner. Here are seven things you can do to make sure you’re hiring the best possible handyman for the job or jobs you have in mind:

  1. Make Your List First

    Before you ever start looking for prospective handymen, it’s a good idea to list out everything you need done. Not all handymen will offer the exact same services, so you’ll want to be able to show this list to candidates and make sure they’d be within their areas of expertise.

  2. Find Several Candidates

    Even if you’ve gotten a glowing personal recommendation from one person, it’s a good idea to find several handymen who can handle the projects on your list. That way, you’ll be able to compare the information you get from each one.

  3. Do Your Research

    It’s important to check out any worker through sites like Yelp and Angie’s List, as well making sure there are no complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau. You’ll also want to conduct in-person interviews to make sure you’re comfortable with this person being in your home.

  4. Ask About Education and Licensing

    Laws governing handymen differ quite a bit from state to state, so your handyman may or may not need a license. Regardless, he or she should have education and/or experience, and be bonded and insured so that you don’t need to worry about liability.

  5. Get Estimates for Time and Money

    Make sure you ask for scheduling estimates, as well as price estimates. Saving a hundred dollars or so won’t do you much good if the project will be put off till next spring.

  6. Have a Written Contract

    No matter how nice and reliable your chosen handyman seems, any work on your house should be done under a written legal contract to make sure everybody is on the same page. Also establish in writing if the handyman repair services rendered are in any way protected by a guarantee or warranty.

  7. Stay Involved

    Once the project has begun, stay involved. Make sure you’re happy with the work that you’re seeing, and ask about schedule or budget updates on a regular basis.

What other questions do you have about handyman repair services? Ask or share your thoughts in the comments.

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