Do you have projects around the house that you can’t find time for or don’t have the expertise? If they’re too big for you because of time or know-how and too small for big contractors, you can hire a handyman. However, you need to know who can get the job done correctly and at a fair price. Here are some tips to help you with your search.
Talk to Local Hardware Stores
If you need recommendations, a local hardware store will know the best names. Unlike the large chain home improvement store, they won’t have their own team to recommend. However, they will know who frequents their store and who has a good reputation. They will also hear the complaints about the handymen you will want to avoid.
Don’t Choose Solely on Price
The lowest bid is not always the best one. Ask for references and go with your instinct. Remember that you’re saving money anyway since you aren’t using a general contractor, so don’t be afraid to pick the higher priced handyman.
Get More Than One Bid
For jobs that will take a couple of hours or ones that you don’t have an idea of a fair price, get multiple bids. While the bids may vary, they should be around the same price. You can also ask friends who have replaced a kitchen faucet or repaired a broken door lock about how long the job should take. That will give you an idea of the price based on an hourly rate.
Don’t wait until everything in your house is falling apart. Contact a handyman with a small job. Try him out on something that should take less than an hour. Ideally, it will be a job that you know how to do if only you had the time. This way you can inspect his work to make sure it was done correctly. You will also know how long it should take and if he charged a fair price.
If he didn’t satisfy on the small job, look elsewhere. If he did a good job and you are pleased, try him out on a bigger project. After you’ve tested his skills on a few projects and are happy with the results, you can count on him for bigger jobs that you don’t know as much about.
Set a Limit
Many handymen do not like to give estimates for their work. This is not because they’re trying to cheat you out of money; many simple jobs are hard to estimate. A job that seems easy can turn complicated and may take hours to complete. They don’t want to be locked into a price that doesn’t pay them for their time. However, you don’t want to be stuck with a $50 bill that turns into $1,000. Set a limit on how much work they can do before they contact you; then you can decide if you want to approve more.