Home repairs or maintenance issues may require professional help. Terry Rogers has been self-employed locally for almost 30 years as a carpenter and handyman. He explains what you need to know before hiring someone.
1. How do I find a good handyman?
“Ask neighbors or people at work or church for references. Many handymen advertise in local papers, online, or with signs in the area.”
2. How do I check references?
“Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and ask the handyman up front for references that you can call. Ask to see their prior work. You can also check reviews online.”
3. When can I hire a freelance handyman versus a contractor?
“You might use a freelance handyman for work that doesn’t require a license and if it’s a small job. Make sure you know the rules in your area. A contractor should already have a license and would be a better choice for a large project.”
4. What are some common things that a handyman would repair?
“Faucet leaks, floor repairs, small paint jobs, and simple electrical repair such as replacing a light switch.”
5. Would I be charged by the hour or by the project?
“Jobs that could have a lot of hidden problems such as water or termite damage would be charged hourly. Straightforward jobs like installing a door would be priced by the job. Always get a written quote before the work is done that includes labor and materials.”
6. If the job is too difficult, how would a handyman feel about referring me to someone else?
“A good handyman should be honest about what they can or cannot do, so referring you shouldn’t be a problem.”
7. Should I ask for a schedule of when the work will be finished?
“Yes. Some work can be lengthy due to the type of project, and it may involve other trades. A schedule would be helpful to keep things going forward in a timely manner.”
8. How do I verify if a handyman is bonded, and what does it mean?
“Ask to see the bond paperwork. It means that a bonding company has secured money that can be given to consumers if they file a claim against the person or company that did the work. The state controls the payment process.” (Terry used this source: bargaineering.com)
9. Does a handyman need insurance?
“Yes, and you can ask to see his policy. Handymen need to carry liability insurance in case they are injured on the job, to cover them if they should cause damage to your property, or if you’re injured by bad workmanship.”
10. What options do I have if I’m unhappy with the work?
“Get a list in writing of work performed as a guarantee or warranty if something goes wrong. Speak to the handyman directly. If it isn’t resolved contact the BBB. Legal recourse would be the final step.”
By Mary Ellen Bianco