It’s one of life’s modern conundrums: there is always something that needs doing around the house or in the garden. It may be a very simple job – fixing a door that won’t shut properly, perhaps mending a fence or repairing other fixtures, some simple DIY – but you simply don’t have the time to do it. For many of us, we don’t have the patience either, and for more complex jobs that the competent DIY fan could handle, many need specific tools. The expense of buying tools for one job is out of the question, so what do you do?
You need a good handyman, someone who you can rely on to be on call to do the jobs that need doing and to attend to any emergencies that might come about. There are many around, but how do you pick the right one? We have put together some neat tips that should help, so before you go out and book a handyman, read on.
Talk to Friends and Family
One of the biggest problems with finding a handyman that you can rely upon is trust. You need whoever you hire to be trustworthy when left alone in your home, for example, and you want to be sure they are competent. Before you search online, ask around friends, family, and perhaps even those you work with. There is no substitute for word of mouth, and a quick question on your social networking platforms may also yield results. If someone you know and trust has used a handyman that they found trustworthy and satisfactory, there’s no better recommendation.
Get the Right Person
Is there a specific job you require carrying out? Or are you looking for a handyman who can cover a lot of different areas around the home? Put it this way: you don’t want to hire a plumber to do your painting and decorating! This is why, if you have specific requirements, you need to look carefully for people with the right skills. The man who can attend to all your garden work may not be the one who can do the jobs around the house, so be sure to ask.
Don’t Be Afraid to Interview
The person you choose may well be a regular visitor if you have plenty of potential work – perhaps you have an older house that you are renovating – so will be more than happy to answer some questions about his or her work and experience. You may want to ask the following:
- How long have you been in this line of work?
- Can you show me examples of past jobs?
- What are your areas of expertise?
- Have you done any local jobs?
- What are your rates?
- Do you have any references?
Of course, if this person has been recommended by someone you know, then you can visit and see the work that has been completed. Don’t be afraid to ask for a full breakdown of the costs – an honest service provider will be more than happy to show you – and don’t simply pick the first candidate; they may be the right one, but you don’t know until you’ve talked to others.
Check the Legal Bits
Remember that there are some jobs that only a qualified professional can attend to – these tend to be in the electrical and gas areas and others where there may be danger present – to ensure that whoever you are talking to has the correct permits and paperwork to be legally entitled to complete the work you require. Ask to see the papers too – once again, the good people will be happy to show you.
Local Might be Best
If you’re looking for advice on how to find handyman services near me you’re thinking on the right lines. Keeping it local is always best, as it means you can easily find the contractor should you have problems after the event. There are many horror stories of people hiring ‘experts’ from a distance, only to find they are very hard to get in touch with when the job turns out to be less than acceptable.
Social networking is a great way of getting advice and recommendations, but do make sure that if you take advice this way, you actually know the person advising you: most of us, after all, have ‘friends’ on our contacts list who we have never met! It pays to be vigilant, so once you have contact details, arrange to meet with the list of questions from above.
Get it in Writing
Once you have settled on a handyman, get in writing what you need doing. If there is to be repeat work, make sure this is understood, but for specific jobs agree on the scope of the work involved, the time it will take and – perhaps most important of all – the price. Do not take a quote that is an estimate; only accept one that is agreed upon beforehand, and only agree to pay once you have inspected the work. A reputable handyman will have no problem with agreeing to any of this.
Don’t be Tempted by Rock Bottom Prices
Be aware, you will always get someone who claims to be able to undercut everyone else. You should be very wary of this, as the handyman who is very cheap is unlikely to be the best person for the job. For this reason, don’t simply plump for the cheapest quote. Go through the points above and take care to find someone who can show you prior work – preferably that you can have a look at – and be prepared to pay for the right person. After all, these are professionals, so you should expect them to ask a fair price for their work.
Once you find that handyman you can trust, you will undoubtedly build a relationship, and if there are jobs they cannot do, they may well be the best person to recommend others to you. Start looking now, take care to vet all candidates, and then sit back and let them do the jobs you have no time to do.