Where can i find a handyman
Dear Lifehacker, I need some work done around my house. The problem is, I'm out of my league. I'd love to hire a handyman or a contractor to help me out, but how do I go about finding one? How can I make sure they're trustworthy and won't do more damage than good?SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How To Be A Handyman Episode 1- THE HANDYMAN -
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Dear Lifehacker, I need some work done around my house. The problem is, I'm out of my league. I'd love to hire a handyman or a contractor to help me out, but how do I go about finding one? How can I make sure they're trustworthy and won't do more damage than good? Dear Harried Homeowner, All isn't lost! Resist the temptation to pick up the phone book and start leafing through it, looking for nearby handymen or general contractors.
There are better ways to find good, reputable contractors who do good work and are willing to stand behind what they do. The key however is that you have to do your research and your homework before you hire and stay engaged while they work. You can't cut corners here—there are plenty of bad handymen out there willing to do shoddy work and charge you a ton of money, and they give the good ones who are eager for your business a bad name. Here's how to find—and support—those good guys. The first step to finding a great contractor or handyman is to start by searching in the right places.
Even if you do own a phone book, resist the urge to start flipping through it. This isn't the kind of decision you want to leave to chance, or to the person with the biggest ad.
Here are a couple of places to start your search:. Once you have a few good options or people to get in touch with, the first thing you want to do if you're in the United States or Canada is to check and see if there are any outstanding or open complaints with the handyman or the company they work for with the Better Business Bureau.
Regardless of what you may think about the BBB, people do lodge their complaints there more often than anywhere else, and if there's an open complaint about work they've done, you'll know to think twice about hiring them. Also, check with your local housing authority or city government office that handles building, construction, and permits to make sure they're a familiar face down there if you're getting work done that requires permits or that there aren't any outstanding complaints or pending legal issues with the handyman from City Hall's perspective.
Plus, your local building or code inspector will have a good idea of who they enjoy working with, who does good work, and who can barely pass inspection or doesn't bother to get inspections done. By now you should have a short list of contractors you want to interview to see if they can handle the work you need done.
Whether it's hanging drapes or building an addition, you want to interview them first before agreeing to let them do any work in your home. Don't let them just give you a raw estimate for the work you're asking for—especially if they've never seen your home, or have no idea of the scope of the work involved. Call them up or meet with them and ask them about the kinds of work they've done in the past. Ask what their expertise is, and whether they've done this kind of work before.
If you're in a state or region where a contractor has to be licensed, ask for their license number so you can verify it. If they want to give you an estimate on the spot, let them, but make it clear that this isn't binding and you're not hiring them for any work. Most importantly, get some references. Every decent handyman or contractor will be happy to give you a list of people they've worked for in the past, what they've done and if they're good, they'll give you references for similar work to what you're asking , and even show you pictures of the before and after job, tell you how much it cost, and show you the kinds of plans they'll draw up for the job, how long it'll take, and walk you through the details of those previous gigs.
References are of the utmost importance when you're hiring someone to work on your home—don't just take the handyman's references for granted either, go see the work they've done, and call up the people they worked for.
That's the point of references, after all—you should be comfortable calling the person they're using as a reference, asking to see the work yourself so you can make sure it hasn't deteriorated or the photos hid a larger issue , or that the handyman isn't just using the person's name because they were happy a week after the work was complete, but had to get it torn out and redone a month later.
Call their references. Go see their work. Talk to their prior customers. We can't stress it enough. Once you have your candidates and you're pleased with their referrals, it's time to get your estimates if you don't have them already and get a firm plan for the work you'd like done.
Most contractors won't put too much into a plan before you've actually hired them, but the good ones will at least rough out what they expect the job will take. They should even help you understand what the cost will be in time and materials, even before you hire them for the job. We have some great tips to help find good contractors and weed them out from the bad ones. Some of the tips are ones we've mentioned—like checking with your city inspector or building office, and checking with the BBB.
However, here are some other good things to remember when getting your estimates and reviewing project plans:. Ideally before you even really hire someone, you'll have written estimates, and written plan for the work you'll want done to be fleshed out and detailed upon hiring , and more than a few contractors willing to take your job, all of whom you've interviewed and you feel comfortable with remember, this person will be in your home—you should feel comfortable with them too.
Now you can go about picking the right one for you and your home with confidence. Once you've selected a contractor and delivered the good news PS - when you give your second and third choices the bad news, treat them kindly and respectfully.
You never know when your first choice will screw up and you'll need to call your second choice and ask them to come and finish up—or fix what the first guy broke , hire them on the contingency that they stick to their plan, timeline, and estimate and don't make any changes without your authorization. For example, if they open up a wall only to discover a major problem, their first instinct should be to call you—not just go forward and work around it. Any budget overruns or new materials required should be cleared by you first.
You should have a written agreement, and that agreement should include all those details and contingencies in case you and the contractor disagree contingencies that should give you a favorable out if the work isn't done to your satisfaction. Never, ever, pay anything up front. If your contractor starts moaning that they need the money to go get the materials for the job, call up your second choice unless you're getting custom supplies that need to be ordered.
Your contractor should be able to pay their own way so you can pay for special materials and upon completion of the work—or at least after you've seen some results. It's not strange to pay a portion after some of the work has been done, or to pay for special equipment, and then pay the rest when everything's finished. It is uncommon however to do a "half now, half when I'm finished" arrangement unless you're hiring someone's brother or best friend.
If that's the direction you want to go, be very careful—paying half of the overall budget before they lift a finger essentially, for nothing , is a great way to lose half of the money you budgeted for your new addition or garage makeover. Finally, make sure you stick to your contractor like glue. Make sure you're actively engaged in the work—don't just give your contractor the keys and walk away. This isn't a reality TV show: Pay attention to what they're doing, ask questions, and while you don't want to slow down the process, you do want it clear that you're involved, interested, and want to make sure the work is done right.
Hopefully these tips will help you find a good contractor, Harried Homeowner! It can be a tricky process, but whether your job is large or small, with some research and the right questions, you can be sure you'll find one of the good guys eager to work with you to improve your home. Good luck! Have a question or suggestion for Ask Lifehacker? The A. Alan Henry. Filed to: ask lifehacker. Share This Story. Get our newsletter Subscribe.
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Find a Recommended Handyman Near You
After buying a home , many buyers discover they want to personalize that home, change the environment to suit specific tastes, and that means finding a handyman or contractor. When I think about the best ways to find a handyman or contractor, this old joke pops into my head. It goes like this. People want three things in a handyman or contractor. They want a contractor who is: 1.
Find a handyman near you
Regardless of the size of your home, maintaining it can be a struggle. While you may not have the time or the tools to accomplish everything on your to-do list, what you do have is a local Mr. Handyman is proud to be the name that nearly 1 million homeowners have trusted since for home improvement and repair, providing virtually any home repair, installation and maintenance service. You don't want to put your life on hold to fix the door that won't close, or patch the hole in your drywall, and we understand that. It is our goal to keep your home in tip top shape so you can stay on track. Whether we're improving your home or providing local jobs, Mr. Handyman is a proud member of your local community. At Mr. Handyman we believe in exceptional service and quality workmanship which is why we back every job we do with our worry-free guarantee.
8 Ways to Find a Handyman, Plumber & Other Service Providers Near You
We make sure we do the leg work for you! Pick from some of the best providers in your area. With easy access to reviews and direct contact with Handymen, you can be confident with your choice. Furniture Assembly, General maintenance.
One of the most frustrating, yet often overlooked challenges of moving to a new city is finding a trustworthy handyman in your area. In the past, you probably had a rolodex of tried-and-true home service providers. Your new home may also require service professionals for pool maintenance, lawn care, painting and furniture repair. Not sure how to find these local pros?
Hiring a Handyman
Home maintenance is vital, not only to keep your home in top condition, but also to pick up problems early before they become larger and therefore more difficult and expensive to correct. With a few exceptions, handymen can carry out a wide variety of home maintenance tasks including:. Basically, a handyman will do the jobs that you are unable to do yourself but which you do not need a specialised professional for. A handyman will also be able to do more than one maintenance task around the home in the same visit, where if you hire a specialised professional, you may need to hire two or more.
Updated: October 28, References. A good handyman will come recommended, perform high-quality work at reasonable rates, and, first and foremost, be respectful of you and your home. Log in Facebook. No account yet? Create an account.
How to hire a handyman
Track my home. Have you ever wondered how to find a handyman? The trick is finding someone trustworthy with a proven track record of success. There are plenty of websites and apps that make it a snap to recruit this much-needed helping hand. But hiring the wrong person to get a job done can turn a seemingly straightforward task into an expensive headache. However, for projects that involve your home's major systems, such as plumbing and electrical, it is best to hire a licensed professional. While there are no national standards for handymen, some parts of the country have their own regulations in place designed to protect consumers.
Setting up a safe consultation or appointment with a handyman during the COVID pandemic starts with comparing local professionals online. Message or call the handyman to ask about performing a consultation over the phone or, better yet, a video call. This will allow the handyman to assess the problem without increasing the risk of transmission by visiting your home. Discuss temporary fixes if possible, and come up with a plan for safety and digital payment. Depending on the service needed, a handyman may be considered essential during the COVID pandemic.
A handyman, or handyman service, usually charges clients an hourly rate, plus material costs, regardless of the task. Many homeowners compile a list of repairs and hire a handyman to complete the list in a single visit. Some are self-trained, while others have formal training in various aspects of construction and home repair.