With all the excitement of homeownership also come some very real responsibilities – specifically, repairs and regular maintenance. And sure, some of us are gifted with the skills to fix leaky sinks and put down tile, but for most of us, these tasks are best done by professionals. When hiring a handyman or contractor to help with your latest project, you need to find someone who can be trusted and has the skills to get the job done well. You also want the price to be fair. Getting a stranger to do all of this can be difficult, so check out these tips and tricks for hiring a handyman.
Here are some basic things you should be looking for:
- Certifications – When interviewing potential candidates, start by asking what certifications they have. For instance, check if your handyman is certified with the Association of Certified Handyman Professionals. Certifications can help guarantee that the person you’re hiring is knowledgeable, professional and able to offer customer care.
- Contracts: Don’t ever hire a handyman without a signed agreement of responsibilities, rates, etc. Contracts can give you some protection, especially if this is the first time you’re working with a particular handyman. This is also a good time to ask about a warranty on the project.
- Free quotes: You shouldn’t have to pay for a quote. Nowadays, free quotes are usually common courtesy. Don’t waste a minute on someone who asks for money to come see the property.
- Receipts: Ask in advance if they offer a receipt. You should do this for a couple reasons. One is that receipts allow you to keep track of the money flow and provide proof that the contract was completed. Another reason to get a receipt is that it can be used to verify a tax deduction if you’re paying for work on an investment property or home office.
- Communication skills: Be wary of handymen who don’t communicate well. You need someone who can clearly explain the work they’re doing and provide a timeline for when it will be completed.
- Insurance coverage: It’s often best to make sure the person you’re working with is insured so they’re covered in the event that they are hurt on the job or they accidentally cause damage to your property.
- Honesty: A sign of a good handyman is someone who tells you when they’re in over their head. If they’ve never built a porch before, you probably don’t want them giving the old college try at your house. You want someone who will tell you when to go with someone else.