Let us Help you Find the Right Contractor

One irony of homeownership is that a handyman can either be an empowering asset or the homeowner’s worst nightmare. Following these tips will help make sure your handyman is the former rather than the latter.

Let’s begin our tutorial by recognizing the role of the handyman, which is primarily to accomplish improvements that are beyond the skill level or time constraints of the buyer. Good and bad handymen are in demand, but only the good survive the long term. A good handyman knows his or her limitations and is quick to comprehend the task at hand, identify the steps they can achieve and the steps that are beyond their capabilities. Listen carefully and do not try to force work on the handyperson who has reservations. Faced with this dilemma, you have a few choices:

• Ask the name of another contractor to complete work the provider cannot accomplish.

• Look for another handyman.

• Change the job description.

The point is that when the handyperson goes beyond their proven abilities, bad and costly things can happen.

Eight Steps to Find the Right Handyman

1. Provide a clear job description and be prepared to discuss every detail as to methodology. Listen when the contractor identifies the challenges and ask for recommended remedies that might accomplish the same goal.

2. Check all references. When locating potential handymen online or through referrals from trusted friends, you cannot be too careful. The reason the handyman is not a contractor is that he lacks certification and licensing. Never forget there is a certain unskilled element to the term “handyman.” Even if a candidate has provided superior work for a friend or neighbor, is your job description in their ability range? Look for references for similar jobs and check them carefully. If the provider is local, make inquiries at local suppliers to see what they know about him or her.

3. Insurance is always a big consideration. Many handymen do not have proper coverage. This may be a risk you are willing to take but always ask the question. If they have insurance, request that you be stipulated as an additional named insured. Ask for proof of general liability and worker’s compensation before going to contract.

4. In addition to checking references, take the time or make the investment to check credit and credibility by contacting a third person credit agency and/or by reaching out to the local Better Business Bureau. If blemishes appear, proceed with caution. No one can please all the people all the time but the handyman who makes the same mistakes consistently can be problematic. If a prospect has a poor history and/or reputation, do not waste your time by requesting a proposal.

5. Never settle for an estimate from just one potential provider. You are hoping to build a long-term relationship and starting off in a businesslike manner is important over the full term of your partnership. The more professionally you conduct the hiring process, the more professionally the provider will act. Remember that you only have one chance to make a first impression.

6. Before going to contract, ask the handyman to list stages of the job and explain in some detail how the work will be performed. If he or she uses other workers, you will need to check their credentials as well. A common mistake is authorizing work before the buyer fully understands the provider’s game plan. This can be an expensive mistake. Before going to contract, you should be in complete agreement as to how the work with proceed.

7. Be prepared to work together toward a happy conclusion. Request that the job site be cleaned at the end of each workday and ask what you can do to make the job go smoothly. Homeowners can usually catch more bees with honey.

8. Controlling the money is just good business. The contractor may need to get ahead of the work with cash flow but keep your hand in your pocket with the final installment until the work is inspected and completed to your satisfaction. The final payment should signify a job well done and both parties should feel a sense of accomplishment and be happy to work together in the future.