If you’re a homeowner or renter you’ll most likely find yourself at one point or another in need of a handyman. Whether you need help fixing a loose stair, replacing an overhead light or repairing drywall, a handyman is really a jack-of-all trades. Some handymen specialize in replacement and remodeling projects, others focus on odd-jobs around the home. Even skilled DIYers may need a handyman to complete tasks they simply don’t have time to do or for occasions when an extra hand is needed. Before you hire a handyman be sure to ask these questions to ensure a successful project.

handyman adding texture to drywall

We asked The Somerset Hills Handy Man & Co about the top 5 questions to ask a handyman service.

The Handyman’s Level Of Expertise

Understand the full range of capabilities for the task at hand. Even if the job appears to be simple at first, you’ll want to hire a someone who can take on related issues. “Someone who can replace a piece of window glass may not be very good at replacing a window,” said The Somerset Hills Handy Man & Co.

Scope Of Work

“Make sure you and your handyman agree on the scope of work in advance.” A quality handyman will draw up a scope of work that will detail all work to be included in the price estimate. This document will help provide guidance to every line item and both parties will have a good understanding of what work will, and will not, be included in the project. “If demolition uncovers issues that need to be addressed before work can continue, get the scope of additional work and costs in writing before authorizing the handyman to continue,” says The Somerset Hills Handy Man & Co.

Payment of Fees

The scope of work will flush out the exact costs, including materials, hourly rates and tax. A quality handyman may ask for a deposit however The Somerset Hills Handy Man & Co says “do not pay in full for services in advance, ever.” Once the work is complete a handyman will ask for the remainder of the fees.

Permit Filing

It is the responsibility of the homeowner to make sure all necessary permits are filed. Your local government agency is your best source of information regarding which projects require permits and what, exactly, needs to be presented during the filing. They will also clarify costs and lead times of permitting. If a permit is required, either the handyman or the homeowner may file. Be sure to determine this responsibility within the scope of work.

Ask For References

Always ask for 3-5 references with any professional you hire. Testimonials can be helpful but be sure you ask the right questions. Assessing a past customer’s opinion about the quality of work is important but so are opinions about communication skills, efficiency, and other skill sets that make for a great professional.

While not every project requires a contract, some tasks will, so make sure you understand what should go into a contract for your handyman’s service before starting your project.

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