When making home repairs, installing light fixtures, or performing small renovations, you may wonder how to find a handyman to do the work for you. It used to be that you’d have to hunt through newspapers and phone books or ask around the neighborhood to find a good local handyman, but the internet has changed how goods and services are found. Even though finding a handyman is arguably far easier than before, you still need to know how to pick the best one for your job and what you can expect from them.
In this article, you’ll learn what to ask before you hire a handyman, how a handyman can help you, and how to find them.
Hiring the best handyman near me
When it comes to hiring a good local handyman, there are naturally a few questions you will need to ask them before you decide. After all, you don’t want to hire someone to do your job without knowing what to expect from them and how much it will cost.
Here’s a breakdown of the nine most important questions to ask a handyman before hiring them:
- What kind of work do they do? You may have a grocery list of repairs on your home or a quick job. Either way, you must ensure that any handyman you hire can do the work. For example, a person specializing in carpentry may not be the right person to install your ceiling fan. Make sure you are clear about what you need and what they can do.
- Do they have references? Those who work in the trades rely heavily on referrals to keep their workflow going, so any good handyman can provide you with several referrals. There’s a good chance they will have customer feedback online – on their website or web-based business listings – that you can also look at.
- Are they properly licensed and insured? It may not seem like a big deal, but making sure any potential handyman you hire is licensed and insured is important. A license is an indication that they are knowledgeable and follow regulations. If you choose to hire them, their insurance will provide you with a safety net if they suffer an injury while on the job. If the handyman has an accident on the job and they are not insured, you will be liable.
- How do they charge for their work? Some handymen choose to charge by the project, while some choose to charge by the hour. By asking this question, you can better understand how to budget for the job and whether their cost is fair.
- What will the materials and labor cost? A well-established handyman will be able to give you an estimate of the cost, which should be within 10% of the actual final cost. You should request a written estimate – which most handymen will offer – that outlines the cost of the materials, labor, and the project’s expected duration.
- How long will the work take? You and the handyman are busy people, so it’s a good idea to find out when the work will start and end. Small jobs may take no more than an hour, but larger jobs may require multiple days. Knowing how long the job is expected to take will protect you against dishonest handymen who draw out the job or start it and then leave it unfinished.
- Do they work alone or with others? One person may work for some jobs, but larger jobs may require extra hands. By asking this question, you will know how many people you can expect in your home and how many labor hours you will be charged for.
- Do they guarantee their work? A guarantee offers peace of mind if there is a fault in their work or the materials used. A guarantee means they will fix the problem at no additional cost.
- Do they have a contract? A contract outlines what is expected of both you and the handyman, from the job details, how long it is expected to take, how much everything will cost, and sundry other fine details. Having the entire handyman/client relationship in a contract will help prevent miscommunications.
Where to find a local handyman
Trying to find a good local handyman is no longer the problematic task it used to be when our most effective sourcing tools were the phone book, the classifieds section of the local newspaper, and word-of-mouth. These days, the emphasis is far less on print media and far more on web media and word-of-mouth. Still, there are several key offline places where you can still source a handyman, including the following:
- Your local hardware store
- In the classified section of your local newspaper
- On bulletin boards at community centers and other gathering places
- On vehicle advertising, especially around construction and renovation sites
How to find online resources, word-of-mouth, etc.
Finding a handyman by word-of-mouth is as simple as asking your neighbors or family who they use to make repairs or renovations. You may also be able to find out who not to hire this way since a person’s experiences with a handyman will determine whether they endorse that handyman or want to prevent someone else from suffering the same misfortune they did. Word-of-mouth advertising isn’t always done in person, though – online reviews can also be placed under this heading since they both amount to the customer passing along their impressions of the workmanship and customer service they received.
The phone book has all but been replaced by internet search engines. With a few words, you can find online classifieds, service provider databases, business listings for handymen near you, links to their websites, and even customer reviews. With search engines, the exact wording of your search criteria matters. For example, if you simply enter the word “handyman” into the search box, you will get listings of handymen that are local to wherever the computer or device you are using is. So, if you happen to want a handyman for where you live in Tulsa, but you are on vacation in San Francisco, you will need to enter something like “handyman in Tulsa, Oklahoma” or “handyman Tulsa Oklahoma.” If you aren’t specific when figuring out how to find a handyman this way, it’ll show you listings local to your computer, tablet, or cellphone.
When do you need a local handyman?
DIYing a repair or home renovation project has its merits, but hiring a good local handyman also has its share of benefits. There are occasions when using a professional is necessary. There are several common jobs that a handyman can perform, such as the following:
- Minor home repairs. These can include paint touch up, cabinet repairs, holes in the drywall, flooring repairs, etc.
- Appliance installation. This may include lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, and other small appliance installations.
- Furniture assembly and installation. Handymen can usually help assemble flat-packed furniture, install shelves, or mount televisions on the wall.
- Holiday decorating. Handymen can be employed to hang outdoor holiday lights and set up large decorations.
- Plumbing and electrical work. Many handymen have the skill to handle smaller plumbing and electrical projects, such as fixing a sink or wiring a light switch. Still, larger plumbing and electrical work should be left to the licensed tradespeople.
- Outdoor work. This can include repairing fencing, decks, or patios, cutting large tree branches, or removing junk.
The above list is a quick sample of the common projects you can use a handyman for. Still, there are also emergency situations where it is necessary to hire a professional handyman.
These emergency situations may include the following:
- Major leaks in your plumbing or roofing
- Broken windows and doors
- Clogged gutters
- Fallen tree branches
- Wobbly railings
Outside of everyday tasks and emergency repairs, there are other reasons to hire a handyman, such as not having available time and whether you have the necessary tools to complete the task yourself.
Ultimately, choosing to hire a handyman involves considering your budget, available time, and capability and weighing those against the cost of hiring. While some good arguments support DIYing home repairs and small renovations, the usefulness and convenience of hiring a handyman may well outweigh them. In addition to taking the above tasks off your hands, when hiring a handyman, you get the added benefit of professional workmanship.