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Handyman Do’s and Don’ts

If you own a home, you are well acquainted with the maintenance required to keep everything running smoothly. Patch and repair work will always be necessary for as long as you own a dwelling. Some homeowners are staunch do-it-yourselfers while others can’t even stock a proper tool box. If you fall into the category that could use a bit of help around the house, hiring a handy person can be a wise idea. Here are some dos and don’ts for hiring a repairperson.

Do:

– Check his or her references. Ask for references and call them all. A word-of-mouth referral from a trusted source is even better. You want to employ someone who has done similar work for a friend, relative or neighbor. Ask about his or her reliability, skill and timeliness in job completion. If possible, take a look at the handiwork that the repair person did for your source.

– Talk about money up front. Get specifics in terms of fees and payment. Does the repair/crafts person charge by the job or by the hour? It is easier to gauge the price tag with a per completion cost agreement. It may sound like you’re getting a great deal if they charge a low hourly fee, but if it takes them three times as long as the next person, the charges will add up. If they aren’t sure how long something will take and only will accept the hourly wage, think long and hard about running an open ended tab. Who knows how high the final tally might end up?

– Do get more than one estimate. Price shouldn’t be the only consideration, but it is one of them. Also notice whether the bid is given in a timely and professional manner. This will tell you a lot about his or her work ethics.

– Don’t think every handyman is male. This occupation should actually be called “handy person” because there are many competent repair and craft persons who are female.

Don’t:

– Don’t pay them everything up front. It’s customary to pay a down payment on the day that they start the job, something in the middle and the bulk at the end of the job. If you don’t hold out the carrot for the end of the job, satisfactory completion may never occur.

– Don’t accept a verbal estimate. Be sure that everything is done in writing. A written estimate is your contract and you won’t have a leg to stand on without an agreement on paper.

– Don’t hire a handyman without a license for crucial building components such as plumbing, electrical and roofing. It is important to select a highly skilled and experienced professional who is licensed with the Board of Contractors whenever dealing with the installation of plumbing, roofing and electrical.

– Don’t forget to thank your handy person for a job well done. A verbal thank you, gifts of food while he or she is working and prompt payment will all show your appreciation.

A house should be well maintained in order to retain its property value by employing a handyman or handy woman.