Ways to Find an Excellent Handyman
If you’re moving, you may need to make some repairs to your new place or fix up your old one. If you are renovating your home, preparing it for sale, or experiencing a common issue like a leaky pipe, you could also need some help. Even if you’ve lived at your current address for years, you may not have experience with local plumbers, electricians, and other professionals.
Learning how to find available handymen near you is an important thing to do—even before you have a specific need for service. That way, you can choose the best person when needs arise, ensure work goes smoothly, save time and effort, and prevent costly mistakes.
Ways to find available handymen
Some handymen do a bit of everything, and others specialize in landscaping, painting, pool maintenance, furniture repair, or other tasks. Some of these individuals have decades of experience, and others still have a lot to learn. You can follow proven approaches to find trustworthy professionals in your area.
Help from neighbors, friends, and relatives
If you have friends and relatives that live in your area, ask them who they used in the past for repairs, renovations, or household maintenance. Many people are happy to recommend professionals who worked for them previously. It’s also a good idea to ask which individuals or companies people wouldn’t hire and why.
If you’re new to the area, you can ask some of your neighbors who they would recommend when you introduce yourself. If you’re starting a new job, ask your coworkers for advice.
If you don’t feel comfortable knocking on a neighbor’s door or you don’t have time to talk to everyone in person, you can try Nextdoor.com. After you create an account on this social network with a verified address, you can introduce yourself to neighbors and others who live in your area and ask them who they think is the best handyman nearby. Nextdoor’s blog offers recommendations for the best businesses in many areas as well.
A recommendation from your local hardware store
Many independent hardware stores get regular visits from contractors and handymen. You can get a helpful recommendation from the owner, a manager, or an experienced employee. Many hardware stores also have business cards, brochures, and contact information for many types of handymen. Some of the employees could even be handymen themselves.
Houzz.com is known for its interior design marketplace, and the site can also help you find a variety of home improvement professionals. You can browse photos of people’s past work, read client reviews, check their overall Houzz rating, and take a look at their licensing and credentials.
Houzz gives awards to professionals with the best-rated service, and they have many photos of their home and interior design to help you get inspiration for your next project. You can check out home improvement advice as well. Houzz’s network has more than three million local home improvement professionals, including painters, tree trimmers, landscapers, and more.
Choosing the best handyman for your needs
After you find out which professionals work in your area, you’ll need to choose the best person for your needs. Here are some ways to ensure that you make a good decision:
Decide what you want
Many types of handymen and home improvement professionals are available, and they often specialize in different kinds of jobs. For example, a contractor could be comfortable replacing the cover or light fixture over ceiling lights. Still, you may need an electrician to install a dimmer switch or any additional lights. If you need to replace a faucet, an appliance like your dishwasher, or anything else, check its prices and features carefully before you start speaking with potential handymen.
Then, you can ask them if they have experience with the brand and model you choose. You can also estimate how much of the bill might be from materials and appliances and how much could be from labor.
If you need to have a room painted, replace the flooring, or get any other work done that covers a large area, measure the room to find the square footage. That way, whoever you speak to can give you a rough estimate. However, you may not be able to get an exact price until the work is done. The costs for materials like lumber or new flooring often fluctuate, and handymen and contractors sometimes encounter delays or unexpected problems. It’s often a good idea to plan to spend below your budget and give yourself a margin of error in case costs increase.
Compare online profiles and portfolios
Look at the available handymen’s qualifications to help make sure that the person you choose can do the job well. Some jobs, like painting interiors, don’t require special skills or licensing. Others, such as plumbers or electricians, usually need a license and specialized education. Handymen who don’t have advanced skills may need a business license in your area. It’s also a good idea to look for someone with liability insurance. It can help protect you if a handyman has an accident while working.
Speak with your potential handyman
A handyman’s personality can be just as important as their qualifications. Before you decide which professional is best for you, you can meet a few and decide who you get along with best. After you call, email, or fill out an online contact form, compare the time that handymen take to reply. Individuals who take a while to respond may already have full schedules, and they might not be able to start work and complete tasks as quickly as a person who gets back to you quickly.
When you interview professionals, you can ask them if they have experience with the type of work you need, what licenses and certifications they have, and whether they provide service at your address.
Asking what safety equipment and other gear they use can also be valuable. For example, some landscapers may expect to use your lawnmower, hedge trimmers, and your other equipment. Others travel to each job with a truck that carries all the equipment they might need.
References are also important. The best companies and individuals can tell you about some of the people they worked for in the past. If needed, you can contact some of these references and ask them if they’re satisfied with a handyman’s work.
Finding out what could happen if you’re unsatisfied with a job can be helpful. Some businesses offer a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied. Others will do their best to fix the problem at no charge. If you are still unhappy, a handyman may deduct some or all labor costs from their bill and charge the same amount for supplies and materials.
While you usually can’t get a completely accurate estimate over the phone or through email, you can ask how much a handyman usually charges for similar jobs. With an itemized estimate or bid, you can see what supplies, materials, and labor might cost and how much you need to pay for each part of a job. After you get some estimates in writing, you can do research and find the wholesale cost of any parts or materials and the average cost for a project like yours.
It’s also a good idea to get an estimate of the amount of time a job will take and ask whether a company charges on an hourly basis or depending on the task. In some circumstances, choosing a more costly handyman who can finish the work you need faster can be a good idea. You can minimize disruptions, complete repairs or improvements, and make your home more comfortable and appealing as soon as possible.
Making sure that work goes smoothly
After you choose a handyman, you can help the work go smoothly by checking on the project’s progress often. Many handymen ask for a deposit to cover materials and supplies, but it’s a good idea to avoid paying for everything in advance.
Negotiating payment options can help you avoid needing a loan for a big job. You can often agree to pay in installments for a one-time task like installing a new sink, and you can usually pay a monthly fee for ongoing work like landscaping or pool maintenance. Delaying most payments until at least some work is done can also give a handyman more motivation to finish on time and do a great job. When you and your handyman agree on pricing and a payment plan, get a paper or digital copy to keep for your records.
People usually don’t need to supervise a good handyman all the time. Still, it’s a good idea to inspect their work carefully after they finish and ask for any changes or additional repairs you think are necessary. For large jobs, check on their progress at least every few days. Let your handyman know if you notice any errors, like a paint color on the living room wall that’s not quite the shade you asked for.
Finding which handymen will work in your area, comparing them carefully, and making sure that repairs and improvements go smoothly can help you enjoy your home, especially after moving. Even if your house is in excellent condition, knowing who to contact for great service can make resolving unexpected issues easier.