Hiring a Handyman

With the holidays a little over a month away, your home maintenance chores to-do list might be longer than your letter to Santa. Hiring a handyperson just might be the answer to getting those things done around the house that you never seem to get to or ones that are outside of your particular skill set. Handyman qualifications and areas of expertise are as numerous as the number of home repair businesses. So how does one go about finding the right person for the job?

Make a List

Make a list of all the things you need done around the house. Then break the list down into categories like general, plumbing, carpentry, and electrical. Also divide the list into indoor and outdoor. The person you’re interested in hiring might do one or the other, but not both. This will give you an idea of the kinds of services you need to focus on when choosing a particular person or company. For example, if a handyman website lists a variety of services but doesn’t specifically include plumbing, you will need to select a company that’s a better fit.

Questions to Ask

Ask for references; then check them.

How long have they been in business?

Ask to see any certifications, licenses and any other relevant documentation pertaining to the work for which you are hiring the handyperson.

Get an Estimate

Ask the handyman for an estimate; ensure it includes the cost of materials and labour. Also discuss how much over the original estimate the total cost can be. Depending on what and how much has to be done 10% to 15% is a reasonable range. This will discourage the prospective company from citing a low dollar amount just to land the gig.

If it’s a small handful of tasks, one estimate should be enough. But if there are a lot of things on the to-do list, get at least two other estimates from home repair companies.

Legal Stuff

Ask if the person is licensed or certified to do the work you are hiring them to do. Make sure they are bonded and have liability insurance. Without liability insurance, if someone is injured on your property, you could be liable.

Find out if any of the task’s on your to-do list requires permits; apply for them before the work is scheduled to be done.