- Ask for a few references then contact them.
It wouldn’t be much of a problem if a handyman is recommended by family or friends. However, when he was picked by means of an online ad, a newspaper ad or mail, it is crucial to ask for references since he will work inside a home.
- Ask the handyman questions about his experience and capability.
How long has he been in this line of work? What jobs does he specialize in? What are his favorite jobs? Questions should be direct to the point so homeowners will know if this person is capable of doing other jobs. For instance, if they like him to do a particular job like placing adjustable shelving in the garage, it is important to know if the handyman is capable of other crafts. When homeowners feel at ease with the handyman, they can assign other tasks whether on the same day or later on.
- Find out about licenses and registration…
The rules for licensing and registration for home repair contractors differ from one state to another and any handyman needs to follow them. Since ‘handywork’ jobs that cross other crafts are a bit small, laws concerning builders and contractors may not be applicable to handyman in a particular area. For instance, some rules depend on the average size of the job; others on the contractor’s annual income and there are states that require licensing for every contractor while some states do not require anything. The rules in some large big metropolitan areas can literally vary from one block to another. Other states agree to follow local governments. All these can be very confusing!
To know the licensing requirements in a particular area, residents can ask their local building inspector/town hall.
- How does a handyman put a price on his work? Does he offer estimates? Does he charge by the hour/half hour?
This is an issue that may be partially regulated by the state/local government. There are states that require a written quotation for jobs that cost more than a certain dollar figure. This way, consumers are protected from dishonest contractors who present an estimate then succeed with charging much more.
A lot of handymen charge by the hour with a minimum charge. Homeowners should take note of a handyman’s hourly rates. Some handymen charge an hourly rate due to their popularity and overhead expenses, to name few.
Actually, there is little or no connection between the hourly rate and the handyman’s skill. More often than not, pricing is not based on an esoteric formula but rather, what the market will be able to bear as well as the competition rates.
It would be a bit scary to give an authority just to anyone. If they like to spend more for the job list, then they should inform their handyman beforehand. He can let them understand what is needed, what could go right and most especially, go wrong, that would make them go beyond their budget. When both parties are honest with their exchange of information, there will no longer be surprises.