5 Things to Know Before Hiring a Handyman

There's no way around it. Every house, office or other living space no matter how old or new is, will need maintenance at some point. Issues come up fast and if you don’t have the necessary tools to be able to find the source and fix the problem, you can expose yourself to even bigger costs and risks.

Whether it's fixing a leaky pipe or installing a new roof, regardless of the scope of the project, you want to make sure you hire a handyman for your Sarasota home who can get the job done efficiently and affordably, and the following information can help you make a decision easier. Before you google and hire a handyman in Sarasota, here are some things you need to consider.

Do Your Research

In today's digital age, it's easy to find out everything you need to know about a business before calling them. Before hiring a handyman, look at their website, find out if they have any Google Reviews, or check other websites like Angie's List or Yelp. Talking to your neighbors or friends about who they suggest is also a good idea as well as checking community center chat rooms or message boards. By checking reviews, you can find a handyman that comes highly recommended in your community.

Although an online review is a valuable tool for homeowners looking to hire a handyman, it's not the only thing that determines a handyman's worth. There are also several questions you should ask a handyman before you hire him/her. Before asking for a quote, interview prospective handymen about their industry experience, training, recent jobs, past experiences, and more. By doing this, you will get a good view of who the person is and what kind of work you can expect from them. Asking for references is also recommended to talk to past customers who have recently worked with the contractor and can comment on their workmanship.

 

Verify License & Permits

No matter how uncomfortable it may feel, it is not unreasonable and you should ask for proof of insurance and current license. Be sure to check expiration dates. Different states have different requirements for licenses. If your state requires handymen to be licensed, find out whether your contractor has the proper credentials to do business in your state.

Individual states generally do not issue specific handyman licenses. However, a handyman may be considered a contractor when a project exceeds a specific cost or is part of a larger job. In this case, a handyman may be required to have a contractor license to perform the work or be subject to handyman license requirements. If the contractor does not have insurance, don't forget, no matter how petty the job is, the liability of an accident could be your responsibility.

 

Agree on the Scope of Work

Make sure you and your handyman fully agree on the scope of work that needs to take place. Some homeowners save up a list of things to do around the house and then hire the same handyman over and over again. Other homeowners may simply need singular projects done. Before you hire your handyman, be sure you know the extent of the project and how long you expect to need their services.

Oftentimes, there is a miscommunication between the handyman and the homeowner. That almost always results in a delayed project or higher bill. Before you sign any projects, make sure you have the entire project mapped out. No small home repair project should have surprises and that includes the agreed upon scope of work between you and your handyman.


Agree on Payment

Ask how the handyman charges. Do they charge by the hour, half hour or by the job? How do they want to be paid? Do they provide free estimates? On average, handymen charge $55 per hour, with costs ranging from $35 to $80 per hour plus the cost of materials they buy. For small jobs, a handyman might have a minimum charge of $50 to $100. However, how much you pay will ultimately depend on where you live and the complexity of the job. You and your handyman should come to an agreement on what, when, and how the issues will be resolved, along with a payment schedule tied to completion of each repair (or total repair).

 

Get it in Writing!

You should not let any work begin until you have a written and signed agreement in your hand that clearly defines the list of repairs you need completed. It’s important to know what should be included in your contract. The following is a checklist to use when reviewing your handyman contract:

  • Full business name, address, contact numbers
  • Registered business number
  • List of action items to be completed (for example, “repair leak under sink, install new fixture”)
  • Description of each action item (for example, “XYZ manufacturer, ABC style, model #123, color LMN”)
  • A written payment schedule
  • Cleanup instructions and schedule
  • Warranty and guarantee information (typical handyman work is guaranteed up to one year)

Whether or not it’s required, a written agreement is proof of the terms you discussed. It prevents people from forgetting what was agreed to, denying what they’ve said, or changing their story. Written documents can also serve as legal evidence in court (if necessary). Take time to think through and record the agreements you make. Clearly laying out the verbal agreements in text can save a lot of hassles down the line.

 

Not sure whether your home improvement project is appropriate for a handyman? Give one a call!

 

Contact Gilbert Home Services

At Gilbert Home Services, we are your one stop center for a wide range of home maintenance and repair solutions. You don’t have to keep indefinitely putting off those frustrating tasks. Let us take care of it, and bring your home or business back to life again. Contact us today to make an appointment for your upcoming home repair.

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