With most of us staying at home, home improvements are becoming a necessity these days. As a result – requests for Handyman services have increased! Sharing some tips to hire one!
Having been through some home improvements myself and trying to wade through insurance companies, home warranty companies, individual service providers and handyman (Yes.. it is overwhelming during COVID times!), it is evident that the most sought after needs in the market are
- Plumbing services (leaks and toilet changes)
- Handyman services
- Carpet change
- Bath/Attic exhaust fan change
- Heating/cooling changes
The services that have reduced are
- Lawn mowing services
- Home cleaning services (although it is slowly starting again)
Services provided by Handyman range from electric fixes, plumbing fixes, hanging pictures, tiles/grouting, spackle/paint, assemble furniture, deck work and many more small jobs around the house. It can become a very expensive affair if we do not get to hire the right skilled person upfront (project costs can become 4 times the cost easily). Sharing some tips from my experience
- Make a list of all the things you need to get fixed: A list helps you and the handyman get on the same page about the needs. Both of you would share the same clarity about the work
- Pictures help: If there are nail holes that need fixing or tiles that need grouting, or bathroom that needs fixing, take pictures and share the details of the work expected. Visuals help get a better understanding of time, skills and effort needed
- Specialist / Handyman – Which one to choose? For your list of needs, if all aspects revolve around only one skill – like just plumbing – go for plumbers than handyman – a specialist here would help. Choose a handyman when you have a mix of skills needed that do not require a high level of specialist / high skills in the zone. Like putting up a picture/ mounting a TV or moving furniture, spackle/paint nail holes etc do not need a high skilled person, a general handyman would do. If you are hiring a handyman for specialized work or expensive work, ask them for references and take the time to speak to the people who they share. Ask them for details about the work they have done earlier and their satisfaction levels.
- Shop around: If your friends/colleagues refer someone – do not think again, just go with them! It is tough to get a good word-of-mouth review and reference from someone about these services. If you need to look for one outside -Homeadvisor, angies list, yelp have good references. Use the reviews on the page, and make sure you READ the reviews. If someone has taken time to post a review, they must have felt highly satisfied or highly unsatisfied about the work. Understand the reviews and make your choice.
- Timings: Be clear about the timings that would work for you and them, weekdays or weekends, by when it needs to get completed, are you working with a hard date in mind, or are you flexible. Be clear to share it with them upfront
- Pricing: Go for a fixed price contract. These days (COVID times) – with the demand for handyman being high, people have the tendency to go for T&M (Pay per hour) kind of work and if it is a handyman scheduling company you are working with, they will assign handyman for a few hours and pull them away. Most of your time and money will go in scheduling and rescheduling and paying high costs. Look for handyman who are skilled and can do the work at one shot. Given the details of work, ask for a fixed price contract and agree on the price and terms & conditions upfront. It works out to the best interest of both parties.
If you are DIY (Do it yourself) kind of person, there are plenty of training modules on youtube on a variety of handyman related work. Getting yourself trained and certified will aid to an additional source of income easily!
Wrote this post on request from a friend sharing my experiences (bitter and good ones) in doing home projects (DIY and with handyman).
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