7 Smart Tips on Hiring a Handyman

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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When you need a helping hand with some odd jobs at home, your focus will be on hiring out a quality local handyman. They’re the perfect go-to expert when you need someone to repair a fence, install some new plumbing or paint the bedroom - and maybe all in the same day!

With the unprecedented growth in the home maintenance and repair sector, many people are now opting for the handyman business making it difficult to find the . That's why you shouldn’t just call up the first handyman you find in the paper and give them a bundle of cash. You want to be sure they will get the job done in a professional manner.

To be sure you’re about to commit to the right local expert, we are listing 7 smart tips for hiring a handyman.

1. Shop Around for a Handyman

You could be excused for feeling guilty about shopping around when it comes to an individual. But when you’re looking for the best handyman to do important work, you have every right to take your time.

Some of the places you can look include:

Online review sites are a great tool to reinforce any claims made, as word of mouth is often a true reflection of character and talent. Reviews are a credible reference point to guide you towards the best handyman services.

2. Be Specific About the Job

If you have a shortlist of candidates, be specific about the job(s) you want completed. Don’t just say I want my fence repaired. Be specific about length, height and type. Will they need to dig any holes or put in cement for pillars? Do you have the materials, or are you asking them to buy them? Is there painting involved, etc.

It often helps to include photos, too. The more information you provide, the more accurate a quote will be provided. There might even be some good handyman tips they can provide on alternative solutions.

3. Do Your Research

Before you sit back and wait for a local handyman to provide their price, do some research. Search for any potential quotes online in forums, plus the going rate for materials and parts required.

If you have an understanding of how much the job should cost, then you’ll be well placed to say yes or no to the potential handyman you hire. You can also work out what kind of price range you should expect the job to cost.

If you get something that’s too low, that might be just as concerning as a price that’s too high.

4. Know the Difference Between an Estimate and Quote

When you’re talking about quotes and pricing, you should know the difference between an estimate and quote. This will save you from additional stress.

An estimate is the initial price point a handyman will give you. They probably haven’t inspected the job and are just going off a generic price. The estimate is not formal or binding.

The quote, meanwhile, is the official price you are expected to pay for a job. It is legally binding. You should always receive a quote in writing. If your handyman gets to work after only providing an estimate, you can bet you’ll be charged extra once the job’s done.

5. Make Sure the Handyman is Licensed and Insured

When hiring a handyman, make sure they are insured, licensed and bonded. Not only will this protect you if an injury occurs, but it also ensures you’re in a good position if the work fails or proves to be unsafe.

You really don’t want to be caught out by a dodgy handyman or contractor that forces you to go to the State Attorney General’s office to file an official complaint.

Meanwhile, make sure all permits are approved on your end, just so the handyman won’t get in trouble with any work performed.

6. Ask Questions

While you’re tracking down the right handyman, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You can query their methods, pricing, history, etc. They should be comfortable with answering your questions.

Just don’t make it like an interrogation! Think of it like an interview where you’re feeling your way around to work out just who will suit the job best. Because, let’s face it, not only do you want a quality handyman who will get the job done, but someone you feel comfortable with at your home.

7. Remember that You’re In Charge

No matter what, remember that you’re in charge of hiring a handyman. The decision is yours to make and you should feel at ease about it. Ignore pressure if they say they’re busy and you have to say yes or no now.

Take your time and follow all the above tips. This will give you a detailed insight into the person, and you can confidently choose the best handyman.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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