A great handyman is worth their weight in gold. Finding someone you can trust can be a daunting task, but putting in research and effort on the front-end could prevent a lot of inconvenience and expense over the long term. Consider employing these must-ask questions before you shake hands and sign a contract with anyone working inside your home.
What is the warranty (or guarantee) on completed work?
What’s worse than paying a handyman once? Paying twice. If they’re buying materials to use on a project, find out the warranty on those materials (if applicable), and be sure to have the handyman include a statement — in writing — about any guarantees offered on the work. One year warranties are standard, but there’s no harm in negotiating a five-year option if it applies. That way, if something goes wrong with the ceiling fan that’s just been installed, or the washer breaks down again when they’re pulling out of your driveway, you’ve got some coverage for the investment you’ve just made.
Are you bonded and insured?
Even a small job should have a bonded and insured repairman behind it. Alterations to your home, if done incorrectly, could cause major damage and jeopardize the integrity of the property. While it is the homeowner’s responsibility to file any paperwork necessary for permits required by your community, ensuring that your hire has liability coverage (and that you have personally seen documents proving this coverage) will allow you to rest easily. A bonded contractor or handyman ensures that the customer (you) is financially protected if the handyman fails to pay in full for materials, or doesn’t complete the work he was hired for. A bonded worker shouldn’t be defensive if you ask for his surety number. It’s up to you to do your due diligence and confirm that company has indeed bonded your handyman.
Are you licensed and certified?
Depending on the job you are hiring for, and where you live, you want to make sure that the handyman is indeed licensed or certified to work on what you need done. That way you know the individual you’re hiring is indeed an expert in that field, and that if you’re doing work that may require a permit (like building a front porch) it is being performed by a licensed contractor who understands both the task at hand and any local documentation needed in order to pass inspection.
Do you have any references?
You’d probably want three references for an employee you were considering hiring at your company, and a handyman is no different. A reputable handyman should have references to offer potential clients, and you should follow through by contacting at least three.
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