How (and When!) to Hire a Handyman

by stacie on November 29, 2020

There are three types of homeowners in the world: those who can and do, those who can and don’t have time, and those who can’t but think they can.

And two of those types are dangerous — both to themselves and their homes.

So it’s important to know when it’s time to hire a handyman. And hopefully your husband is on board too.

First, how to hire a handyman. I’m a firm believer in word-of-mouth recommendations. I’ve hired many a contractor and the only ones that have ever followed-through and come in on budget are the ones that I hired based on a friend’s or acquaintance’s recommendation.

After you gather a few recommendations, be sure to interview each of the contractors — some you’ll click with, others you won’t. Be sure to ask each of them how long they’ve been in business, how many other contractor contacts they have in the event there is something specialized about your job that they can’t handle, if they can provide you with a written estimate, how long it will be before they can begin your job, and how long they think it will take to finish.

Now for when to hire a handyman.

Water Damage. This is one of the biggest issues that can plague homeowners and if not treated properly, it can lead to harmful mold that will make your family sick. A good handyman will inspect the damage and, depending on where the water spots are located, it may require removing parts of the wall, ceiling, or floor.

Air Leaks. If your house is a bit chilly or drafty, having a licensed energy auditor (not really a handyman) come over and inspect your home is a great idea. While you could potentially seal some of the leaks yourself, there may be additional insulation that needs to be blown into the attic or placed in the walls - this is a job that is not for the faint of heart.

Tiling. If you’re willing to take a class at a tile shop or your local Home Depot, you can likely run a tile job yourself, but you need to be prepared to run a wet saw and that is often best left to a contractor. In addition, homeowners often don’t have time to finish a tile job all in one day but a contractor will.

Home Additions. That’s right. People really do try to add on to their homes without a licensed contractor. They also try to build things like decks and garages. Not smart.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr/Let Ideas Compete

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruby T. November 29, 2020 at 9:19 am

Some contractors and other types of handymen are so busy (and charge so much) that they don’t always need your business and I find that they often don’t even show up for that first consultation! Is it just me?

You are so right about the “clicking” between client and supplier because you need to be able to communicate if something changes or you need to address a problem that needs to be corrected.

Adventures In Babywearing November 29, 2020 at 10:05 pm

We found our handyman through word of mouth, too. Actually we called the appliance parts store in our area and they gave us a couple numbers. My husband is NOT handy at all (think Heathcliff Huxtable), and I wish he’d be open to letting someone do more of the fixing-up around here. Instead we just have a lot of stuff needing repair. :(

Steph

Henny Ort November 30, 2020 at 12:56 am

Solid advice. it sounds similar to the advice i got about how to hire a birth Douala. well, not the air leaks and tiling part, but the word of mouth, etc. Perhaps you can elaborate on how to hire one, as the one i met, I did not click with.

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