Home improvement projects and repair jobs seem like fun DIY projects and it can be quite rewarding to accomplish something on your own. After all, you’d be saving a lot of money by just doing it yourself – and gaining a new skill set. But at some point, you have to admit that you’re not handy enough to take care of all of these tasks on your own. You’re better off calling the professionals for help.
Should I Do It Myself?
There are many home projects that you can do on your own. Things, like installing new cabinets, fixing the shower, and building a new toolshed all, seem easy enough to do. In reality, not everyone can actually do it.
Not only do you need to have the right skill set to handle such projects, but you also have to have the time. If you find yourself in those situations, you have to ask yourself:
- Am I capable of handling the repairs skillfully?
- How much time will the project need?
- How much time can I allocate for the project?
- If I can’t finish the project quickly enough, can my family handle it being inaccessible for weeks/months on end?
- Where can I find the cheapest materials to keep costs low?
Furthermore, safety should always be your number one concern. RoSPA estimates that over 6,000 people die and 2.7 million more make a trip to the emergency room each year from accidents that occur in the home. If you don’t want to be another statistic, avoid doing any of these home repair jobs:
- Electrical Work
- Roof Repair
- Gas Appliances
- Toxic/Hazardous Materials (like mold or asbestos)
So, before you hop on a ladder to start fixing your roof, it’s better to stay cautious and hire a professional to do it.
Should I Get a Contractor or a Handyman?
So you’ve decided on hiring a professional to do the job for you – an excellent decision. Now you have to make an even bigger decision: whether to hire a handyman or a contractor.
There are jobs that require the skill of a handyman. Minor interior/exterior repairs such as installing new shingles on your roof or fixing leaky pipes in the bathroom are perfect examples of jobs that call for a handyman’s work. Here’s a list of jobs that are ideal for a handyman:
- Minor plumbing work
- Deck and porch installation
- Gutter cleaning and maintenance
- Minor construction work
- Home exterior repairs
- Painting and touch-ups
- Hanging window treatments, pictures, and mirrors
- Installing light fixtures
- Door and window installation and repair
Licensed contractors, on the other hand, are better suited for jobs that require in-depth knowledge and the procurement of certain permits. Jobs like home renovation, building a new garage, or installing a new roof all require a licensed contractor.
Handymen are always cheaper to work with than contractors. Most handymen charge by the hour with additional charges for materials. Before you hire a handyman for your home construction project, better check the average price of the project on sites like PriceYourJob for a clear breakdown of expected costs.
How to Find the Best Home Repair Agents
Finding the perfect candidate for home repair isn’t as easy as it sounds. A quick Google search for handyman horror stories is enough to give you nightmares. But don’t worry, we’ve come up with a guide to help you find a dependable handyman.
Define the scope of your project.
Before you start looking, you should be able to define how big or small your project really is. This will help you determine what to look for. Will it require any permits? Will certain parts of your home be inaccessible for an extended period? Define the needs of your project so you know what questions to ask your contractor or handyman.
Check online listings
In the age of the internet, online listings are your best bet. Sites like Houzz and PriceYourJob connect you with pre-vetted professionals so you can find a reliable home service professional for your home projects.
Many of the handymen offering professional services on those sites can even provide you with an instant quote of your desired project based on certain specifications that you provide. They even have a comprehensive selection process so they can connect you with professionals that can provide the very service that you’re looking for.
Ask for referrals
Referrals from your friends, colleagues, or family members can also be a good way to find reliable professional handyman services. Because you trust the choices they make, their recommendation will come as a stamp of approval that verifies the professional’s reliability. In the same way, endorsed handymen will also act more professionally to avoid spoiling the praise they’ve been given.
But one endorsement shouldn’t be enough. To find the right person, you must shop around for a few more referrals from friends. Gather a list of at least 5 pre-vetted individuals and begin your selection process there. Although it’s more work, this will also guarantee that you select the best one that will suit your needs.
Be strict with your screening process
Your screening process to find the right individual for the job should be strict. Whether they’ve been pre-vetted or not, you should be able to ask your own questions so you can verify their claims. Here are some questions that you should ask:
- How much experience do you have working in the business?
- Do you have any certifications?
- What can I expect from you?
- What are your service rates?
- Do you have any policies in terms of payment?
- Where do you source your materials?
- How much time do you need to finish the project?
Approach with caution
While talking with your candidates, make sure to watch out for any indication of dishonesty to avoid overcharges and ensure the safety of your own home. Look out for certain red flags such as asking for too much money upfront, indefinite timeframe or budget, reluctance to answer some of your questions, or any signs of unprofessional behavior.