Find Your Handyman on Facebook
Word of mouth is still the best way to find a handyman you can trust. If a friend refers a plumber or electrician it’s because they had a good experience, so good that they want to share with you. That means a lot.
Ask Your Group
Recently there have been local groups popping up on Facebook where people can list their local businesses, buy and sell used items, advertise upcoming events, and more. I joined several groups in my area and am always finding great bits of information that I may have missed. One of the great things about these closed groups is that someone has to invite you in. It creates a kind of six degrees of separation feel. Perhaps you don’t know all the people, but you know people who know people who know them. I’ve also joined a moms club on facebook so I have a group of women in my area that I actually hang out and have playdates with. These are the ones I ask when I need something like Smog testing for my car before I can pay the registration. I got referrals to three different testing garages, all of them without any hesitation. It makes me feel good about calling up and making an appointment knowing that friends of mine had good experiences there.
It’s the same with handymen you need to visit your home for plumbing or electrical repairs. Check with your local friends on facebook to see who to use and sometimes you will also hear warnings about who not to use.
Ask The Right Questions
When you call a handyman, you should be prepared with some questions to ask so you don’t get as many surprises later. The first thing you should ask about is the minimum callout charge. What are you paying them to come and find the problem? They are very unlikely to offer a free consultation! Before you agree on a fee, ask if they have insurance and if they have any accreditation or professional affiliations. Find out if they charge you for travel time, when exactly are they on the clock.
Plumbers and Electricians
Find out if they have tools and parts. If you are going to need to replace parts that they don’t stock, will they get them for you or will you have to go to the hardware store. Ask your electrician if the work you need done requires any kind of permit or inspection.
Always get three estimates for big jobs like roofs. Get their opinions on whether to repair or replace the roof and whether you can go over the existing surface or if it needs to come down. Get the warranty in the contract so there is no question about that.
Whether you are painting inside or outside, make sure that the estimate includes all the prep work. Sometimes the masking and getting the area ready for paint takes longer than the actual application of paint. All the supplies the painter will need should be in the estimate. A painter will usually be able to get a better deal on the paint and supplies because of the volume they buy.
Derek Sanchez is a freelance writer and all-around handy man who loves to write and give advice on everything from house painting to concrete polishing.