Do you have a great idea for a home renovation, or just need someone to help with a few repairs around the house? If yes, then you are likely in need of a good handyman, or even a professional contractor.
But, you may start by asking yourself how to find a trustworthy contractor or handyman when the sheer number of options can feel overwhelming. And—more importantly—how do you make the right choice on who to trust with the work that you want to be done in your home?
You want and deserve the best, and here’s how to get it…
Beginning Your Search
There are a lot of ways to search for handymen and contractors. Many people rely on the suggestions of friends, family, and neighbors. This can be a helpful method, especially since you can see the work that has been done for yourself.
However, this method will likely only give you a shallow pool of candidates to draw from. Also, it’s tough to be sure that the recommended person will be able to handle your specific needs.
There are also a number of online matching services that bring contractors and handymen together with homeowners and renters whose living spaces need repair or improvement.
A great advantage to these online services is that they specifically match the needs of the project with the prospective workers. Plus, they have a lot of helpful information about the contractors and handymen, which helps you to make an informed decision on the best person for the job.
Tips To Help You Choose the Best Candidate
When you ask yourself how to find a trustworthy handyman or contractor, your answer can mean the difference between a project getting done or a project falling by the wayside. You’re looking to get your project done, so you want to make sure you get the right person for the job.
There are plenty of stories out there of workers who take payment and leave before the job is done, or request–even demand–more money than they initially quoted.
You want to be sure that you’re hiring one of the good ones, and fortunately for you, there are good and bad signs to look for when choosing a handyman or contractor.
The good signs include a contractor or handyman who:
- Is punctual and communicates any schedule changes with efficiency
- Is responsive to messages
- Listens to what your needs are before suggesting a plan
- Gives written estimates
- Provides a contract with clear guidelines before any work begins
- Guarantees that the quality of work will last for a given amount of time
- Is licensed (when applicable)
Conversely, the bad signs include a contractor or handyman who:
- Is regularly late without offering notification beforehand
- Avoids permits and doesn’t discuss building codes or zoning laws
- Refuses to provide a written estimate
- Doesn’t provide a contract with clear expectations
- Asks for money upfront before any work has begun
- Is facing pending lawsuits
- Speaks poorly of their associates
Of course, you want to know for sure that you’re hiring the best person for the job, so you should go through a thorough process of vetting contractors and handymen before contacting them. There are multiple ways to find information to help you narrow down the list of possible candidates:
- Google their names and/or company and look for reviews of their service and work.
- Look for complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau.
- Contact your State Licensing Board to find out if any complaints have been filed against a licensed individual.
- It’s very important to ask the right questions when speaking with potential contractors and handymen. Ask them how long they’ve been in business and what sorts of jobs they do most often.
- Ask them if they’ve done this specific type of work before, and how often. Also, you should ask them if they can provide references.
When contacting references, there are a few key things you want to know:
- Was the work completed on time?
- Were they professional and easy to work with?
- Were they on time and well organized throughout the process?
- And finally, would you hire them again?
It’s important to have a clear picture of who you will be working with once you decide to move forward. Much like a relationship, trust and good communication are key.
How To Get The Best Work
Okay, you’ve made it this far, and you’ve taken some important steps towards getting the work you want: you’ve found your candidates through reliable sources, narrowed them down through rigorous vetting, and chosen the best candidate to get the job done.
Now the real work begins!
The first thing you need to do is make sure that you know exactly what you want. Communication is a two-way street, and your handyman’s work can only be as good as the picture you’ve provided him or her.
Take the time to communicate clearly what you need, as well as your hopes and expectations for the final product.
From there, it’s good to remember that trust works both ways. If you feel you’ve found the best person or crew for the job and communicated your needs clearly, then let them work their magic! With these tips, you will find your home in better shape than when you began.