Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. A lot of drywall repair. Small services like peepholes, caulking a tub, repairing broken attic stairs, painting a front door. During the Fall/Winter, I do a lot of weatherstripping, exterior window caulking and door sweeps and adjustments.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Ask for references and then check those references. Look at pictures and remember, if you don't like the person, don't hire them. The cheapest price is not always the best work!
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. How difficult and time consuming the work can be. When you hire a handyman, you're paying for knowledge and experience. As a handyman, you must possess a lot knowledge about a lot of things. Always ask your handyman how much experience he has in the particular area you need service and ask for references and/or pictures.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. Specifics are important. I offer free written estimates, so I can get the specifics about the repair when I see it in person. This approach eliminates pricing issues and affords me no surprises when I arrive on site.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. Pride in workmanship! I do it right the first time. I deliver service and quality like I want delivered to me. At TexStar Home Repair, you're family. 70% of my business comes from referrals, that says a lot!
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. People! The smile I get from a customer who's elated when I can go above and beyond their expectation is all I need to tell me I'm "doin" it right!". What good is having the repair skills if you can't utilize them?
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. Why do you give away discounted services? I am in this business for good! This is how I feed my family. I'm looking for customers for life, not for customers right now! Because of that attitude and view of my great customers, I offer them a little incentive to help me out. My referral program is a fun way to get a free service simply by referring potential customers (your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors) to me and utilizing my services. A definite win/win for all of us!
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. Not all handymen are created equal. I "clean up" after a lot of other service providers who claimed they could get the job done. Please remember that 1 bad apple does not spoil the bunch!
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. My father is an electrician and has been for over 40 years. We always went to work with him for the summers in my youth. I was always amazed at how much quality work could be produced by using just your own hands. His customers were always elated and happy to recommend his services to everyone. I grew up with that mentality and old school mind set; quality first. I've always been able to repair just about anything around the house, so in 1989 I started my own home repair business.
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. I'm proud of all my work! I believe that it should be done right the first time, period. I also offer a free 1 year workmanship warranty on all my repairs.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. Not a whole lot of CE in my field. Identifying the latest products are the best way of keeping abreast of developments in my field.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. New developments in this field are generally products that help make my job a little easier or faster. I utilize as many of these new products as possible. I believe the whole mortgage crisis has caused people to re-evaluate their current living situation and many have decided to stay where they are and just do the repairs instead of buying that new house. This is good for the homeowner and myself.
Q. Describe your most recent project, what it involved, how much it cost, and how long it took.
A. Drywall repair on a 14' ceiling. Water damage had left the ceiling discolored, sagging a bit and caused the popcorn texture to peel off. The homeowner hired another company to do the repairs. They simply peeled off the remaining texture, resprayed new texture and painted. That left 3 huge, unsightly spots on the living room ceiling that were sunken in like a divot. I was hired to do the job correctly. I replaced the drywall, taped and bedded, floated, resprayed the texture and painted (see pictures). This was approximately 40 sq. ft. and cost around $500. Drywall takes some time to repair due to drying time. 3 to 4 trips back to the home are not unusual. This job took about 4 days. You can't even tell a repair was made when I was finished.
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. Nothing complicated here. I price each project by the hour or a fixed price estimate. Smaller handyman type projects are usually hourly while larger projects are typically fixed pricing. This allows maximum flexibility in pricing for the customer and eliminates any unnecessary charges.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. Only do this if you know what you're doing! You can do some real damage to your reputation, this industry as a whole and a homeowner's home by performing substandard repairs and services. Your reputation is everything in this business-do it wrong and you'll have one angry homeowner (and no referrals), do it right and your business will grow exponentially!