You need help—and not just metaphorically speaking. You need trim painted, fence repairs, new tile grout, and someone to assemble the freaking guest room furniture. Enter the handyman. You know, the person that gets your projects done. But how to find the right person? Never fear. We made you a handy guide to hiring the perfect handyman. You can even use it verbatim like a script, if you like.
What’s your work experience as it relates to ______ ?
If you want to stain cabinet doors, hang new floor-to-ceiling curtains, and fix a leaky bathtub, make sure the person has the chops to pull it off. If you have different projects that require detailed levels of expertise, you may need to divide and conquer. Consider hiring one person who has a background in roofing and one who is a whiz with electrical outlets. If you need building permits or heavy machinery, you may need a contractor. Regardless of who you choose, always confirm they have (successfully) done similar work in the past.
Do you have references?
Feel free to skip this one if they have ample online reviews that bode well for the health of your home repairs. If you receive references, be sure to call them!
What are your fees?
Don’t be shy about talking money. Do they offer free estimates? Do they charge by the hour, or by the project? Budget surprises are rarely the fun party hat kind of surprise you know and love.
What’s the estimated time needed for the job and what’s your availability?
If this is a side job for your potential handyman, don’t hire them for a 25 hour project if they can only dedicate 10 hours a week. Or do hire them, knowing you will have halfway removed wallpaper in your hallway for 2.5 weeks.
Will you send me a contract?
Handyman work is, by nature, more casual than hiring out a contractor or construction company. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be clear about the work that will be done. Request a detailed write-up or email of the projects to be done, an outline and cost estimate of materials you will pay for, estimated timeline for the project, and estimated total cost. It’s a five minute step that will save you a world of frustration.
What are the terms of payment?
Don’t pay 100 percent up front. You already knew that—being the smarty pants you are—but as a friendly reminder we’ll put it in the script. Many people require a partial deposit to start—which is completely legitimate—but be leery of anyone who wants full payment up front.
A tip from the pros: Ask your prospective handyman if they have a guarantee on their work. For example, if you paid them to rehang your cabinet doors and a month later the hinges start to crack, will they be accountable and fix them free of charge? Make sure it’s in the contract, and then you have leverage!
The easy guide to getting projects handled around the house. Consider it done with Thumbtack.