How to Hire A Good Handyman
Do you wish you had a trustworthy handyman for that thing you’ve been putting off for months? There are some home improvement projects that require more skill than you’ve got, and more tools.
If you are the average person and you can’t DIY all your home repairs, a qualified handyman is something you need to have in your toolkit. I’m not an advocate for trying to DIY everything, especially things like electrical work or larger jobs that take a lot of technical expertise. I think it’s an unrealistic goal and often in the long run, will end up taking more time and money when the project has to be corrected. You can read more about what project to DIY and what to hire out.
3 Good Places to Find a Handyman
The best way to find a good handyman is through a referral. Ask your friends if they’ve got one they can recommend. Really good handymen can be so busy that you might have to wait to get a spot in their schedule.
If that’s a dead end, Taskrabbit.com is a great option. The great thing about Taskrabbit are the customer reviews. You can also see the various types of expertise and what types of work they are capable of. You can usually hire someone pretty quickly, too.
My third suggestion is to check on nextdoor.com. If you aren’t familiar, nextdoor is a neighborhood app where you and those around you can trade information. You can post asking for a reliable handyman or see if anyone has seen your missing cat. This is a good place to look for reviews of local professionals and get feedback on past jobs.
I don’t recommend using google or the yellow pages. When you use google you get a larger company that specialize in handyman services. These are companies that hire handymen and farm them out. I’ve had bad luck with this option. I have found they have a higher average cost, because the company gets a cut and the quality of the work has not been as good.
Tips for Using Taskrabbit
When you use Taskrabbit, the first step is to set a time frame, like “I’m ready to hire.” I have found it’s a good idea to begin the process when you ARE ready to hire. You have to estimate the length of the task. See more on that later, but my advice is that everything takes longer than you think it will. Estimate a little extra time. You only have to pay for the hours it takes, but you want them to be able to finish.
Once you get to the local handyman profiles they describe their skills and the type of work or home projects they can handle. I almost always choose an “elite tasker” just because they tend to have better skills and more tools. They cost more, in the Dallas area the flat rate is around $60 per hour, but they are worth it. You can get people who are about half that price if you want a new handyman, but that may be a bit of a crapshoot.
Another good thing about Taskrabbit is all Taskers undergo an extensive screening process before they can join. This includes passing an identity check and criminal background check which reports information from national, local, and sex offender databases.
How To Maximize Your Handyman Time
Batch Tasks – If you are a list keeper, make a to-do list of a few home improvement jobs you need to have done and get them all done at once. From the handyman’s point of view, it’s better for them to accept one job for four hours than many small jobs.
Buy Supplies Ahead – If possible, the first thing you want to do is talk to your handyman in advance. When you explain the scope of work ask them what supplies you will need so that you can have them ready. For example, if you have holes to patch they might need caulk, drywall repair or texture for the walls.
Allocate Time For Last Minute Supply Runs – Over the years I’ve gotten very used to leaving a handyman in the house alone. Inevitably there is one thing I didn’t realize I needed and I have to make a run to the local hardware store.
For example, you may plan for them to repair the ceiling fan, but when they arrive it turns out the motor is burned up so you will need a new one. This is just one example, but I could list 20.
Most handymen will go pick things up for you, but you are paying for that time. If you are less comfortable with leaving them, be sure to ask if they can pick up supplies.
Once you find an experienced handyman that does quality work at a fair price, don’t lose their contact information. I’ve found good people on Taskrabbit that I contact directly after the first task. It can be less expensive per hour when you do this.
Do you have any secrets for hiring a good handyman?
You made a good point that batching tasks together will help in making sure that a handyman can do their job in a systematic fashion. My friend’s house needs a few minor repairs on its gutter because of a recent heavy rain in his area. I think it would be best if he inspects other places in his home in order make sure that those would be the only repairs he would need.