Chicago handymen help seniors with small jobs

Chicago handymen help seniors with small jobs

I’m a senior seeking a handyman who’s willing to take on small jobs. How can I find someone who’s trustworthy and affordable? — Angie's List member Theresa Martinez

Art Mate, owner of highly rated Art the Fix-It Guy in Arlington Heights [Ill.], suggests getting recommendations from a source you trust, such as Angie's List, local senior centers, church groups, or township and village offices. "Many of them will have a directory of vetted handymen," he says.

Most handyman services charge by the hour and for materials. Mate, who charges $72 per hour, says he estimates local hourly rates vary between $40 and $150. "People who are tired of lousy service are less concerned about price; they want the best service," he says.

Because many senior citizens live in older homes with potentially hidden defects, Mate says a firm quote can't always be guaranteed, but an honest handyman will tell you right away if he comes across anything that will require additional cost.

Kevin Ryan, general manager of highly rated Handyman Matters in St. Charles [Ill.], recommends hiring a service that's been around a long time, insures and bonds its employees, and puts a warranty on their work. "If someone's been around for years, that's evidence they'll stand behind their work in the future," he says.

If you're hiring a service with employees, he also recommends hiring a company that performs background checks and drug tests. Ryan also suggests talking to the handyman prior to the work to get a feel for their attitude. "You want someone who'll take the time to make sure you're comfortable," he says.

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