Consumer questions can lead to a happy hire

Consumer questions can lead to a happy hire

"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

"Don't be afraid to ask questions," says Jill Robinson, office manager for highly rated Home Repair Handyman Service LLC in Carmel, Ind. Since most of the minor repairs handymen perform don't require a license in Indiana, she says it's up to the customer to learn more about the company prior to hiring them. "How much do they charge? Do they provide free estimates? How long have they been in business?" Robinson suggests.

To get the most cost-effective hiring experience, Rick Cox, owner of highly rated Your Handyman in Brownsburg, Ind., suggests making a prioritized list of all your home's needed repairs. "When a customer gives me a list of items and a couple of hours to get them done, they get the most bang for their buck," he says. He also suggests that an honest handyman will turn down repairs outside his expertise and recommend companies that can do the work. "If I can't get something like repairing concrete done, I suggest people who can do it at reasonable rate," Cox says.

Robinson says her company charges projects on a time plus materials basis at rates of about $62 per hour. Both she and Cox, who charges about $32 an hour, stress that customers should look for handymen who offer free estimates with clear, upfront pricing. "I'd suggest that people get at least three different estimates and find out who's in the same ballpark," Robinson says. "The cheapest price isn't always the best."

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