Hire a handyman for your to-do list

Hire a handyman for your to-do list

If you have decided to move forward on those stalled home improvement projects, consider hiring a handyman to tackle the work.

A handyman is a highly skilled “jack of all trades” who specializes in a wide range of home repairs and maintenance. Handymen are typically hired to complete multiple small projects over a short period of time.

“On average jobs run 1-2 days for small projects and punch lists,” says handyman Matt Miller of the highly rated HandiCo Inc. in Chicago. “Some projects are just a couple of hours and others could last up to a few weeks. People most commonly hire us for repair work for anything in or around a house, and I mean anything that is not working.”

A homeowner can save money on home improvement projects by hiring a handyman because it eliminates the need for multiple service providers and contractors. Many handymen charge by the hour so a homeowner only pays the service fee for one worker who can complete a wide range of projects.

However, a handyman is not the best option for a large or complicated project that could take a long time to complete and require the help of multiple workers.

“We focus on small projects,” says Bob Mignogna, handyman and owner of the highly rated Handymen from Heaven in Needham, Mass. “Our model avails us to work in one-, two- or four-hour increments and be profitable. Remember, we handymen are focused on the traditional home repairs that clients cannot do themselves or don’t have the time for. We handle things like broken windows, hanging curtain rods, changing light fixtures or installing new storm doors.”

Tips for hiring a highly rated handyman:

1. Create a written description of the work, and cluster related projects like bathroom and kitchen plumbing work. This will help you identify the skill sets you need in your handyman.

2. Draft a tentative budget for the work. Knowing your budget will help identify your top priorities and avoid cost overruns.

3. Check Angie’s List for trusted consumer reviews on handymen located across the country.

4. Research your rights and responsibilities within the homeowner-handyman relationship. For instance, in Illinois, a written contract is required for all home renovation and repair work in excess of $1,000. Rules vary, so check out your local county and state websites.

5. Ask the right questions during the interview. Some include: Have you completed a similar project before? Can you produce a written dollar estimate and estimated completion date for this work? Is your work under warranty? Do you hold a professional license or certification? Do you have local references? Do you have the equipment and tools needed for this job?

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