Hire an Indianapolis handyman for home repairs
Following a national trend among homeowners to upgrade their houses instead of sell them, Angie’s List member Patricia Rees of Indianapolis hired local handyman Dan Higgins to make big and small home repairs, such as painting, fixing light switches and fixtures, replacing a toilet and doors, and repairing windows.
“It’s a lot cheaper to make some repairs and update the home — bathrooms, the kitchen, a fresh coat of paint,” says Higgins, owner of Mr. Handy Dan, a highly rated handyman business in Carmel. “It’s amazing how it changes the whole look of the house.”
Indianapolis handymen say they’ve seen a recent uptick in business, and the National Association of Home Builders predicted earlier this year that residential remodeling would grow by nearly 9 percent in 2012.
Rees, who lives on the Westside, describes previous experiences with hiring a handyman as hit or miss, but says she’s comfortable with Higgins, whom she paid $2,900 to knock out her punch list.
“I wanted someone I knew had a good reputation,” Rees says. “I had a kitchen door that made a popping noise. It had been going on for five years and driving me nuts, and Dan fixed that. He’s pretty much fixed everything else that others have screwed up.”
Besides checking Angie’s List, Aspin advises homeowners to verify licensing (if applicable), liability insurance and bonding before hiring.
“[A license] isn’t required to do handyman work — the guy down the street can do handyman work,” he says, adding that handymen often work alone in homes so it’s important to verify credentials. “That’s a trust factor.”
Liability covers property damage and injuries caused by the contractor’s work. When a contractor secures a bond, it means they’ve arranged with a third party to reimburse customers if the contractor harms them financially because of shoddy work.
Indianapolis requires handymen to be licensed when they do plumbing, electrical or HVAC repairs, or if they work as a general contractor performing construction. City code also requires license holders to be bonded and insured.
Both Aspin and Higgins hold a general contractor’s license, and Aspin says he conducts criminal background checks on all employees. Higgins says he only has one employee, whom he’s known for eight years.
Angie’s List member June Beasley of Noblesville says she trusts her handyman so much that she gives him her credit card number to buy supplies. For 36 years, she’s hired Richard Dubbeld, owner of highly rated Richard’s Painting & Handyman Service in Indianapolis, for odd jobs. She pays Dubbeld about $200 to $225 a day.
“He’s like family now,” she says. “If I have something good for lunch, he’ll sit down for lunch with me.