What should be on your handyman to-do list
The economy has many people in the Austin, Texas, area touting their handyman skills—to disastrous results. The highly-rated Austin handymen we talked to offered valuable advice about recent handyman trends, dodging shifty workers and finding the best handyman for your next project.
Problem: Minor Repairs
The little things that have been littering honey-do lists for years are the most common problems handymen in Austin have been seeing.
Dan Davison of Handy Dan Handy Man in Pflugerville, Texas, says he does about one drywall or sheetrock repair job each week. Increasingly frequently, these calls are to re-do work homeowners have already had done.
“Anybody can say they can do something,” Davison says. “There’s a lot of underbidding going on, and I have to go back and fix bad work. Just because someone said they can do it doesn’t mean they can do a very good job.”
Al Hartley, of Al the Handyman, Inc. in Austin, who is often called in for punch-list projects like painting or replacing pet-chewed trim, and larger projects like deck building, says he has seen more Austin residents falling prey to fly-by-night scam artists because of the economy. To protect yourself, he recommends making an educated hiring decision before you let a handyman into your home and start shelling out payments.
“People have to understand that projects can get expensive,” Hartley says. “You could end up with $300 to $500 in materials before the day is done, for some projects. Do some research. Know who the heck you’re hiring.”
Problem: Seasonal Projects
Hiring the best handymen in the Austin area for your project will be easier if you plan in advance.
John Borsi of I Love My Handyman, also in Pflugerville, says spring brings an increase in requests from people looking to ready their house for sale.
“Before people get ready to sell, they’re in a big rush to get things done. Lot of bathroom replacements, yard maintenance and those types of projects,” he says. “I’m overwhelmed.”
Damaged or rotted doors are a popular project for handymen. Both Borsi and Hartley say they do many door fixes or replacements in spring.
Borsi also gets many spring and early-summer requests to power-wash decks, since people want to get ready for summer—and summertime guests, big and small.
“Austin is a small enough community that people schedule things around their kids,” he says, so consider the school calendar before you hire to beat the rush.
The holidays also bring in a slew of requests to get homes ready for out-of-town guests, so be sure to communicate what you need done to your handyman early.