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Modesto, CA Consider Hiring a Handyman for Home Improvement Projects

Modesto, CA Home Improvement Guide


Handyman Services
Handyman Services

Some projects are too small for contractor services, yet you may not feel comfortable handling them yourself. This is a time to consider hiring a handyman. Many handymen advertise that no job is too small for them to tackle. But just because they’ll take on the small jobs, it doesn’t mean they can’t handle the big ones as well. Handymen are qualified for more than installing a ceiling fan, replacing an outlet, or fixing a hole in the wall. Quality handymen have years of experience in the construction industry and offer their service to earn extra income during tough times or because they want to slow down. Some handymen are licensed electricians or plumbers and take on handyman projects as a way to pick up additional work.

Regardless of what you need done, take the time to hire a qualified handyman. Licensing requirements are more limited when it comes to handymen and in some states, they are not required. Therefore, it is imperative that you do homework to ensure you are selecting a professional. Use the guidance and advice in this section to help find the handyman that is right for your project.

Make a Job List
Start the process by creating a list of the jobs you want the handyman to tackle. Take advantage of bringing someone in and list a variety of things you want them to fix. As most handymen have extensive experience, utilize their knowledge to get a broad list of items fixed without the need of hiring multiple sub-contractors. Review the final list and make sure the jobs listed are something a handyman should handle. If extensive remodeling or a building permit is required, consider talking to a contractor. Typically, contractors avoid any job that is less than $2,500. Use this as a guide to determine if a handyman or contractor is the right professional to call.

Make a List of Potential Handymen
Create a longer list of potential handymen by consulting a variety of sources. Ask for references from family and friends, improvement centers, and hardware stores. The Internet is also a valuable source for finding local handymen. Visit the Handyman Services heading at MyYP.com to find a quality professional in your area.

Conduct Interviews
Begin narrowing the longer list by calling and conducting interviews with each handyman. Ask them how long they have been in the business. What is their background and experience? Include specific questions about their experience handling the type of projects you need completed. Get a good feel for what they can and can’t do to eliminate disappointment once they have started the job.

Ask for References: Ask them to provide a few references of jobs they have handled in the past year. Contact each reference and ask them if they were happy with the work that was performed. Verify if they would hire the handyman again and if they recommend their services. Discussing their work with someone who has worked with them before provides valuable insight into what you can expect. This uncovers how professional they are, whether they were on-time, and how they treated their clients.

Ask About Licenses:: The rules for home improvement licenses and registration vary by state. To learn what is required within your area, contact the local building inspector. Oftentimes, handyman jobs fall out of the requirements for licenses because they are smaller and less costly that other home improvement projects. Verify the rules in your area and make sure the handyman is in compliance should a license be required.

Ask About Liability: Even a small job can become disastrous if not handled correctly. Therefore, it is crucial that you ask a potential handyman about liability insurance. Do not hire anyone who does not already have some sort of liability insurance. Ask to see the policy to verify what and how much it covers. If they refuse to provide it, move on. It is not out of line for you to verify their coverage.

For smaller jobs, use your judgment to determine how hard the insurance requirement should be pushed. If a handyman is hired to clear away yard debris, being a stickler about insurance may not be as critical. Let the job itself determine how critical it is.

Establish a Short List
Using the feedback, narrow the list to two or three handymen. Share the list of projects and ask them to provide a quote. Review each of the quotes side-by-side to determine which handyman best fits your needs. As you work with them to finalize the scope of work, consider the following:

Pricing Structure: Discuss upfront how pricing is handled. Many handymen charge by the hour, which can vary greatly depending on their experience. Instead of hourly, negotiate their services based on the scope of work and confirm an overall quote. This protects you if the job runs long and establishes the full job expectation upfront. Expect any changes to be written up in a change order and re-billed. Make sure it is fair for the handyman should additional requirements be added to the project.

Project Schedule: Ask them to provide an anticipated timeline for completion of the project. The quickest job is not always the best but this provides a good indication as to what is a reasonable timeframe for the project. Once you hire a handyman, negotiate the timeline and use it as a guideline to ensure they follow it.

Payment Schedule: A handyman should not be expected to finance any job so some amount of deposit is fair. The percentage depends on the size of the job but it should never exceed 50%. This provides leverage to work with the handyman should misunderstandings arise.

Verify Complaints: Contact the Better Business Bureau or visit their website www.bbb.com to determine if any complaints are issued against the potential handyman. A local Chamber of Commerce or the state licensing agency can also verify any complaints. Keep in mind that complaints are not always filed, so review why a complaint was issued and try to have an open mind. Discover the issue prior to ruling anyone out just because a complaint has been filed. Sometimes clients take issue with something that is not fair or reasonable. The quantity of complaints however, is an issue. Extensive complaints are a red flag regardless of the issues.

A handyman is a valuable resource to take care of projects that have been bothersome for quite some time. Do the homework required to find the one that is right for you and protect your home and investment.

 
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