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How to Find a Trustworthy Handyman


Finding a trustworthy handyman can be frustrating. There are many scams and there are individuals who simply do not do a good job.


Here are some ideas as to what to look for when hiring a handyman. This will prevent you from making the mistakes that others do, which is hiring someone at the very moment when home repairs are needed and then trusting them to do the job right without looking into their credentials.

There are ways to avoid this scenario. No matter what the source, whether it be a newspaper, trade paper, an ad in a grocery store or a friend, the person needs to be checked out. The following list provides you with ways to find out the kind of work that the person does:

(1) Contact the Better Business Bureau in your area. This organization keeps track of business in the local communities. They keep records when a company is not performing as advertised. They allow people to give reviews on contractors and handymen.

(2) If your community does not have a chapter of the Better Business Bureau or BBB, try the local Chamber of Commerce. They keep track of companies who are scam artists.

(3) Word of mouth may be the best way to check out a handyman. If you know of someone who has used him or her, you can get information from neighbors about their job performance. If possible, ask someone who is widowed, single, or who does not have a qualified person to help them decide.  Women, in particular, are often prey to con men. The elderly and widowed are another target group for scam artists.  Neighbors and friends who have used a handyman in the past will give you their honest impression and let you know of any problems they ran into.

(4) Always meet with the handyman in person before you hire him or her. Be sure to get a written and signed estimate of the work to be done.  This contract should include a list of all of the work to be performed and an estimate of the prices for the work.  Some work is performed by the job task and some by the hour.  Talk to the handyman and find out how you will be charged.  Also, find out how unknown problems that are encountered while the work is being done (water damage and mold are common) will be handled.  You can avoid dissatisfaction if you make certain “all bases are covered.”  Before you sign any contract, make sure that you ask for references and then check them before you “sign on the dotted line.”

(5) There are associations that offer information on handymen and contractors and offer certified data on these service people. They also provide a complaint resolution team to help you with your complaints.  One such organization is the Association of Certified Handyman Professionals or ACHP.

(6) Never pay for a job until it is complete. Some handymen request a certain percentage down, especially if the project is large, and then the remainder is paid off upon completion. If you trust the individual completely, this might be acceptable. However, if you have never hired this handyman before, have no references, and cannot locate their name on the Better Business Bureau list or local Chamber of Commerce, definitely do not make the mistake of paying up front.



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