No matter how new or old your home is, you will most certainly require help from a handyman at one point or another. Whether it's fixing a leaky pipe or installing a new roof, regardless of the scope of the project, you want to make sure you hire someone who can get the job done efficiently and affordably.
Finding a good contractor or hiring a handyman is especially important when you're taking care of the house alone if your partner is away or deployed. In these cases, getting some extra help from someone who knows what they're doing is vital.
Here are a few things to look for when hiring a good handyman or contractor:
Check the Contractor's Reviews
In today's digital age, it's easy to find out everything you need to know about a business before calling them. Before hiring a contractor, look at their website, find out if they have any Google Reviews, check other websites like Angie's List or Yelp. Talking to your friends or neighbors about who they recommend is also a good idea as well as checking community center message boards or chat rooms. By checking the reviews, you can find a handyman that comes highly recommended in your community.
Interview the Contractor and Ask for References
Although an online review is a valuable tool for homeowners looking to hire a handyman, it's not the be-all-end-all of a contractor's worth. There are several questions you should ask a handyman before you hire him/her. Before asking for a quote, interview potential handymen about their past experiences, recent jobs, training, industry experience, and more. You will get a good picture of who the person is and what kind of work you cane expect from them. Asking for references is also recommended to talk to past customers who have recently worked with the contractor and can attest to their workmanship.
Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Contractor
The questions you ask when interviewing a contractor can have a profound effect on who you hire. Choosing your questions wisely is important. It's important to ask each contractor the same questions to make it easier to compare professionals to one another. Have a written list of questions for each person that you meet. Below are some of the best questions to ask:
Are you licensed and insured?
Different states have different requirements for contractor licensure. If your state requires contractors to be licensed, find out whether your contractor has the proper credentials to do business in your state.
Do you have references?
All contractors should have references. Get names and numbers for people who have worked with the contractor you're interviewing. Even if the contractor is relatively new to the business, they should still have experience working as an employee for another contractor. Avoid anyone who has no references to give.
What challenges might you experience on this project?
Find out what your contractor thinks would be the biggest challenges to over come about your job and what your contractor would do to avoid those challenges.
When can you start work, and how long do you think this will take?
Often the best contractors are the busiest, so if you're worried about quality, you might be in for a wait.
Write down what each contractor says when you're interviewing them on the job site. This will make it easier to choose a contractor when the time comes to make a decision.
Collect Quotes From Multiple Contractors
Before hiring a contractor, collect several quotes from companies that come highly recommended. Do not simply go with the first contractor you come upon. Additionally, do not go with the cheapest price. If you collect three of four quotes from several contractors and one of them is significantly lower than the rest, it's probably for a negative reason. Another warning sign is a contractor who is overzealous about the project. If they start off by promising the world, there is no way they can deliver on their claims. Trust your gut and go with the quote that is reasonable, fair, transparent, and affordable.
Stay Involved with the Home Renovation
Even if you get an amazing vibe from the handyman you choose, it's also important to stay involved with the project. That way, you always have a clear idea of the work that's taking place. In cases where homeowners simply wash their hands of the project, there is a greater chance of the contractor taking advantage and overcharging for unnecessary work. By constantly checking in, you can closely monitor the project and make sure it's done to your satisfaction.
For more tips, tricks, and recommendations for local handymen in Colorado Springs, call Military Home Search at 719-373-1906.
Lauren Schneider, Real Estate Agent and Military Relocation Professional (MRP)
Lauren Schneider has lived in Colorado Springs for nearly 20 years and knows that the military is what keeps this town ticking, which is one of the reasons she's chosen to pursue her dream of helping military families with all of their homebuying needs. Learn more about Lauren or start your home search now.