I can't do it all
howcolour/ShutterstockIf your handyman says he can “do it all,” that’s a red flag. I’ve seen a guy who advertises handyman services on his truck that he mows grass, paints, does renovations, and builds houses. That’s not the guy you want to hire. Actually, a sure sign that you can trust me is if I tell you I’m not the best person to do a particular job and give you the name of someone else. Also, keep up with these things that smart homeowners do at least once a year.
Try to fix the problem yourself before calling me
howcolour/ShutterstockBefore you call me about your clogged sink or shower drain, try a plunger or a Zip-It drain-cleaning tool. Neither requires you to take anything apart, and both often do the trick in just a minute or two. These are secrets your plumber isn't telling you.
Let me know if I can use the bathroom
howcolour/ShutterstockOffering me water or some cookies is great, but if you really want to show me hospitality, let me know that it’s OK for me to use your bathroom. It’s always a pain to have to jump into my truck and drive somewhere to answer nature’s call. To avoid needing handyman services in the first place, make sure you never ever pour these things down the drain.
howcolour/ShutterstockThe advantage of hiring a handyman from a national franchise is that he’s usually screened and trained and has a boss you can complain to if there’s a problem. But you may also end up with an employee who doesn’t care as much about quality, and you almost always will pay a higher price.
I don't know everything
howcolour/ShutterstockSometimes I still have to look up how to do something before I do a job (YouTube is the best!). A good handyman stays up to date on new products and trends and is always open to learning something.
Houses don’t take care of themselves
howcolour/ShutterstockIt’s on you to inspect yours at least once a year: Do you need to caulk around your windows and doors? Do you have any rotted wood? Are any shingles loose? It’s a lot less expensive to hire me to address those things than to replace them after years of neglected maintenance.
If you see a lot of ads, it doesn't always equal good service
howcolour/ShutterstockIf I’m any good, I really don’t need to advertise, because I get plenty of work through word of mouth. When I started my business, I put a magnet on my truck with my phone number. After about six months, I had to take it off because I was getting too many calls.
We price differently depending on the job
howcolour/ShutterstockI may give you a different price than the one I gave someone else for the same job. Why? Some of us charge more when we’re really busy. Or if I go into a house and it’s positively filthy, I’ll raise the price because I don’t want to work there.
We're pretty handy
howcolour/ShutterstockBefore you throw something out, ask whether I can repair it. I’ve fixed broken doors and window frames, furniture, toys, and even a medical bed. One time, my neighbor put his lawn mower out on the curb and headed to the store for a new one. I rescued and fixed it before he got home with the replacement.
On a budget?
howcolour/ShutterstockAsk if there is any way you can help out in exchange for a lower price. Even if you’re not handy, I may reduce my rate on a big job if you can haul materials for me or if you are willing to clean up the work mess at the end of each day. Want to save more money? Try these habits of people who are great at saving.