We all relate on how our homes keep us in top shape as though they are life pillars of some sort, provided that they, too, are at an optimal state. This is fairly evident on how annoyed we get at that leaky faucet that keeps us from getting a shut eye nightly or that seemingly-irreparable bathroom clog. We all would validate each other’s uneasy feeling that goes with these “tiny bumps” at home.
Then comes handymen (or handywomen). A handyman solves it when your Honey-dos have overdue. A handyman is an excellent choice if you’re not sure whether you can do it yourself or if you need to call a contractor. They are a trained generalist for repairs, maintenance or home improvements. So much so that they are called the jack of all trades, able to deliver quick-fix services to your roofs, drywall, ceiling fixtures, interior and exterior paint, fences, doors, windows, and the list goes on.
Research. Be it word-of-mouth, verified review, or a non-prejudiced recommendation, no matter how small a job is, it’s important to hire someone who can do a job right the first time. A handyman should be someone who minimizes unnecessary interference to your life, not add to it.
Ask. Ask for prior experience and prior work samples. Ask for price estimates upfront and other payment considerations. Ask for the sake of a peaceful partnership between you and your hired handyman. Again, ask. And as much as you need.
Choose well. You can actually get at least 3 potential handymen for comparison as well as check other references. This way, you can obtain reasonable expectations for cost and other things involved.
Check. Check. Check. Check one’s work reputation, licensing, experience, legalities and even liability insurance.
One thing you should consider is the complexity and size of the job. A small job doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a simple job. Conversely, a large job isn’t always complicated. But both more complicated and larger jobs cost you more for labor or for the longer the duration needed to accomplish it.
From the start, you’ve got to know the answers whether your handyman can handle it well or you’ll need a licensed specialist. If you’re not sure, discuss the project in detail earlier to establish the price and a little bit more on what’s involved.
For example, replacing light switches is a small job. Hanging shelves can be a medium job. Yet neither is particularly simple. On the other hand, replacing old toilets can be a medium job but a complex one – for this may involve heavy lifting, attaching support materials, plumbing work and cleanup.
Another personal rate. Handymen are either charged by the job (flat rates) or by the hour, the latter being more common. Although, some may charge for markups on expertise and some may even charge for travel expense and time. These are also important considerations to be discussed early on.
A handyman who is charged hourly is expected to be of more expertise and this one is usually working as an independent operator. However, for larger projects, such as installing heating registers, hanging large chandeliers, installing kitchen sink or wall-mounted TV, they are best charged by flat rates.
The cost difference between hourly and flat rates is where decision-making needs to be done. Billing with flat rates (per job) can cost more per hour if your handyman works quickly. However, for the same rate, should there be complications prolonging the job, you wind up paying less per hour for the job.
Regardless of the mode of the deal, it’s always wise no to pay all the cost upfront. You may pay for the materials or other needed deposits but the remaining should be paid upon the project completion.
Prepare the repair or improvement project area beforehand. Extra work on cleanup and de-clutter can consume an ample amount of time and probably more money.
• Orient oneself of the big-picture view of the cost. The price estimate may not assure you of the fixed cost but it will show you the breakdown of expenses on labor and supplies and understand the value of another man’s work; consequently allows you to make easier and faster decisions.
• Organize possible “package” tasks ahead of time. For example, if your bathtub is leaking but you want to replace old tub handles as well, you might be able to get the handyman to do both jobs at once for less than the cost of two visits. You can do this by listing what needs to be repaired or improved and then group them.
• Evaluate whether a task is something you can handle, or if you should summon help. The questions, “Could I DIY this if only I had the time, knowledge or ability?”, “Can this be done by two or more people?”, “Is it anything that affects a house’s structure?”, “Does this job need a permit?”, and etc. might sort out confusion on who to hire or if it is even necessary.
A handyman really does come in handy when dealing with home issues you would rather not deal with, at least not physically. Nor time-wise. If you hire the right handyman and personally hire well, you ’ll soon prove that the comfort and quality work that is delivered to you quickly outweighs the cost.