Whether you’re thinking about doing home repairs or just some light fixing up around the house, there are things that your handyman or contractor may not tell you. Not all of us are DIY inclined and navigating the job from a homeowner’s point of view can seem complicated. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are 7 things your handyman won’t tell you, but every homeowner should know. 7 Handyman tips to help you know the limitations of work required and how to deal with any snags that may come up.
How to find the right handyman for you
Becoming a handyman doesn’t require qualifications, and so there are a lot of people advertising their service in this regard. So it becomes really difficult to decide who the right one is. Anyone who has hired the “wrong one” before will know that bad work can be far more expensive than good work. Luckily there are a number of resources available to help you make the decision.
When it comes to home improvement personal endorsements are a great measure for the quality of someone’s work. A friend would not give a bad recommendation and while no two jobs are alike and things could still go wrong, at least one person you trust has had a positive work experience.
Google and facebook reviews can also help you decide. Not only do these allow you to evaluate a variety of different options, but you can find in-depth commentary on their skills and abilities. It’s also a good sign of legitimacy if a handyman has bothered to create an online platform for themselves. It’s always a good idea to check out a few negative reviews too, to see how they handled the situation or to check if there are fundamental problems.
Another viable option is to look to national franchises or building supply chains. These types of companies often have contractor databases. This not only allows you to process payment securely, but the company does the vetting for you. They seek out reliable people and put you in contact with them, taking out the guesswork. A good example is Builders Warehouse’s Get Tod service.
See previous work
If you’ve picked a few options you can also ask the potential contractors for examples of their previous jobs. While photos can be copied and repurposed, a contractor with examples of their portfolio of work is a far safer bet than someone who doesn’t have this.
Your handyman, no matter how experienced, may not know everything!
Your handyman may not know everything, but a little communication goes a long way. If he says he can’t do something, this is a sign you can trust him. So discuss what home repairs you need done clearly and get his advice. Even if it’s not in his scope, he will more than likely be able to do some research for you – whether it’s through YouTube tutorials or phoning a friend in the trade – and then advise you accordingly or refer you to someone who specialises in that field that you can trust.
From the start, your handyman says he can do it all?
Let’s be serious, no-one can do it all. When it comes to plumbing and electrical matters, he may say he can do it all but those kinds of things are best left to specialised home repair guys in that field. If he isn’t willing to admit that he would like to get the advice or help from those other professionals, perhaps it’s time to find a new handyman who is more honest.
There is in fact some DIY plumbing that you can do yourself.
Obviously, for big home repair jobs the professionals get in, however for smaller jobs like blocked drains it’s a lot cheaper to try yourself first. It’s also a lot easier than you may think. Before you call your handyman or plumber try a plunger or a drain-cleaning tool – these work quickly and save you a fortune on call out fees. Also, don’t forget to check DIY and How to channels on YouTube, there is tons of useful home repair information out there to help!
He isn’t the cheapest and prices do vary.
There are tons of variables, outside of time and parts, which go into the prices that a handyman may quote. These can include anything from how busy he may be, to the travel time it takes to get to you or even the state of your home. Shop around! Get trusted names from neighbours and friends and get quotes to find the cheapest.
What if he wants cash without a receipt?
No matter how much you trust your guy, if you’re going to pay him cash make sure that there is proof of payment. Not only does someone wanting to be paid under-the-table raise concerns about his credibility, but should the thing he fixed breaks, you’ll have no proof that the job was done.
You should just leave him to get the job done? No!
Keep a watchful eye on the job and your home, regardless of how much you know about the work he is doing. Not only can you then confront him if he or one of his workers break something in or around your property, but your presence will help with home security dramatically. For more security tips, read our last security article: Renovating and worried about security? We have some tips for you.
Yes, unfortunately your dog does disturb them
Your contractor or handyman may be too polite to say, but having your dog around the house, especially if he’s a barker, can cause added chaos and slow down the job. The idea is to get them in and out of the job quickly and efficiently, and pets can sometimes get in the way. Or worse: wander off because a door or a gate has been left open! For short jobs, separate your animals from the area. For bigger, more complicated work, send your pooch on a playdate with the poodle next door or get a friend to watch him.
You can try do it yourself first
While it’s good to know your limits when it comes to handy tasks around the house, they don’t call it D.I.Y. for nothing. Figuring out a problem and solution yourself can be a really rewarding experience. And often the solution was far easier than you imagined. We aren’t suggesting that you rewire your electrical system, but if you have a DIY need, why not do a little research first. Watch how it’s done on youtube, and see if you have the skills and tools you need to get the job done.