I am writing this 12 step guide on how to find a handyman because as a handyman myself I have found out the struggles people have trying to find a good and honest person that can help them with small projects contractors won’t take on.
Also, contractors cost more money to hire because they have more overhead, whereas a handyman usually is a one-man show and doesn’t (or shouldn’t) charge as much for their labor.
Here are the 12 steps I will cover that will help you choose the right handyman for the job…
- Finding Good Candidates
- Find Candidates That fit The Bill
- Reading Reviews
- Local Bulletin Boards
- Research Your Prospects
- Request Estimates
- Interview Prospects
- Ask For References
- Ask For Proof Of Insurance
- Providing Contracts
- Is The Work Guaranteed
How To Find A Handyman 12 Step Guide
As a homeowner, sooner or later you’ll find yourself looking for a handyman to whittle down a long list of small home repair projects, like hanging a door or replacing a leaky faucet.
Your home is your number one asset, it’s important to find a reliable, trustworthy handyman with who you can put your confidence to do the job right. A good handyman will come recommended, perform high-quality work at reasonable rates, and, first and foremost, be respectful of you and your home
How To Find a Handyman Step 1
Finding Good Candidates… The first step in finding a good handyman candidate is to ask family or friends for recommendations. People who have had the experience of working with a professional handyman will be more than willing to give you references.
Also as people in your neighborhood if they have had any good experiences with handymen and see if they can recommend someone.
Step 2… Check Online
If a handyman is reputable they will have their profile on the local search engines. If you search for a handyman in Your area (as an example I Googled “handyman in Milford CT”) where I live.
As you can see my information came right to the top of the search results. You can not fake this. Here you can see a lot of information including a Review summary. I also have images of my work in the photos. This is probably the best way to find a reputable handyman if you don’t know anyone to ask.
Step 3 community Forums
There is a lot of power in a community forum. Facebook is a great local resource. Most towns have a Facebook page where the community contributes relevant information to each other.
Joining these forums is a wealth of information. All you need to do is post a question and you will get the good and the bad from the community.
Step 4 Contacting Candidates For Quick Jobs
If you just need one or two things fixed and you’re not too insistent about getting a personal referral, consider simply calling one of the handyman services in your community. Most towns have at least a couple of businesses that loan subcontracted workers out for small projects, like replacing broken tile or fixing a damaged deck railing.
Make sure that the company offers the service you need before you call. Handymen are trained to perform a wide variety of tasks, but may not have the expertise needed to tackle more specialized projects, such as building a carport or rewiring an electrical outlet.
It’s also advisable to read the fine print in the company’s terms of service. They may charge hidden fees or expect the homeowner to cover the cost of necessary tools and materials.
Step 5 Check Bulletin Boards
If you’re not having any success with online resources, head to the nearest hardware store or home improvement center and take a look at the bulletin board posted near the entrance.
It’s not uncommon to find flyers and business cards for independent contractors looking for work in these places. Store employees may also be able to offer recommendations for handymen they’ve supplied in the past.
Don’t forget to take a tear slip or jot down the person’s contact info so you can get in touch with them later if you decide to interview them for the job.
Before you hire a freelance handyman, plug their name into a search engine to see if you can dig up any reviews from former employers.
Some larger home improvement centers like The Home Depot even offer in-house handyman services for select projects through their Home Services department. 
Step 6 Research For Past or Pending Complaints
According to the Better Business Bureau… In the U.S., it’s possible for employers to report contracted workers for scams, lawsuits, and other grievances through the website of the Better Business Bureau.
Do some research on each of your leading candidates prior to submitting an estimate for your project. If any major complaints have been registered against them, consider going with your second choice instead.
Hiring a handyman without doing your due diligence could set you up for a major headache, or even leave you vulnerable to theft. 
Step 7 Ask For Estimates
Now that you have found a few different handymen who you think might suit your needs, have them come to your home and bid on your project individually. Not only will this allow you to compare pricing and find the rate that best fits your budget, it will also give you the chance to meet with them face-to-face, discover how punctual they are, and get a feel for their professional etiquette. 
Step 8 Interview
Set up a time to meet with the handymen who have caught your eye and discuss the project you’re hiring them for in-depth. Like the initial bid, this is a good opportunity to evaluate your prospects on both a personal and professional level while ironing out all the important details of the job.
Come up with a list of questions to ask the handyman that will offer you a better idea of their qualifications. For example, you might ask them why they chose to become a handyman, how long they’ve been in the business, or what their greatest strengths are. 
Step 9 Ask for References
Any handyman who’s worth their salt will be able to produce testimonials from satisfied clients with who they’ve done work previously. Handymen who come prepared with their own set of references are usually a safe bet. If the person was also recommended to you personally by a friend or loved one, all the better.
- It’s also a plus if the handyman can show you photos of similar jobs that they’ve completed in the past.
- Be wary of candidates who decline to give out the contact information of their references so that you can speak to them yourself. It may mean that they have something to hide. 
Step 10 Ask For Proof Of Insurance
Handymen aren’t typically required to be licensed, and bonding is usually only necessary on major home improvement jobs, like add-ons and full remodels.
However, you always want to ask your handyman to supply proof of insurance upfront. At the very least, some form of general liability insurance is crucial. Worker’s compensation is also a must if the handyman has other employees working under them.
- Be sure to review your candidate’s insurance policy along with the rest of their paperwork. A good general liability insurance policy will offer the contractor coverage for at least $1 million per claim.
- When it comes to hiring a handyman, general liability insurance is non-negotiable, as it protects you from being saddled with legal responsibility if an accident occurs on your property. 
Step 11 Ask For a Contract
Once you’ve settled on a candidate, it’s time to draw up a formal contract to seal the deal. Go over your written agreement with your handyman to recap and confirm each of the main provisions, including the general timeframe, estimated cost, and payment procedures. Don’t sign the contract until you’re satisfied with the terms it lays out.
- You should always request a contract if it’s your first time working with a particular handyman, even for small weekend jobs.
- Your contract essentially says that the handyman promises to perform a set of agreed-upon duties in a specified time for a predetermined sum of money. A record like this can come in handy in the event that a dispute arises between you and your handyman. 
TIP: If you don’t want to go to the trouble of drafting up your own contract (or aren’t sure how), you can find premade forms online to print and fill out.
Step 12 ask For a Warranty
Some handymen extend homeowners the benefit of a written warranty or similar guarantee in addition to the terms of a formal contract.
This means that if the problem reoccurs or something goes wrong with a repair job within the specified warranty period, the handyman will come back and fix it at no additional cost.
If the handyman you’ve chosen to work with offers a warranty, you can rest assured that your project is in good hands.
- One-year warranties are standard for most remodeling jobs and other large-scale projects.
- Warranties are a sign of good faith as much as they are a way of attracting business, and are generally useful for distinguishing honest contractors from less-than-honest ones.