When you're thinking of hiring someone for home repairs, how do
you know where to start?
Angie Hicks, of consumer group Angie's List, says they can
"It can be really confusing as to who you need to hire for a
particular project. Is it a general contractor? Is it a handyman?
Or is it someone in a specialized trade? It comes down to knowing
exactly the list of things you want to have done and making sure
you find someone with the right skill set, training and licensing
in order to do that particular task."
Angie's List recommends making a list of what you need
done. Then you'll be able to reference that list when you
call to make an appointment.
Hicks says, "A good rule of thumb when deciding
whether you use a handyman or general contractor depends on the
size of the job. If you have small honey-do list type things that
are usually billed out, for example, on an hourly rate that fits
the bill for a handyman. When you're thinking about a general
contractor, that's when thinking of remodeling my kitchen, adding a
sunroom, things like that which are longer projects that are going
to involve multiple types of trade people is where the general
contractor comes into play."
According to Angie's List:
· A handyman/handywoman service can be a great choice
for home repairs, especially for homeowners who need help with
smaller jobs, or those who have a variety of projects. Some of
these tradesmen and women can even tackle complicated jobs that
include electrical and plumbing work - but be sure they are
licensed for those trades if it's required in your area.
· A contractor tends to concentrate on larger jobs or a
more specialized field that could require a license or special
certification. These jobs may last several weeks or months,
whereas a handyman's work may be done in just a few hours.
Regardless of who you hire, Angie's List says you should look at
these three things:
1. The company's reputation
2. Does the company have the appropriate training, license
3. Does the company have a real address where you can contact
later should something go wrong?
Angie's List offers these tips to get the most cost-effective
work from your handyman and/or contractor:
· Prepping your home may save you money - especially if
the handyman/contractor charges by the hour. For example, if
there's an issue with your sink, remove all the items from
· Know what's included in the price. Ask if they charge
a flat rate or by the hour. Are they charging you a trip fee?
· Anything you can purchase or organize ahead of time
may save you time and money. For example, if you're willing to go
to the store and purchase the bathroom faucet yourself, the company
can get more done in less time.
· Hiring a handyman may not be cheaper than hiring a
specialized professional: a professional plumber may be able to
diagnose and fix your problem much quicker than a handyman and if
it is complex at all, you might need that licensed professional
rather than a generalist.