Angie's List | Hiring a Handyman for Home Repairs

The best way to retain your home's value is to keep it in good shape. With the arrival of spring, homeowners should take a good look around their homes to determine if there are repairs they should address.

All of us have lists of projects around the house that either we don't have time to get to or we aren't sure how to fix. Many homeowners use a handyman regularly to take care of routine maintenance and odds-and-ends projects around the house.

Handyman Dan Higgins says,  "We are seeing a lot more of our customers, probably like 80 percent of them, are making improvements to the home versus packing up and moving to a new home. We do a lot of repairs in kitchens and bathrooms, a lot of basement refinishings. "

"It's important to do a once over of your house in the springtime to see if there has been any damage from the winter months because you want to address it now instead of letting them go because you could run into big expenses down the road," Angie Hicks explains.

Angie says, "If you have a long honey-do list hiring a handyman can be a great way to knock them out quickly. A handyman will typically charge by the hour so you can aggregate a bunch of different little projects together and hire a handyman for the day."

Homeowner Kris Wu keeps the number for her handyman stored in her cellphone for when her list of repairs and projects starts to grow.

Kris says, : "Our handyman's been very helpful and done a lot of work around our house. He's done everything from staining decks to hanging picture frames, electrical work, building a shelf in my son's bedroom, tiling floors."  She continues, "We usually wait till we have a list of things that need to be done, but if we have emergencies, he's always helpful and will answer his phone and will either give us tips or be able to come out fairly quickly if we have any emergencies."

Angie's List, the nation's leading provider of consumer reviews, asked highly rated handymen/handywomen how they can help with their honey-do list.

A handyman, or handywoman, can offer a one-stop-shop for many home repair services.

Most handyman companies offer a wide range of services. Some focus on smaller home improvement projects such as weather stripping, faucet installation and drywall repair while others can do both small

For homeowners with a long to-do list of minor repairs that don't require a trade license, handymen can eliminate the need for multiple service providers – thus saving you time and money.

Angie's List Tips: Hiring a Handyman

  • Are they licensed? Every handyman has a different set of skills and areas of expertise. Licensing requirements for handymen vary by state and municipality, so homeowners should verify with their local licensing board that a handyman can do their specific job. The majority of states require an electrician or plumber's license to perform most work in those trades. Many times, handyman licensing depends on the job's cost or scope.
  • Make a list of what you need done: Have a list on hand when you call to make an appointment and go through your list with the handyman. Most professionals are going to tell you up front if it's a job outside their area of expertise. And, in the case of some of the larger handyman shops, knowing what jobs you need done, often determines which employee they send to your house.
  • What's the price? Know what's included in the cost – do you have to supply materials. Ask if the company charges a flat rate or by the hour, or a trip fee
  • Prep your home: Anything you can organize or purchase ahead of time may save you time and money. For example, if there's an issue with your sink, remove all the items from underneath it.

Dan Higgins says, "When we meet with the customer primarily we take a look at they want to have done, then we develop our own list of materials, we go to the stores and buy all that and bring it to the job. They don't need any tools, they don't need any supplies. We take care of all of that. "

"When you hire a handyman you want to be sure to check their credentials, but remember it will be dependent on the job they are doing and it's going to be dependent on your city and state. For example, plumbing and electrical are typically required to have a license so if you are having those trades done you want to be sure you check that. Also, make sure your handyman is experienced in the work you want to do because you do not want to be the guinea pig for a new kind of project for them," emphasizes Angie.





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