Some of us are pretty handy around the house-to a point. Others barely replace a burned out light bulb without breaking into a sweat. For those who fall in the latter category, hiring a handyman may be the easiest and safest bet in the long run. When you hire a handyman look for one who:
- Has realistic hourly rates
- Has at least general labor and construction skills
- Is fairly easy to reach during emergency situations
- Is able to tell when a project is beyond his capabilities.
- Is reliable and honest.
Make sure that when you hire a handyman you understand the scope of what is skill set is. Do not expect him to do intricate or very specialized work unless that is the field he has recently retired from. Good sources for locating a general handyman:
- Referrals from contractors and other professionals
- Referrals from home improvement and building supply stores
- Locally advertised, independent or small companies.
- Word of mouth referrals from family and friends.
There are several types of jobs that you should NOT hire a general handyman for. These include:
- Any project with materials costing over $2000
- Projects that require building permits or zoning approval
- Any project that will be inspected in Idaho
- Any project that requires special knowledge, skills or tools that are beyond the general scope of the handyman.
- Any project that involves installation of gas lines, ductwork or electrical wiring and panels.
- A project that would be too big to undertake by one person.
Jobs that are fine to hire a general handyman for include:
- General (non specialized) painting
- Cleaning the gutters
- Unclogging sinks and drains
- Minor repairs
- Trash hauling
- Moving items to or from storage as needed
If you would like to have the handyman do other jobs as well, such as cleaning the pool, mowing the lawn or raking the leaves, make sure that you discuss this during the initial interview. Some people would prefer to have one person who can handle a wide array of tasks while others do not mind hiring more than one person to do these things. Remember to keep the jobs doable, especially for the agreed upon cost. If you have hired a younger handyman for the job, keep in mind that he is probably learning his trade as he goes, so assign him easier jobs to accomplish tasks, until he proves himself.