Thursday, May 5, 2016

Picking the right handy person!

'Insurance? I don't need no stinking insurance!'
There's an old song by Kenny Roger's that went, in part...

You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run..

That little lyrical snippet is very apt when it comes to selecting a handy person to do work for you. I've found that, over the years, it pays to do a little checking and to look for signs of trouble before you ever hire someone for a project. Here are a few things that I've done and looked for in every repair person I've used or did not use....

  1. Background check – there's a wealth of information to be had, at reasonable cost, on the internet to make sure a person that is otherwise a complete stranger is on the up and up.
  2. Check around town to see what kind of rep the person has – if that person has screwed someone, the word will be out and pretty easy to find.
  3. Interview the individual to get a feel for how well they understand your needs. This would also include the person being able to fill in areas you might not have been aware of – A sure sign the the individual is experienced wit the type of work you are asking them to do!
  4. Make sure that the individual is insured – Ask to see and verify that their coverage is current.
  5. Ask for three references. If the person is vague in this area, drop them like a hot potato.
  6. Make sure that the individual shows up at agreed upon times, ready and able to do the work requested. Check to see if their vehicle is in good shape and has advertising on the side..
  7. Ask for a business card and or email address.
  8. Ask if they have a web presence... or alternatively, ask how long they've been in business.
  9. Ask for a work order to be made out for each project – this paper should indicate the exact nature of what is to be fixed, what the materials will cost the homeowner and the estimated amount of labor to be incurred.
  10. Make sure that you know exactly who will be involved with the project and stipulate where the person or persons are allowed to go and where they are not allowed to go on your property.

If you do these ten checklist items each time, you might find that getting someone who meets all the criteria to be a little bit few and far between. But, understand that the ones that do meet with your approval process are likely to do a good job, safely and at a fair price!

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