Hiring a Handyman in Charleston SC
Handyman In Charleston South Carolina
In every homeowner’s life, it is almost guaranteed that something is going to break or stop functioning, and there’s not going to be a maintenance crew or landlord around to fix it. Learning how to maintain a home and deal with such emergencies is one of the biggest challenges of owning a home. For many, hiring a handyman in Charleston is a challenge. When it comes to finding a handyman in Charleston, you want to make sure that you do your research so that you can find the right one and then stay engaged while they work to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Following are some guidelines that will help you find and hire the right handyman in Charleston.
Start Your Search in the Right Places
Searching in the right places is the first step to making sure that you find a reliable handyman. It is recommended that you ignore all the flashy ads in your phonebook and start your search in Google Maps for a handyman in Charleston. Should that not suit you, don’t give up.
Here are some other recommendations:
There are many customer feedback-centered websites that serve as a great source for finding the right professional for a specific job. Yelp is one such website that you can use to get a sense of what kind of work a handyman does and whether or not he is reliable. Look for a handyman with positive reviews and high star rating.
Online business review sites like Angie’s List are also great for finding service professionals, including handymen. While it is a paid members-only site, Angie’s List is arguably one of the best sources for authentic reviews of wide range of different services. The best thing about this site is that all reviews here are verified. So, if you often find yourself searching for handyman services, then this is a recommended site for you.
Word of Mouth
Apart from online sources, the word of mouth, e.g. recommendations from friends and family, is another great way to find a trustworthy handyman. If one of your friends, family members, or someone in your neighborhood has used the services of a handyman and has no complaints, then it’s likely to be worth looking into. In addition to asking for references, it is also highly recommended that you follow up on them.
Community Message Boards
Another great source for finding a handyman is your community message board. Many handymen distribute handouts and flyers, so look for them. It is also recommended that you look for listings in the Yellow Pages. A well-established handyman is proud to build his reputation in the community.
Your Local Hardware Store
Head to the nearest home improvement center or hardware store and take a look at the bulletin board posted near the entrance. You are likely to find business cards or flyers for independent contractors looking for work in these places. Furthermore, you may even get recommendations for handymen from the store employees.
Once you have found a number of good options, it is recommended that you check for any open or outstanding complaints with the handymen with the Better Business Bureau. It would also be a good idea to check with your city government office or local housing authority that handles building, permits, and construction to ensure that the handyman you are about to hire is a familiar face down there.
Interview First, Before Anything Else
After creating a list of handymen that you are interested in hiring, the next step is to interview the candidates. The purpose of interviewing is to verify that the handyman you choose is capable of the work required. So, discuss your project with each candidate in detail and ask for the initial bid. You should also ask questions that will help you determine their qualifications. Last but not least, ask for a list of references. Handymen that come prepared with references are generally a safe bet.
Get Your Estimates – and a Plan
Once you have narrowed down the list of handymen, it is time to get the estimates to determine which one best suits your needs. Have the handymen bid on your project individually so that you can compare the rates and find the price that suits your budget. When acquiring estimates and reviewing plans, following are some things you should keep in mind:
Never Select the Lowest Bidder
It’s never a good idea to go with the cheapest service. Go through all the bids and choose a handyman that you think is not skimping on something to lower the pricing.
Never Choose the Handyman That Promises You the World
Similar to avoiding the lowest bidder, it is also recommended that you stay away from the handyman that gives you an offer that sounds too good to be true, e.g. significantly lower project completion time, etc.
Make Sure They Present You with a Detailed Plan
Even if your project is very small, you want to make sure that the handyman you are hiring has a plan to efficiently complete it. The plan should include what tools, equipment, and materials he will use to fix the problem and how much it will all cost.
Make Sure They Have Insurance
Handymen aren’t generally required to be bonded or licensed. But, you should always make sure that they have insurance. At the very least, ask them to supply proof of general liability insurance.
Hire Wisely and Stay Involved in the Project
Once you have selected a handyman to work on your project, have a conversation with him to let him know that you wish to stay in budget and want him to stick to the plan, timeline, and estimate. Also, inform him that you don’t want him to make any changes to the project without asking for your authorization first. Have a written agreement that should include all the details and contingencies in case there is something you and the handyman don’t agree on. Also, don’t pay anything upfront. If you must, only pay a portion after some of the work has been done or pay for special equipment if it’s necessary. Finally, the key to ensure a successful job is to stay involved in the project.
Hopefully, these guidelines will help you find a reliable handyman in Charleston SC. The process of hiring a handyman may seem a bit overwhelming, but with some research and homework, you can find one who can take care of your home repair and maintenance in a professional and timely manner.