You know the problems. The new dishwasher has been sitting in your living room for two days. Your garage door is stuck. And you can no longer ignore the porch paint peeling away in strips and chips.
You need a handyman.
...with enough diligence, of course.
Research, research, research
People don’t just use Yelp and other review sites to complain about restaurants. Customers just like you contract services all the time, and when they love (or hate) the service they receive, they’re often willing to share their experiences with other consumers. This means that sites such as Yelp, Trustpilot, and Tipped can offer a range of views on the service you’re considering contracting.
If there’s a professional repair service able to be tagged online, chances are that service has been reviewed. Of course not every review should be trusted 100%, but a general idea of that service is often immediately obvious. Consulting review sites is at least a good way to know past experiences of the service you’re considering.
What to look for…
If the contractor you’re considering has a website or Facebook page, examine their forum or FAQ section. Their responses to customers on these sites will tell you a good deal about how they handle customer conflicts, respond to client concerns, and present their services as professionals.
Fixed and displayed prices, clear lists of services, customer reviews, and featured feedback are all good signs of a professional company on which you can rely.
That being said, there are often small-time local handymen that are well-qualified, experienced, and professional that don’t have the time to craft a user-friendly website or create a strong web presence. And they can be well-worth a phone call and appointment - with or without all the web reviews.
What’s the checklist for a contractor or repair service?
- Are they punctual and professional in their conduct during your first meeting?
- Are they able to listen to you describe your problem and communicate their responses effectively?
- Can they provide references, proof of experience, and up-to-date industry certifications?
- Are they ready and willing to have a detailed conversation and answer your questions?
- Are they upfront about payments, cost and billing when you bring it up?
- Are they happy to provide you with receipts for all services and repairs?
- Do they bring the majority of their own tools and equipment?
The good ol’-fashioned neighborly recommendation
With so many review sites, company websites, and social media marketing, asking for recommendations from your neighbors, landlord, or the grumpy old man that’s lived on the street the past 20 years can seem a little out-of-vogue...
However, first-hand experience is still one of the best ways to learn about a service.
Often a friend or neighbor’s favorite plumber or electrician will know the different repair services available - and the quality of each - in your area. If you can get a recommendation from someone who’s been through your situation before, this can be the most reliable way to manage things.
So go forth! And find a handyman!
Finding a trusted repairman or repairwoman is a challenging, often time-consuming task. Thankfully, with internet research and a little chatting-over-fences, you’re much more likely to have an early success locating someone you’re happy to have work on your home for years to come.
A note to remember…