Need to hire a handyperson to do some home repairs or maintenance around the house? Concerned about getting ripped off?
Here are some tips for narrowing down the search:
- Get recommendations from friends, family or neighbors. Ask to see the work, what they liked about the service provider, what they didn’t like, ballpark costs and how long the project took.
- Read reviews online. Sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google all rate businesses. However, it is important to give more weight to reviews that are more descriptive as those are more likely to be actual customers. Also beware of overly glowing reviews that might be from employees of the business.
- Don’t be afraid to get multiple quotes from several different companies or individuals.
- Watch out for “red flags.” Say no to cash-only deals, high-pressure sales tactics, high upfront payments, handshake deals without a contract, and on-site inspections.
- Ask for references and check them out. And always be sure to get a written contract with the price, materials and timeline. The more detail, the better.
- Know the law. Work with local businesses that have proper identification, licensing and insurance. Confirm that the vendor will get related permits and make sure it is known who is responsible for what according to local laws.
What can be done if something goes wrong?
- Start by explaining to the vendor what should be fixed and ask them to resolve it in a timely manner.
- Document the work with photographs and record dates and times of conversations and projects.
- File a complaint. The Washington Post suggests filing a complaint with the government agency that licensed the handyperson and also local/state consumer protection offices.
Whether it be moving the lawn, painting the walls, installing new appliances, or conducting a kitchen or bathroom makeover, it is important to make sure that the job is done correctly and fairly.
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