Unless you’re an expert DIYer, the chances are you’ll sometimes need to “get a man (or woman!) in”. You could keep a long list of specialists in the hundred and one types of job that might come up. Or you could keep the number of a good handyman who can turn his hand to any of them, and often do as good a job as the specialists.
A Good Handyman
A good handyman — that’s the catch. The best handymen will turn up promptly, do a thoroughly professional job and charge you a fair rate for it. Unfortunately, as the Guardian highlights, there are others who give handymen a bad name, so it’s not just a matter of going through the phone book.
If, for instance, you’re trying to find reliable handyman services in Putney London, how would you separate the good from the bad? The simplest way, of course, is word of mouth. If possible, though, don’t just take someone’s word for it, but have a look at the work the handyman has done.
If no-one you know has a recommendation, you’ll need to do your own research. House to Home, for instance, gives a list of websites that recommend the best tradespeople in your area, including handymen.
What Do They Do?
The best handymen will have a wide range of skills, but they’ll be honest and realistic enough to tell you if you’re asking for something they don’t feel capable of. Some, though, will be less honest and end of wrecking your home, in spite of insisting they can do the job.
The best solution is to find out what they actually offer to do. Most handymen will have a website, which should give an idea of the skills they offer. Make sure your job is mentioned, or at least something very similar. If the website only talks about decorating and putting up shelves, be very suspicious if they cheerfully offer to rewire your house.
What Does It Cost?
Most of us have very little idea of what a handyman’s jobs are supposed to cost or how long they should take over it. Which? gives a rundown of the proper times and costs of the most common jobs — it’s a few years old, but the prices haven’t changed substantially. Alternatively, you can get several quotes and compare them, not forgetting to also ask about duration.
Not that you’ll have to go through this every time. Once you’ve found your ideal handyman, hang onto him.