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How to Find Someone Reliable to Do Your Home Repairs

With so many contractors and service professionals available, it can be a daunting task to find the right person for your home repair jobs — and all too often, you don’t know if they’re any good until it’s too late and the damage has been done. Here are some tips to help you find someone reliable to do your home repairs.

1. Decide whether you need a handyman or a contractor

Professionally speaking, the words “handyman” and “contractor” actually mean two different things. Basically, a handyman can do minor exterior/interior repairs, limited plumbing or electrical jobs, some painting and light maintenance work. You’ll need a contractor, however, for large-scale electrical/plumbing jobs, major repair and construction projects and other types of specialized jobs. Before contacting anyone, decide whether you need a full-service contractor for large-scale projects, or a handyman who specializes in specific, smaller jobs.


2. Know exactly what you want done

Before you start looking for a handyman or contractor, you first need to decide exactly what you want done. Be specific and prioritize what’s important — otherwise, you may find that, intentionally or otherwise, you’ve been talked into doing something that’s costly, unnecessary and contradictory to your original plans.

3. Use licensed professionals

Be sure to hire licensed professionals for your home improvement projects. Also, make sure to hire someone who not only carries the necessary insurance for the job, but also takes care of getting any permits that may be required. If you go through a home warranty service like Select Home Warranty, the company will vet the professionals for you.

4. Shop around and read reviews

Sites such as Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor, as well as online testimonials, can offer a wealth of information and tip you off about any potential red flags with a contractor’s services. Also, check with friends and colleagues who have had similar work done — they may be able to refer you to someone reliable.


5. Get estimate/service specifics in writing

Before you sign a contract, get everything in writing. This includes a final price quote (not a “ball-park” estimate), and a specific list of all services to be performed.

6. Check credentials and guarantees

Before hiring service providers, check their credentials, and don’t hesitate to ask about past projects that they’ve completed. Experienced service professionals will be happy to provide this information. Also, make sure they offer a guarantee or warranty for their work.

Thanks to the Internet, it’s easy to find reputable experts who can tackle just about any home repair project. By reading reviews, checking credentials and asking the right questions, you can be more proactive in finding a reliable professional for all your home repair needs.

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Comments 3 Comments

  • All solid info, i’d just add that you should trust your gut. Just because they are licensed or not doesn’t mean they do good work. If you don’t get a good feel for this person then don’t hire them – you’ll probably regret it in the long run. The same is true for any licensed professional to do work around your house.

  • There is something special about accomplishing a job yourself for sure. I often like to come to articles like this and read up, it really inspires me to attempt my next project. However, i do like to have my Local Handyman Services on speed dial in case i get stuck or mess it all up. That just adds a little peace of mind before starting something you may not one hundred percent comfortable with. All in all very well written and informative article!

  • Appreciate the article! We had a recent experience the really points up number 2 above, knowing exactly what home repairs you want done. There was “mission creep” and we were able to complete the initial repair. She needed the light bulbs replaced (high ceiling). We don’t carry everything, but we made and appointment and kept it. We ordered and received the bulbs she needed, installed them and we got another satisfied customer.

  • […] you agree to what will be prepared, you begin the onerous task of finding contractors to make repairs, scheduling estimates, and getting the work done. Depending on the type of repairs […]

  • Excellent article. I especially agree that getting a good estimate from a reliable home repair or handyman prior to the work. A good business owner will be able to provide good references of recent work. Thanks!

  • […] Find qualified companies and contractors through websites such as Home Advisor, Amazon Home Services, Porch and Angie’s List. You can read about what they offer, general price ranges and reviews from people who have hired the business. You have a lot more on your plate as a homeowner, but it’s all worth it. […]

  • […] can find out whether a home improvement contractor is legit by checking out websites like Home Advisor, Angie’s List, Porch, Handy, and Amazon Home […]

  • Thank you for your tip to know what you want before you start looking for a handyman or repairman. My brother found an old clock during a storage auction and he wants to get it fixed so he can find out the value. Now that he knows what he wants, he can set out to find a clock repair shop.

  • […] these and other issues. Make sure you’re protecting your investment by hiring only reputable home repair service […]

  • Get specifics on the scope of work they will be performing, it’s important to set proper expectations so that all parties know what’s expected of them. It just makes things so much easier for everyone once both parties know what is expected of them.

  • I really like your suggestion to read the reviews before you hire someone for plumbing repairs. We’re going to have to have plumbing repairs done in our bathroom, and I want to make sure that we can get things done right. I’ll have to check out a few things about some plumbers before I get someone into my house to do some repairs!

  • It’s interesting that you pointed out that you’ll need a contractor for large-scale electrical work. My husband and I are going to be renovating our kitchen, and we live in an older home, so we want to have all of the electrical work replaced to accommodate new, modern appliances. I’m sure it will be a pretty big job since we’ll be replacing all of it, so maybe it would be best to find an electrical contractor instead of a handyman.

  • Knowing exactly what you want will be better for you and the handyman. If not, communication will be hard and you may not have everything done how you want. This will cause tension and confusion which is never fun to add to any situation! So, I would say you should list everything you want done and that way you can show it to the contractor!

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