Communicating with Your Home Handyman

Written by Nicole Harms
Updated February 4, 2016
toolbox with wrench protuding from it
Communicate clearly with your handyman about the work you want done, and the job should go according to plan. (Photo by Summer Galyan)

Hiring a handyman? The following tips will help ensure you and your handyman are on the same page.

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Hiring a handyman is a big commitment. You're letting someone you don't know into your home to do work you can't do on your own. After you find the right handyman who's capable of completing your projects at a fair price, it's important to keep the lines of communication open to ensure you're satisfied with the entire process, from start to finish.

1. Make your expectations known

Handyman services aren't going to know exactly what you want them to do if you don't clearly communicate your needs. Simply pointing the handyman in the direction of the problem and saying, Fix it," isn't sufficient.

When hiring a handyman, be sure to clearly discuss your goals in writing so there is no question about your expectations.

2. Be clear about your budget

Almost all handymen charge by the hour. If you have a strict budget that you need to stick to, let them know before any works begins. Ideally, you should ask for an estimate before you make a hiring decision.

3. Get contracts in writing

If you're entering into a contractual agreement regarding a job, which is helpful when you have a big job for your repair professional to perform, get the agreement in writing. This will eliminate any miscommunication between you and the contractor and will ensure that everyone's expectations are met.

4. Ask questions

The key to properly communicating with your handyman often depends on simply asking questions. If you're wondering why the handyman did something a certain way, ask. If you want an update on progress and he doesn't offer it, ask.

Sometimes, homeowners feel intimidated when asking contractors questions about what is happening on the job. Don't feel this way. Your handyman wants you to be happy with the home repair services, and understands that you may not always understand what is happening.

5. Don't hover

While it's important to communicate clearly and ask questions when working with a handyman, it's equally important not to hover. Let the professional do his or her job. Ask questions, state your goals and then get out of the way and let the handyman work. This way, you'll both be satisfied with the arrangement.

Have you hired a handyman? Share your experience in the comments section!

Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article originally published on Oct. 31, 2012.

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