Helpful Tips for Hiring a High-Quality Handyperson

Jenna Jonaitis
Written by Jenna Jonaitis
Updated March 10, 2022
woman conducting business with repairman
Photo: dusanpetkovic1 / Adobe Stock

Booking the best pro for your project is all in asking the right questions

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Whether you need someone to powerwash your patio or swap out a light fixture, make sure your handyperson has the relevant experience to get the job done. Learn more about what you need to know when hiring, as well as interview questions for your handyperson prospects.

How to Find a Handyperson

Word-of-mouth is often the best way to find a skilled handyperson. Ask your family, friends, and neighbors for recommendations, especially if they’ve hired a handyperson recently. You can also search online for a local handyperson and compare reviews. Aim to talk with and get quotes from at least three different contractors so you can compare skill sets, pricing, and quotes

Before Hiring a Handyperson

Preparing a to-do list or project list can help you identify what handyperson skills you are looking for.

1. Plan Your Project for Accurate Quotes

Be as specific as possible about the jobs you’d like the handyperson to tackle. These types of pros can take on everything from tightening a leaky faucet to cleaning your gutters to repairing a door. They can also mount a TV, hang artwork, or replace a light fixture. 

Having all the details ready ensures your pro can give you an accurate quote and has the skills to do the job. A thorough list also helps you maximize your handyperson’s time at your home. Better to tackle your entire vision board than leave a single forgotten project undone.

2. Check Your Handyperson’s Qualifications and References

Many handypeople are skilled in various tasks but may not have a license for specialized trades like electrical or plumbing work. If your project involves a specialty trade, check with your local licensing agency to see if the contractor has the right license. 

Ask potential contractors if you can speak to a few clients who can vouch for their work. Be sure to check out the contractor’s local reviews online.

3. Ask Handyperson-Specific Questions

Ask the following questions to help ensure you have the right contractor for the job: 

  • How long have you been a handyperson? 

  • Do you have any specialized skills or training? 

  • Do you have a general contractor license or a handyperson certification?

  • Will you provide a written estimate and contract? 

  • Do you have any questions about the projects on my list?

  • What’s the most common feedback you hear from your clients?

Hiring Your Handyperson Tips

Before you sign a contract, interview your handyperson and ensure you’ve seen a background check.

1. Interview Handyperson Pros

Talk with at least three contractors to find one you feel comfortable with. After all, you’ll be working closely with them in your home. Get an idea of their communication style, trustworthiness, and experience level. Comparing quotes can also help you determine what you can get done on your budget.

2. Ask for a Background Check

Your contractor should be able to provide you with a background check. This is an important step, so you and your family feel at ease with getting the project started.

3. Get a Contract and Arrange Payments With Your Handyperson

woman making payment arrangements with handyman
Photo: DragonImages / Adobe Stock

Your handyperson should offer you a contract that details the project scope, cost, payment terms, and timeline, as well as any material or supply costs. A signed contract will keep you and your pro on the same page and protect you and give you leverage should something go wrong.  

Keep Records of Your Home Improvement Project

Take notes and snap a few photos to ensure you have documentation if there are any issues. Write down details such as the number of hours the pro worked and whether the quality matches what you agreed to in the contract.  

Look for Red Flags

If you notice any warning signs with your contractor, address them sooner than later. Signs you shouldn't hire a contractor may include: 

  • No reviews or references

  • Offers a quote that’s much higher or lower than other bids

  • Won't sign a contract

  • Asks to be paid in cash

  • Wants a large down payment (such as over 15% of the total cost)

  • Does low-quality work 

  • Doesn’t show up when they say they will

After Your Handyperson Has Finished

Before making the final payment to your handyperson, check out the work from top to bottom. If you have concerns about the quality, discuss them with your handyperson and refer to your contract if needed. Once you feel satisfied with the work, make your final payment. You can also leave an online review to help other homeowners when they’re looking for a handyperson.

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