Handyman Education 101

What You Should Know before Hiring a Handyman or Contractor

General Contractors usually handle the big jobs, while a handyman typically handles the smaller jobs.

Taking the time to find a trusted professional will save you money, time, and stress. Though it seems like a no-brainer to take the lowest estimate, a word of mouth estimate or a decision that’s made too quickly could cost you more with hidden fees, delays, shoddy workmanship, frustration, and even damage to your home. Below are some tips that we have for homeowners, property managers, or realtors who are looking to hire a handyman.

Ask for a Written Estimate

When choosing a handyman, it is a good idea to ask for a written estimate. Explain what you need, and be as detailed as you can when describing what you would like to have done. You have control over the work that you want completed, so it is up to you to be thorough about your expectations. The clearer you are, the less disappointment you will have.

Example of clear and concise instructions:


Paint the walls and the trim in the main entrance hall with Brand X Satin Enamel Interior Paint and Primer in one. Color: Pillar White. Do not paint the door.


Paint the hall with white paint.

Very Poor

Paint the hall.

Hire a Trusted Local Company that has a Brick and Mortar Office with a Staff that Can Help – Ask the Following Questions:

  • Do they have a physical office that you are able to visit or call?
  • Are they located near enough to be able to get you in a timely manner?
  • Do they have a sufficient amount of techs on staff?
  • Are they licensed and insured? What license do they have?
  • What are their credentials?

Don’t Pay Up Front

You should, however, agree on a price up front. There may be some price variance due to unforeseen events or product costs, however, if a handyman runs into any issues it is his job to stop and let you know immediately. You then have the opportunity to stop the project, request a new quote or get another handyman.

Example scenario of an unforeseen event:

You request and receive a quote on replacing a vinyl floor in the kitchen. The handyman pulls up the old vinyl and realizes that a slow leak in your dishwasher hose has rotted the subflooring and it needs to be replaced. At that point, the handyman should let you know about the situation before continuing the project, and you will be able to ask for a new estimate that includes the replacement of the subflooring.