Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

SAVVY SENIOR ; How to Find and Hire a Good Handyman or Contractor

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

SAVVY SENIOR ; How to Find and Hire a Good Handyman or Contractor

Article excerpt

Dear Savvy Senior: What's the best way to find a good handyman or tradesman to do some work around the house? I've have had some bad luck lately with unprofessional workers who do shoddy work and charge too much. - Frustrated Senior Dear Frustrated: Hiring a good home repair handyman can be a bit of a crapshoot. How do you find someone who will return your calls, show up on time, do the job right and finish it, all at a fair price? Here are some tips that can help.

Who to call

While it may seem obvious, whom you call on for help will depend on what you need done. If, for example, you have a small home repair or improvement project that doesn't require a lot of technical expertise, a handyman may be all you need. But if you have a job that involves electricity, plumbing, or heating or cooling systems, you're better off going with a licensed tradesman. Bigger jobs like home renovations or remodeling may require a general contractor.

Whatever type of work you need, the best way to find it is through referrals from people you trust. If your friends or family don't have any recommendations turn to professionals in the field like local hardware or home improvement stores, or even real estate agents.

The internet can also help. Websites like HomeAdvisor.com can put you in touch with prescreened, customer-rated service professionals in your area for free. Or try AngiesList.com, a membership service that will connect you with contractors and service companies with various types of expertise for free. They provide ratings and reviews of local professionals who've done work for other members in your area, plus details about the type of work they've done, prices, professionalism and timeliness. They also offer an upgraded silver or gold membership for $25 or $100 per year, which offers discounts, a magazine, complaint resolutions and more. …

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