Questions to ask a handyman

When there are jobs to do around the house that involve skills you don’t possess, you will likely be looking to hire someone who can help. Whether it’s something simple like hanging a mirror, or more complex tasks like tiling a bathroom you’ll be looking for someone with the right skill set to help out. A handyman may well poses the skills that you lack, but finding the right one can be a little tricky.

Not all handymen will have the range of skills that suit your requirements, so what’s the bet way to find someone who can help? Have a read through the following questions to help you find the best handyman or handywoman for the job.

Questions to ask a handyman

Question 1: Are they the right fit for the job?

Whether you have found a handyman in the local papers or online you need to ascertain whether they can complete the tasks you require. You might call them or message them but this should be your first question.

I need someone to tile my bathroom. Is this something you can help with please?

Whilst this is a good starting point you should also think about what additional information you might need to add. When messaging a handyman, try and include important information such as the size of the bathroom, whether existing tiles need to be removed first, the size of the tiles you’d like fitted and whether you want a specific pattern or any trim. For example:

I need someone to tile my bathroom which is about 2m square. The old tiles will need removing first. The tiles to be installed are 100x200mm in size and I’d like a herringbone style pattern. Is this something you are able to help with please?

Providing this level of detail will provide the handyman with sufficient information to be able to provide a rough estimate for the job. It will also avoid too much time wasting with back and forwards emails and questions.

Question 2: How much will it cost?

Now you have found someone that is able to complete the work you will want to know how much it will cost. The handyman might be able to provide a rough estimate for the work but in most cases they will want to see the bathroom to get a better idea. If they are coming over you will be able to ask them how they charge for the job.

Some may charge a flat fee for the job, others might charge by the day (or half day) and others might charge by the hour.

If they charge a flat fee for the job this would be good in the sense that you know how much you are going to pay up front. The down sides to this could be:

1. They might overprice the job to make sure they don’t sell themselves short.

2. They might run out of time and rush the job. Jobs often take longer than expected and your handyman won’t want to lose out and might end up rushing it.

Some might charge a day rate or half day rate which can be fair but you might end up paying a little extra. For example, a job might take 2 days and 1 hour but you will be charged for 2 and a half days.

This can sometimes work in your favour if you are paying them for 3 full days and they finish early there should be no reason why you can’t ask them do for in a couple of extra small jobs. It’s only fair.

If they charge by the hour you should be able to ask for a worst case scenario and maximum charge. This is sometimes the best way as you will be paying them only for the work they are doing and they won’t feel rushed to complete the job within a given time frame.

You will however need to trust them and have a basic understanding of how long the job should take. You can work this out by getting estimates from 2 or 3 people.

Those who charge an hourly rate will most likely have a minimum call out fee. I used to charge by the hour and would have a minimum call out fee of £70.

If the handyman is charging an hourly rate or day rate you should ask how much this is. handymen can charge between £15 and £40 per hour based on your location. Day rates may be charged between £140 and £300.

Question 3: Will they provide the materials?

Materials. Some of you may wish to buy your own materials to save money but be aware that a handyman might be able to source them cheaper. Yes they will likely add a small commission but it still might work out cheaper.

Questions to ask a handyman

To find out, do a little research beforehand. Cost the job materials up yourself and ask the handyman for a breakdown estimate for the job. Some might be reluctant to provide this information as it can be a timely exercise. Only if you have agreed to give them the job will they be happy to give you a full breakdown.

Some handymen will be happy for you to provide the materials but may specify which materials you should buy. Some may only prefer to supply their own materials as this can sometimes make them a little extra profit. Just make sure this is clear before you agree to go ahead with anything.

Question 4: When can they start?

When can you start? Good handymen can often be in popular demand and booked up for weeks in advance. Whilst this is a good sign you will need to be prepared for a bit of a wait. If you have an urgent job then you might need to settle with what you can find at short notice.

Question 5: Do they have examples of previous work?

Examples of work. It’s always a good idea to ask for examples of a handyman’s work. Most good handymen will be proud of their work and will document jobs as they go along. It might just be pictures on their phones but some will also have a website or Google business page that shows their work.

If a handyman can’t provide any examples it might be a sign that they don’t want anyone to see it and would ring alarm bells to steer clear.

Question 6: What are their working hours and days?

What are their normal working hours? You might be a busy person either at home or working away from home. It’s important to understand if/when a handyman will need access to your property, whether you will be there working or away from home and they need a key. If you’re away from home and the handyman needs a key you will want to trust them. Make sure you have their contact details and a home address if you’re a little unsure.

Final thoughts

With the majority of these questions answered you’ll be much more likely to find a trustworthy handyman that’s right for the job. Don’t rush into hiring someone as you might end up with a sloppy job that’s over priced. Make sure you find the right person for the job and has relevant experience. A handyman might not always be right for you and you may well need a trained tradesperson for jobs such as electrical work, plumping and structural works. Try and understand the scope of you requirements before you start looking and if you’re unsure, ask a handyman first.

I hope this helps post helps you on your way to finding a suitable and reliable handyman.

Thanks for reading.