How to Hire a Trustworthy Handy Man
According to the American Assocation of Retired People, contractors and handy men are notorious for preying on customers, especially the older one. This is one of the largest scams that occurs year round. A person needs some home repairs, and a person is called to do the job. He comes in, gives an estimate, and when hired does not do the work.
Here are some ways to avoid this scenario. No matter what the source: newspaper, trade paper, ad in grocery store or a friend, the person needs to be checked out. There are ways to find out the kind of work that the person does. One way is to contact the Better Business Bureau in your area. This organization keeps track of business in the local communities. They keep records when a company is not performing, as advertised. They allow people to give reviews on different contractors, etc.
If your community does not have a chapter of the Better Business Bureau, try the local Chamber of Commerce. They keep track of companies who are scam artists, etc. The Secretary of State in your State has a list of people who have scammed local residents, also.
Word of mouth is another way to check out a contractor. If you know of someone who has used him, you might get information on his job performance, etc. Always ask someone who is widowed, single, or does not have a qualified person to help decide. Decks that are not sturdy enough to be walked on cannot be anticipated, but a person who does not have a man to watch the construction, can honestly tell you how the work was done. It is not prejudicial to say that a woman often is taken on scams. They are often prey to con men. The elderly and widowed are another prime group for scam artists. It is always good to have a male relative look over the contract and bid, before you sign on the dotted line. This is true for auto repair, also. I heard a knock in my engine and my husband drove me to the dealer. He looked at my husband and asked, “did you hear it, too?”
Always meet with the handy man or contractor in person, before you hire them. Be sure and get a written estimate of work to be done. It should be written and signed by the handyman or contractor. This list should include all of the work to be performed and the set price for same. Before you sign any contract, make sure that you ask for references. Check references before you “sign on the dotted line.”
Another safe way to hire a handyman is to purchase the item from a store that offers installation. The cost might be a little higher for the work, however, the store stands behind the installation. That means they are responsible for the proper installation in a timely manner.
There are several lists that offer information on handymen and contractors. These offer certified data on the contractors, etc. They also provide a complaint resolution team to help you with your complaints.
Never pay for a job until it is complete. Some small contractors request a certain percentage down, and the remainder upon job completion. If you trust the contractor completely, this might be acceptable. However, if you never worked with the contractor before, have no references, and cannot locate the name on the Better Business list or local Chamber of Commerce, definitely do not make this mistake of paying up front.
Beware of black top sales people, who tell you that they have one load of asphalt that was cancelled last minute. They ask you to hire them, however, they pave half of the driveway, take your money, and never return.
Another scam is door to door magazine sales. They say that they are selling for a particular organization, but are not affiliated with them. They take your money for the magazines, but have no intention of turning the money into any organization.
Check the handy man out completely, in order to get the job done in a timely manner and to your complete satisfaction.