How can you find a contractor or handyman you can trust? Often this is more challenging than it seems, as there are seemingly untold thousands of “contractors” all around you, just waiting for you to hand them your deposit check. Many will take it and begin the work. Some will take it and you may never see them again. And still others who, although they may have started the work, have walked off the job because they realized they under-bid the quality landscaping project and found it cheaper to abandon you rather than complete the project of your visions and dreams.
Firstly, Although there is no fool-proof, iron-clad, one size fits all system to guarantee you a completed quality landscaping project with quality craftsmanship, a good place to begin is the BBB. The Better Business Bureau will list many contractors and handyman services in your area.
They also maintain a history of each company’s complaints reported to the BBB by customers. Based upon the number of complaints, how they were or were not resolved, and on the length of time the company has been in business, the BBB will assign an alphabetical rating (A+ is best/F is the worst), just like what our teachers used for us in school. So your first step is to visit the BBB website.
Secondly, Narrow your search down to 2 or 3 possible contractor/handyman possibilities to work on your bath room, kitchen, basement or landscaping, and set up an appointment for them to meet with you. When meeting with them, take note of how they present themselves. They don’t have to be wearing a uniform, but should appear and act professional, with your best interest in mind.
Choosing a Reliable Handyman
Along this line, does he seem to listen to you and your ideas? Does he offer input that is harmonious with your visions and dreams? Or does he seem to want to override what you want with what he is used to and comfortable with? All professionals have some way to show you pictures of the quality craftsmanship of their work. It may be a photo album, a brochure or pamphlet, or a website. Ask to see it if he doesn’t volunteer it first.
Thirdly, In the search for someone who can be trusted, almost like “family” as he will most likely be working in your home much of the time when you are gone. Ask for testimonials and/or references. Testimonials are good reading and give you a sense of what others think about the person or persons you are considering hiring. But testimonials are very limited in their scope of usefulness.
References allow you to get an even better understanding of who you will be dealing with. This assumes, of course, that after you ask for and receive said references that you actually follow up and call them! Sounds simple, I know. But many of us drop the ball here and assume that since he has given us references, that no more research is needed. Wrong! Call them. Ask them how well they can be trusted. Ask about the quality of quality landscaping. Ask if he provided ideas which were not only viable, but dovetailed nicely with that homeowner’s visions and dreams.
Finally, Remember the best way to protect oneself is to exercise due diligence. Do your preliminary homework at the website. Then get personal and meet with the few individuals who managed to garner your interest. Make mental notes of how they presented themselves, how timely they were, if they showed real listening skills, and if they seemed to possess true creativity.
Lastly, before picking the one who will be responsible for implementing your vision, ask for and follow up with the references he provides.