When to call the handy­man

Lesotho Times - - Property -

THERE are plenty of home­own­ers and renters who need jobs done in and around the home. Even the savvi­est Diyers some­times re­quire as­sis­tance with home main­te­nance, re­pair or im­prove­ment projects, es­pe­cially if their time is lim­ited and they don’t want to go to the ex­pense of in­vest­ing in tools they don’t al­ready own.

If you don’t stay on top of your home re­pairs, you’ll find that th­ese soon start to pile up, and de­lay­ing cer­tain re­pairs could re­sult in more dam­age and in­creased costs.

When it comes to home main­te­nance, many home­own­ers are not sure if they should hire a handy­man or con­trac­tor.

Both of­fer a va­ri­ety of ser­vices and the ma­jor fac­tor de­ter­min­ing which one to call de­pends on the type of job that needs to be done.

A rep­utable handy­man of­fers a wide va­ri­ety of ser­vices that can in­clude ev­ery­thing from chang­ing a tap washer to re­plac­ing a light fit­ting.

Hir­ing a handy­man who is ca­pa­ble of han­dling a va­ri­ety of small jobs is just the thing for those who don’t have a DIY bone in their body, or the time to take on home re­pairs and main­te­nance.

If you don’t have a fam­ily mem­ber or close friend to call on for help, sched­ule a call out for a lo­cal handy­man to sort out small fix ups. Be­fore you hire a handy­man, how­ever, it is rec­om­mended that you check up on pre­vi­ous jobs done and whether or not clients were sat­is­fied with the ser­vices pro­vided. Check­ing ref­er­ences is also a good way for you to feel safe about let­ting some­one into your home.

Since most handy­men have a stan­dard call out fee and charge by the hour, try to sched­ule more than one project that can be done in a day, or com­pile a ‘to do’ list of main­te­nance tasks and re­pairs.

With the ex­cep­tion of in-the-wall elec­tri­cal and plumb­ing in­stal­la­tions, where a Com­pli­ance Cer­tifi­cate is re­quired, handy­men are great for gen­eral re­pairs and odd jobs.

It is important to avoid hir­ing a handy­man with­out first check­ing ref­er­ences. Also, be wary of any handy­men that ask for pay­ment up front. For larger jobs, ask for a writ­ten agree­ment that de­tails the job, the cost and the pay­ment sched­ule, and make sure to get a writ­ten guar­an­tee.

When to hire a gen­eral con­trac­tor Gen­eral con­trac­tors pro­vide ser­vices for a va­ri­ety of larger, spe­cific tasks. From a home­owner’s point of view, it makes more sense to em­ploy a con­trac­tor for a spe­cific job like em­ploy­ing a wa­ter­proof­ing spe­cial­ist for roof leaks, a build­ing con­trac­tor for any ma­sonry projects or an elec­tri­cian or plumber for home works.

When hir­ing a con­trac­tor, al­ways do your home­work, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing that you may be spend­ing a lot of money on a project.

It is in your in­ter­ests to ob­tain at least three quo­ta­tions and to check ref­er­ences for pre­vi­ous work done. Ad­di­tion­ally, and as with a handy­man, be wary of any con­trac­tors that ask for pay­ment up front.

While a de­posit is ac­cept­able (af­ter check­ing ref­er­ences), pay­ments should only be given at spe­cific stages of a larger project, and by prior agree­ment.

Be­fore hir­ing a con­trac­tor ask for full dis­clo­sure for any guar­an­tees for the work done. You want to make sure you are cov­ered for any dam­ages or re­pairs that may oc­cur once the con­trac­tor leaves the job site.

— Home-dzine.

Even the savvi­est Diyers some­times re­quire as­sis­tance with home main­te­nance.

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