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Friday, November 19, 2010

Finding the Right Handyman for the Job

3 Keys, or, "Highest Common Denominator"

What's the key to getting good value for your "handyman dollar?"

Actually, there are three:

One. Having the names of a couple reputable handymen, with a range of skills and hourly rates;

Two. Knowing how expensive/demanding your individual repairs are; and

Three. Matching your repair list to the handyman.

That means identifying the most challenging repair on the list, then picking the most affordable handyman qualified to do that.

"Highest Common Denominator"

Personally, I know handymen who charge $25- $35 an hour, and are more than capable of tackling light carpentry, plumbing, or electrical issues.

I also know handymen who charge $60 (or more!) per hour, but can justify that by being able to do (practically) anything that a licensed plumber, carpenter, or electrician can do.

Factor in convenience and minimum trip charges, and there are plenty of occasions when the $60/hour handyman is a bargain.

But not for touch-up painting, unclogging a sink, or repairing kiddie gates.

Then, I go with the lower end of the range.

P.S.: One of the best qualities in a handyman is when they will honestly tell you if they don't have the skills to do something. A great handyman will also tell you when something can be repaired rather than replaced, and if so, the cheap vs. expensive option.

"Picking a Handyman -- Advanced": organizing your repair list by difficulty factor.

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