Choosing a handyman in the current environment can be tough.  I’ve had numerous people tell me horror stories about how they “gave a deposit” ahead of time.  Then, they never heard from the so-called “handyman.”  Honestly, I don’t think they were really a handyman.  They were probably a rip-off artist.  Rule #1:  don’t give deposits to people you don’t know.  Check them out first.

I get lots of calls from folks who say they called because they like my reviews.  Here’s a clue that is very public:  reviews.  If a handyman doesn’t have any, that should tell you something.  If they have ripped people off, you would think it would be in the reviews.  But, you have to go looking for the reviews.  Then: read them.  Reviews are kind of the modern day version of the Town Square.

When reading the reviews, there are three things that you want to be watching for.  The first is: Do they “return calls?”  If a handyman does not return calls, emails or text messages, then you have to wonder about their priorities.  I do not answer the phone during the day, because I am self- employed, doing work for others and I received tons of calls all day.  However, I always return calls some way somehow at the end of the work day.  If you are experiencing poor communication with your handyman before you have even hired them, you have to wonder about the work they perform.  So first, look for someone who actually returns calls on a timely basis.

Second thing:  Do they show up on time?  When they make a promise to visit or show up, whether they do or not is an indication of a lot of things.  Are they organized? Do they keep their commitments?

Just showing up on time tells you whether YOU are important to them.  If not, they are in their own little world that discounts the value of their customers.  I will let you in on a little secret:  there are a lot of people that call themselves “handyman” that do not know what they are doing.  The reviews that you read about them will indicate this reliability factor.

Third:  Do they deliver what they promise?  The reviews will show and describe whether their work was acceptable or not.  A bad review is read by a lot of people.  And generally, if people have a bad experience, they can’t wait to tell you.  Unfortunately the customers who were happy with the work don’t always write a review.  I always tell my customers:  ‘if you use reviews, you should write them.’

There are other indications of reliable handyman.  Are they licensed?  Do they have insurance?  How long have they been in business?  What kind of work experience do they have? These are the kind of questions you should ask.  Do they look you in the eye when they answer?  Most of the time your gut feeling will tell you something, when you tune in to it.  Short of that, seek out the reviews and read them.  The reviews are an early indication of what you can expect.

LansingHandyman.com services the Lansing area.  There are links on our website to reviews both on Google and on Facebook.