If you occasionally need help with odds jobs around the house, you might consider hiring a handyman or woman. Many property maintenance generalists are sole traders and typically they’re not covered by a trade association. So how can you find a reliable handyperson?

Find out more about what jobs a handyman covers, along with some typical costs for common projects. Read on for more about how to hire a handyman.

Recommendations and endorsements

Recommendations from friends and family are a good first port of call when you’re looking for any type of trader. If you do get a recommendation, it’s still worth asking your prospective handyman about what experience they have in the particular field you need. If you want someone to fix your guttering, then it’s no good finding someone who specialises in decoration and putting up shelves.

All our endorsed Which? Trusted traders have successfully made it through our assessment process. We check every business, with a trading standards professional meeting the trader at their business premises, to ensure they operate to the highest standards. If you need a handyman you can find a Which? Trusted trader in your local area.

Check reviews and references

You should always check a trader’s references. It’s a good idea to ask for phone numbers of at least three recent clients to make sure the trader’s work was of a professional standard. Talk to previous employers by phone or in person, rather than solely trusting written references.

Many people want to see reviews of a trader’s previous work. At Which? Trusted Traders all our endorsed traders have their own business profile page, where you can read reviews from previous customers. We encourage all customers to leave a review to help others who are looking for traders in the future. We moderate all reviews on the site to ensure they come from genuine customers.

Many handymen and women do an excellent job and prove to be highly trustworthy. Nevertheless, take precautions to protect yourself if you are let down. Make sure you have a home number for your handyman and an address too, so your trader can’t just disappear if things go wrong. Find out how many clients they have already, and whether they will be able to fit you in easily or if you will be waiting weeks for their services.

If you’re employing a handyman to do work as part of a larger project, you will need to schedule in their time in order to suit the other tradespeople you are employing, as these smaller tasks can be built in around the more major electrical, plumbing, flooring and tiling jobs.

How your handyman will charge

Quotes for work from handymen will most likely be based on an hourly rate, though you may prefer to negotiate a set price for a specific job.

Make sure you establish whether your handyman will charge per job or per hour before any work gets underway. It’s not unreasonable to ask for an estimate of how long the job will take – particularly if they’re charging an hourly rate.

Materials will almost always cost extra, so you may prefer to source these yourself in order to be confident you’re getting the best possible price for them. Check the costs of common jobs in our guide to handyman costs and completion times.

How to pay your handyman

Find out straight away how your trader would like to be paid - some may prefer cash, but others will accept cheques or online payment from your bank. It’s perfectly legal to pay traders in cash – check our tips for paying traders in cash if you are concerned about staying on the right side of the law.

Find a Which? endorsed handyman with Which?Trusted Traders.

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