At some point, every home needs a Handyman. A Professional Handyman can help when you do not own the right tools for the job, when you lack the knowledge and experience to make the repair or when you are too busy and need the work done now. Here are a few tips to help you find a qualified and reputable Professional Handyman.
1. Check License.
Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
There you can check:
- The Class of License held (Class A, Class B or Class C)
- Expiration Date of License
- Business Classification (Home Improvements, Commercial Improvements, etc.)
- Type of Business (Example: Limited Liability Corporation, Sole Proprietor, etc.)
- Complaint History – Both Open and Closed
First, make sure the Professional Handyman you are planning to hire holds a valid and current License by the State. In Virginia, check the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation Website. Also note what Class of License is held. Class A is the highest level of licensing and financial certification awarded to a Contractor. As a result, it makes sense to look for a Class A Licensed Company. Next, make sure the company holds the business classifications for the type of job you need done. Not all companies hold both home improvement and commercial improvement endorsements. Lastly, look at the complaint history for the company. This clearly will help you decide if you should even consider giving a company a call.
Virginia Home Repair is a Class A Licensed Limited Liability Corporation (VA Home Repair LLC) with no past or current complaints.
2. Is Your Handyman EPA Lead Certified?
Effective April 22, 2010, the EPA requires contractors who disturb painted surfaces to be trained and certified to follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978. Federal law also requires individuals receive certain information before renovating any housing, child care facility or school built before 1978. As a result, all remodeling and repairs done where lead-based paint may be present must now be done by a certified lead contractor, certified renovator or certified handyman
Steps To Reduce Your Lead Exposure
- Have the lead painted item replaced
- Cover the lead-based paint with approved sealant or cover it with gypsum wallboard
- Have the lead-based paint removed
- Reduce lead dust exposure by periodically wet mopping and wiping surfaces and floors with a high phosphorous (at least 5%) cleaning solution
Virginia Home Repair is an EPA Certified Renovation Firm with Certified Renovators on staff, including our President and Owner, Bryan Teabout. Give us a call. We will be happy to meet with you and discuss your home improvement project or lead paint concerns. Together we will discuss lead testing your home and recommend the best and most cost effective EPA compliant ways to improve your home should lead paint be found. You will be glad you chose Virginia Home Repair.
Make sure the company you plan to hire holds both Commercial General Liability and Worker’s Compensation Insurance. Ask to see a copy of both of these insurance certificates and verify the insurance is current. Commercial General Liability insurance covers the homeowner for bodily injury, property damage or personal injury in the event of damage to or loss of, a home or structure due to a contractor’s negligence. Worker’s Compensation Insurance protects homeowners or business owners from liability for injuries incurred while workers are at their home or business. Should you allow a worker without Worker’s Compensation Insurance into your home or business and they are injured, you may be liable for that worker’s lost wages due to injury. As a result, always verify the insurance held by any company that comes into your home or business.
Virginia Home Repair holds both Commercial General Liability at $1,000,000 and Worker’s Compensation Insurance.
4. Who Performs The Work. The Importance of Referrals.
Make sure the company you hire does the work directly themselves with their employees and is not simply a referral or mass subcontracting service. You need to know whether you are speaking to a Handyman/Contractor Company or a Handyman/Contractor Connection Service. Once you have found a Handyman Company with Handymen as direct employees, ask about the work experience of the actual individual who will be performing the work. Exactly WHO repairs your home matters. Also note, just because a local handyman franchise is part of a national handyman franchise company that does not necessarily mean the local handyman franchisee is reputable. This past year, one of the largest handyman franchise owners in Virginia Beach was indicted and is facing federal methamphetamine charges after Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents served a search warrant at Handyman Plus. As reported by the Associated Press, a grand jury indicted Loren Dude Linker, 49, of Virginia Beach, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, maintaining drug-involved premises, using communication facilities, and using corporate assets to facilitate his distribution operations.
One of the best ways to determine the reputation of a company is to ask for references. Instead, after the company provides you with a couple contacts, ask specifically for names of clients in your neighborhood and the work they completed. It is much easier to trust the referral of someone you know or a close neighbor than just some name and number supplied by a company.
Virginia Home Repair is happy to provide referrals from customers who live either in or close to your neighborhood.
5. Work Guarantee or Work Warranty.
Make sure the company offers a written work guarantee or warranty. Most Professional Handyman Service Companies warranty their work for one year. If the company does not warranty their work, pick a different company.
Virginia Home Repair provides a one year guarantee on all workmanship.
6. Professional Written Estimate with Business Card.
Insist the Handyman provide you a detailed written estimate that includes a defining pay schedule. Never rely on verbal agreements. Look at the quality and professionalism of the estimate and business card.
Virginia Home Repair provides FREE professonial detailed estimates with business cards.
A reputable Handyman should be able to front the cost of supplies without a large sum of money or no money at all from you. Never pay 100% of the bill until 100% of the work is complete. If the Handyman asks for cash up front or only accepts cash, pick a different company.
Virginia Home Repair accepts VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Checks and Cash.
At the time of the estimate, take a look at the Handyman’s vehicle. Is it a small truck or van in poor condition? If yes, most likely the Handyman has limited or substandard tools which can affect the quality of the work. As a result, cheap tools and equipment usually equal cheap results. Look for a Handyman who arrives with a work truck the size of moving truck. On board their work truck should be a wide range of tools, enough to build a house. High quality vehicles and tools usually are a good indication of quality service. These tools ensure the job gets done right the first time.
Virginia Home Repair operates large commercial trucks that have nearly every tool onboard needed to build or repair a home.
9. Affiliations within Industry.
Look for a company who has affiliations within the building and repair industry, as well as, is involved in the community.
Virginia Home Repair is a proud member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. NARI is the only trade association dedicated solely to the remodeling industry. NARI’s mission is to connect homeowners with highly qualified professional remodelers.
Virginia Home Repair is also a member of The Association of Certified Handyman Professionals (ACHP), a non-for-profit organization formed to connect homeowners with certified handyman professionals who haave successfully passed the ACHP Handyman knowledge and competency test in their area.
Virginia Home Repair is actively involved with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and helps the handicap remodel their homes for better access.