P&K How To: How to Screen a Repairman or Service
Stuff breaks. Stuff requires fixing. Whether the issue involves plumbing, painting or planting, knowing what questions to consider when choosing the right repairman or service helps a lot in making final decisions on who to hire.
Questions About Costs
Ask for a quote, but be clear on what that covers. Get it listed out completely. Do some research on what issues might come up with the particular job and see if the repairman accounts for those things in his initial estimate. Ask others, who have had similar jobs done for them, about problems that they encountered, then make a list of things that need to be included in the job.
Questions About Licensing and Bonding
Depending on the job, skilled labor often requires building permits and other licensing. Bonding protects the homeowner from faulty or unfinished work. So, if the job is something more involved than laying pine straw, ask if the workman is licensed and bonded and ask for proof of such. It’s worth it.
Check with the Better Business Bureau, online referral companies, and a general web search on individuals and companies to see if any red flags turn up. The job needs to get done right, and general safety and security is important too. If complaints turn up, take them seriously.
Ask for Referrals
Reputable repairmen or service companies can always provide names and numbers of satisfied customers. If they can’t, steer clear, unless they’re brand new to the business. In that case, ask for references from prior employers or others who can vouch for experience levels. The little bit of extra legwork in the screening process is worth the peace of mind.
Now go get stuff done. You got this.