When a handyman is brought into a home project to help with work that a homeowner is unable to complete, such as skilled work or projects they do not have time to work on, it is important to write a contract. The contract avoids misunderstandings and ensures that the work is completed and sets a price on the project beforehand to prevent extra charges added to the cost unexpectedly. Anyone hiring a handyman for a job needs a contract before getting started.
- Skill level:
Bring the handyman into the home to look at the project. Never allow the handyman to give a price without seeing the extent of the project and giving a rate based on the work necessary. This prevents unexpected expenses from added costs from an over-the-phone conversation.
Agree on a price. The handyman can either give a set price or an hourly wage, depending on the project and the handyman's preferences. Write down the agreement for the price.
Set standards. While it is nice to assume that the handyman will clean up the mess made during the work, there are no guarantees unless it is in writing in the contract. If the contract does not include clean up or waste removal, the handyman might not clean up the mess. Always have every detail of the work, including clean up and waste removal, added to the contract.
Add extras to the contract as they arise. Sometimes a project will end up with more work than the estimate for various reasons. If something comes up, such as unexpected repairs, add the repair and the cost of the repair to the contract before the work is completed.
Set up a payment plan. Handymen might want a payment in advance for supplies, which is appropriate; but if the handyman wants the full amount in advance, the handyman might run off with the money without completing the work. Instead, set up a payment plan based on various stages of the completion of the project. For example, if the handyman is fixing a bathroom plumbing issue, pay for the supplies up front, pay for the tub when the plumbing in the tub is complete, pay for the sink when the sink is complete and pay for the toilet when the toilet is complete. Write the payment plan in the contract so the handyman knows when to expect payment.
Ask a lawyer to read the contract before starting the project or signing the contract. This will prevent loopholes, such as hauling away trash but not cleaning up the mess. Handymen might write a complicated and hard-to-follow contract. A lawyer can explain anything that is hard to understand.
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