How to hire reliable handymen/contractors?

6 Replies

I have working for me currently a very knowledgeable handyman. He is actually teaching me as he goes. I knew a little going in to my first rehab, and learning more all the time.

He works for a great price, but problem is that these people call in sick, etc. So far he's been basically reliable, except sometimes he won't show up until almost 11 am.

He works for infinitely cheaper than a contractor. If I were to hire a contractor, the project would be far less profitable.

We always sign contracts. Could I put something in the contract that entices him to work faster? Except I don't want to pay him MORE just to do his job correctly in the first place.

He is knowledgeable , teaches you and works for a good price . 

And you want him to work faster to save you money .  So he doesnt show up before 11 am . He works for himself , thats one of the perks .   Dont complain , there are always more expensive contractors out there 

GOOD    ,   FAST   ,  CHEAP  ,   Pick one  because you will never get all three 

@Patrick Philip You kidding? Independent contractors don’t answer time to you. Try making a complain to your contractors board about unlicensed activity, or because he did not finish the job on time, or on budget. Your contract with them has no bearing in court unless they are licensed to begin with. you know they don’t own a company, have a license, have any insurance/bonds, why do you expect reliability and adherence to the contract?

You need another group of people helping doing other tasks.

The only way I see you depend on 1 person and his team is offer bonus.  If they complete the project on time you offer him $5K.  If he works alone get ill good luck to you.

In CA for example you need to hire a licensed contractor for all rehab project over $600. Even handyman needs to have a business license.

If it's interior work and no reason for any weather delays, why not just ask to work out a deadline with him in the next contract, project to be completed by x date?  Let him know you're on a deadline (even if a self-imposed one), so you need him to be on one as well.  But if he's basically reliable and completing the jobs when you need them to be done, then I wouldn't be upset at him wanting to start late, especially if it's occasional.  Many of these guys like to set their own hours and it's a big reason they are working on their own rather than for a contractor.

@Sam Shueh There is no such thing as handyman in CA. Either you are licensed or unlicensed contractor. Anyone can pull a business license and buy insurance, it doesn’t mean that they are legally working as contractor or “handyman”, with that said, you have legally very slim to no recourse when it comes to court.

@Lynn M. I hire them as my employees, I know what and how they think. Most of them have money issues or don’t know how to handle money, most of the time the reason that they are showing up late or making excuses is they are shuffling one project fund to the next, meaning they think they could get away with showing up 4 hrs on project 1 then another 5 hrs on project 2, then collect on both. I’ve had one pitch me he wants 3k so he could ditch a client and work for me on a 3 month project, I said, solve your own problems and come work for me, I don’t want to carry your issues. And first week his phone was blowing up and I could hear him lie straight everyday on the phone.

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