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A Good Professional Handyman Knows the Limits of Their Expertise:
Even the best professional handyman has his limitations. While we may know a great deal about a lot of aspects of home construction and repair, it is foolish to think we are experts at everything. The fact of the matter is, every professional handyman is different and offers slightly different services.
Be wary of a handyman who says he can do any job, this is often a sign of desperation and not a sign of skill. Someone willing to take on a job that they have no business doing is a liability and does not have your best interest in mind.
A good professional handyman will be happy to refer you to a specialist if you need work done in an area he isn’t an expert in.
A Good Professional Handyman Knows What Work They Can Legally Do:
As I mentioned earlier, a professional handyman is limited by law on the types of work they can do.
While this may be inconvenient, it is with everyone’s best interest in mind. In the previous point I mentioned that people cannot be experts at everything. You definitely want an expert to wire or plumb your house, install your furnace, run your gas lines, etc. Failure to do so correctly could result in death and destruction.
A professional handyman cannot legally do work that requires a certified tradesman to do (unless he has that ticket). This is typically, but not limited to, plumbing and electrical inside walls, installing furnaces, gas lines, etc. A trade ticket is required to get a permit to do this type of work professionally. If you do not get a permit and do not have this type of work inspected you may void your home insurance and have legal issues once you go to sell your home.
That being said, a handy home owner can do these jobs on their own homes. If they decide to they still must make sure that they get a permit and have their work inspected.
While a professional handyman can’t install or do major repairs on a home’s electrical, plumbing or HVAC system, they can do minor repairs on them. Things like changing a light fixture, toilet, faucet or repair a furnace can all be done by a professional handyman. These types of repairs do require special knowledge and definitely should only be attempted by someone with experience.
Where to find a Good Professional Handyman:
If you live in Calgary and are looking for a professional handyman you can trust, look no further. At FT Property Services Inc., we strive to offer the best handyman service available. We are an owner-operated business and I am actively involved in every job we do.
It should go without saying that we are experienced, licensed and insured so you can have confidence when you hire us to work on your home. When you hire us you don’t have to worry about if your home is being repaired properly or legally. We know our limitations and will recommend a specialist when required.
A Good Professional Handyman is Licensed:
Like most businesses, a professional handyman is legally required to have a license. In Calgary you are required to be a licensed contractor to legally offer handyman services for hire.
Getting a contractor license not only shows a commitment to doing things legally and properly, it also involves a police background check. You can feel confident when you hire a licensed handyman that the police have had a look at them and give them the OK to be in your home and around your family.
We have all heard horror stories about the dangers of meeting people off the internet. You never know who you are going to get when you hire an unlicensed handyman from a classified section. You owe it to yourself and your family to hire someone you can trust has your best interests in mind.
A Good Professional Handyman is Insured:
As I mentioned earlier, tools are dangerous. Property damage and personal injury are always possible when you have work done at your home, office or commercial space. Even the best drivers are required to have vehicle insurance but unfortunately insurance isn’t a legal requirement to be a handyman.
A good professional handyman will always be insured. While many of us can make it through our entire career without having to make a claim, it is irresponsible to think that we are immune from accidents happening. A handyman’s insurance not only protects him, it also protects you and your property.
Let’s say you found a handyman in the classifieds to hang some curtains and pictures in the house you just bought. Seems like an easy task for a handyman so you decided to hire the guy who charges $25 an hour, cash. What could go wrong?
Since he charges $25/hr, you can bet he doesn’t have much experience, a contractor’s license or insurance. Due to his lack of experience he is unaware that modern homes use plastic piping instead of the hard copper pipes he’s heard are inside of walls. In the process of hanging a heavy picture on the main floor of your house he ends up putting a screw into one of those plastic pipes inside the wall that supplies your top floor bathroom with water.
By the time you realize that your basement is flooded, he is gone. If you are lucky enough to get a hold of him afterwards you’ll find that he is not able to pay for these repairs out of his own pocket. Since it was a cash transaction with no paper trail, your case likely won’t stand up in court.
Hopefully your home owner’s insurance covers this kind of situation, otherwise you will be responsible for paying the tens of thousands of dollars to repair your home.
Another example would be if you hired a professional handyman to come to your home and change a light fixture on a high up, vaulted ceiling. He was in a rush and didn’t turn the light’s circuit off at the breaker. Instead, he just turned the light switch off by the front door. He does this all the time and isn’t worried about getting shocked, after all, “it hasn’t happened in 25 years!”
What this handyman doesn’t know that in five minutes your child will be getting home from school and out of habit turn on the light switch to the fixture he’s changing. If that handyman is up on his ladder with both of those bare wires and get’s zapped, there is a good change he is going to fall off that ladder.
If the handyman isn’t insured, as the homeowner you will likely be liable for his injuries and lost wages, even though they were caused by his mistakes. If he is a good professional handyman and is insured, his insurance will cover his injuries. Hopefully he will recover soon and learn from his mistakes.
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What is a Handyman?
We have all heard the term “handyman” but what does it really mean?
A handyman is someone who can fix just about anything around the house. Sometimes known as a jack of all trades, a handyman has a wide range of skill, experience, and is talented at working with tools.
Obviously you don’t have to be a man to be handy and a lot of people enjoy the benefits of being handy and fixing things around their own homes.
What is a Professional Handyman?
A professional handyman is someone who is handy enough to make a living doing it. They may be an owner-operator of a legitimate business, an hourly worker at a franchised company or someone who does odd jobs under the table for cash.
A professional handyman may have the knowledge and skill to do all kinds of work but they are limited by law on what type of work they can do for hire.
Things like plumbing, electrical and HVAC often need to be done by a certified trades person in order to be legal. A professional handyman should know what they can do legally in order to protect their client.
So What Makes a Good Professional Handyman?
A good professional handyman can be pretty hard to find these days. It’s not as simple as looking in the classifieds or phone book. There are lots of people out there unqualified to call themselves a handyman who have an ad on kijiji. When you hire a big company you don’t know if you’ll get an hourly worker who doesn’t really know what they are doing either.
Below are a few qualities that make a good professional handyman:
A Good Professional Handyman is Experienced:
Experience is something that can make the difference between a job getting done right the first time and a total disaster. For a handyman, experience over a wide range of trades and skill sets is essential.
A building is like an ecosystem in a lot of ways. Everything is connected and a small change to one part of it can effect another part in unexpected ways. It is important to have at least a basic understanding of every aspect of building construction in order to be a good professional handyman.
Unfortunately, this understanding isn’t gained by reading books, magazines, how to articles on the internet or watching YouTube videos. While these are valuable resources, true understanding involves doing. True understanding is only gained through real world experience.
Using tools properly and proficiently is another part of being a good professional handyman where experience is key. Like most things in life, it takes practice to be good at using tools. You can’t expect to be able to drywall a basement or tile a bathroom flawlessly your first time! These things take experience and finesse to get right.
That isn’t even to mention the property damage and personal injury possible with using power tools or even hand tools. Tools are dangerous and need to be respected. Part of that is understanding how to use them properly and that can only be gained through experience.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD HANDYMAN?
Written By Steve Hyde | May 4, 2019 | Calgary, Alberta
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