If you live in a larger town or city there can be a number of local handyman services to choose from. The quality of work and of the customer service they deliver ultimately comes down to the individual who is in your home, be that person an employee, partner in a handyman service, or a lone handy man. But there are differences you can anticipate in the many types of handyman businesses out there. Let's consider the likely candidates you will run into.
There are many handyman franchises that a business owner can buy. The most successful of these franchises are larger handyman companies with lots of glossy advertisements, trucks or vans with full-body graphics, and can have many employees. Like any franchise local handyman services, much of the work is done for the franchise owner, he or she simply plugs in the different marketing tools and advertisements that are supplied to them in their franchise package and get to work finding employees. This does make the job easier than starting a business from scratch, particularly in a field which they may not be that familiar with. The downside for them is they must pay for all of these bells and whistles, just as with any franchise. This leaves them with a lot of overhead and a small profit margin. In growing their company and employing more workers they start to make money, however the temptation is there to charge a lot for any and all home repairs. If you've ever gotten a number of bids for a given home maintenance project, you've probably been amazed at the range of prices. The handyman franchise will likely be at the higher end of the spectrum here.
The advantage to using large franchised home repair services is they are likely to be able to get to your project very quickly, if they have a number of employees. This can be a big deal if you have an emergency repair to be handled and relatives coming in for a visit. As a helpful tip, talk to the salesman or owner about their employees. Find out who the best guys are. Not all handymen are created equal, and with any given handy man service they will have a couple-three guys who are top-notch craftsman, the rest will be average to good, and one or two who you'd just as soon not have in your house. This is a generality of course, but is pretty consistent with many construction, property maintenance or home repair companies. A few quick questions will tell you who their best guys are, and when you can get them scheduled to do your home repair. If those guys are book up, then it does defeat the purpose of going with a larger, multi-employee handyman service.
The next option you will find is the smaller company built up from scratch with the owner doing a lot of the work, or with maybe one or two workers. Or this may be the owner and a helper. The advantage to you here is there is a greater sense of accountability with these smaller home handyman services. If there is a problem you won't get 'lost in the shuffle' in getting things handled to your satisfaction. This may be as simple as a quick conversation to clear the air about any confusions, but with a larger company even this can turn into an ordeal.
With a smaller two or three man operation, asking about their 'best guy' is no longer an issue. Handyman companies of this size either do good work or not. This is determined by the owner. If he is a quality-minded craftsman he will expect this level of work from his help. A handyman service of this size has nowhere near the overhead of a handyman franchise; chances are you will get a better price from them, however even with one employee this creates a drain from the income of the business owner. He has to keep his guy busy and keep him paid, or he'll be quitting, or finding jobs from other sources and thereby become difficult to schedule, so this will be a priority for the business owner. However he probably has a family to feed as well, so needs to make a solid income himself. His prices may be a bit higher.
Next we have the lone handyman. He is a one-man-show. You can get a real mixed bag here. At the low end is the guy who just wants enough work to keep him in the bar every afternoon. At the top of the scale is the perfectionist craftsman who does not like working for or with others who don't share the same level of professionalism in doing home improvements, even with something as simple as cleaning up when they are done. As far as professional handyman services go, the individual handyman will have the lowest overhead and business expenses. If he is an expert home repair specialist he will probably charge a rate that matches his level of skill, however with probably very low operating costs, his handyman rates will be at the lower end of the scale.
In dealing with any handyman repair service it cannot be stressed often enough that you should get references from each business when you are trying to find a handyman, then call the people on that list. This little bit of homework need not be as difficult as it sounds and can save you from enormous potential headaches. The larger the home repair project, the more this factor applies. A call to your local BBB will weed out the bad eggs, but actually talking to the happy customers of a handy man service will give you a great deal of confidence that you are making a good decision, and talking to other customers may give you ideas of other remodeling or home repair projects you may want done around the house.
For a good many homeowners they must deal with having handyman repairs done over a long period of time. Ideally they want to find a handyman contractor who they can rely on again and again. Getting a job done right the first time for a lot of homeowners is equally or more so important than the handyman prices that are charged. By spending the time to check on the references offered by the companies on your handyman services list you are likely to find the handyman among all the local handyman services who you can rely on and are happy to act as a reference for yourself.
Wishing you a happy and healthy home,