MrFix has home repair tips for you. We show DIY tips from our experts at Handyman and our other webpages. These help you do simple jobs smoothly and efficiently. On this page we give you our own tips on how to outsource jobs smoothly and efficiently:
It seems very easy to find an electrician, plumber or other handyman: most people google experts directly, request multiple quotes via one site or ask their (Facebook) friends. This way actually sets you up for disaster:
It is very difficult to choose an expert for quality, whether you approach him directly or via a quote site
One positive experience by a friend gives no guarantee of repetition
On average, good experts are busier than bad ones, so if you call both, you have a higher chance that the bad expert will answer. And bad experts need those quote sites more than good ones.
Be aware of these risks and try to limit them as follows:
Schedule your job a few weeks or even months in advance
Check if the expert you find is actually available. We often see that Customers agree everything with the expert only to discover that the expert (often a painter) is only available 6-9 months later!
Request a quote (fixed price) for jobs of more than ~1 day’s work / €500 and only an estimate for smaller ones
Don’t ask for too many quotes: you won’t choose a better expert from 30 quotes than from 3. Save yourself and the expert time & trouble!
Ask only the most serious candidates to come inspect: a good expert can usually give an estimate based on just a clear description and a few photos
Ask the expert for references: preferably not only a picture of previous jobs but also a customer you can call
Pay close attention to the solidity of the expert. For example At MrFix we don’t collaborate with experts who miss multiple appointments or always blame others for things going wrong.
Get the expert to prepare your job properly
The way in which you request your job determines how well the expert prepares himself. We recommend that you:
Pick the best month for your job. Jobs in the garden, on the roof and on your façade are best done in dry and not too cold weather: say, March to November. On the other hand, many experts are traditionally on holiday during the so-called Bouwvak (3 weeks between mid-July and late August, depending on your region)
Decide who buys the materials: the expert or you. We recommend that you buy the items whose looks are important (such as lamps and wallpaper) yourself. However, let the expert supply materials whose quality is paramount. The guarantee of many electricians and plumbers, for example, only applies if the expert supplies the materials
Finally, agree who removes any waste: let the expert know if you prefer to do that yourself, then you can save some costs.
Value for money, Setbacks, Warranty
Resolve changes and setbacks
No job goes exactly as planned. Do prepare mentally for alterations, such as a delay in the start or completion. Make sure that you and the expert can deal with changes in a smooth, pragmatic way:
It is wise to set a start date and a deadline as far in advance as possible
Pick 1 good communication channel (in our experience WhatsApp works best) and make sure you also have alternative contact info (email address)
Check 24 hours (or a week in the case of big jobs) before the start if the expert can still make the scheduled start date and materials will be available
Has your project suffered multiple serious setbacks? Then consider asking MrFix to find you a builder who completes it to your specifications within reasonable time frame and cost.
Ensure you pay a fair price for a good result
The price for most jobs is difficult to determine in advance, and there are handymen who take advantage of that. Avoid paying top dollar and/or getting a substandard result:
Define and communicate well what the problem is and what result you want: mention quantities, sizes, brand, model, age, colour, finish…
Request 1 to 3 quotes for jobs of more than 1 day’s work / ~€500, otherwise only an estimate
For smaller jobs on a per-hour basis, make sure that it is clear which hours count as working time: MrFix defines this at Rates. Ask the expert to communicate any changes in his estimate immediately. He should share a ‘Before’ photo in the WhatsApp group upon arrival and an ‘After’ photo just before departure. If he forgets, you can share them yourself.
Try to select a quote on quality and reliability. Resist the temptation simply to pick the lowest quote. Even the cheapest expert will make sure he earns a profit on your job! So if and when he realises that his quote was too low, he will try to renegotiate. Or what happens more often (and is far worse): he will invent extra work, cut corners and/or walk away from the job.
Get good aftercare and warranty
Ask for the expert’s warranty conditions in advance
Many independent contractors do not have a written warranty policy, so ask not only how many months (MrFix requires a minimum of 3 months) but also the key conditions. In which cases will the expert return without charging labour cost?
When the job is done ask the expert for tips for any cleaning and maintenance.
Make sure that you can reach the expert after the job is done. MrFix stores all the expert’s details and we create a WhatsApp group for each job: all you need to do is ask the expert to stay in that group.