Finding a reliable handyman in Pretoria is not always easy, the construction industry is well known for it's fly by night operators, This morning I saw a post on Facebook lamenting the fact that she had paid a deposit to a handyman in Pretoria that has not delivered any goods. This is something that happens often in the trades, Before you adjudicate the person to be a crook however, make sure that there is not a good reason they are unable to deliver. Sometimes stuff happens, like a health issue or even a financial one.
In my years in the industry I have had payments not happen, that were supposed to happen, because the clients were unscrupulous, On one occasion a job that was supposed to take a week took four because the payment that did not happen, delayed everything. I have heard other handymen talk about the same issue. This article is not about the vagaries of life but about how to weed out the scammers.
If it seems to good to be true it probably is
Many jobs don't get finished because the contractor quoting does not have the requisite skill and knowledge, These are the handymen that will under quote, If you get three quotes from handymen and one is obviously low, this is a warning sign. My Dad always told me that no one can do a good job cheaply, Paint was paint and the materials cost exactly the same for every paint manufacturer, The only way to make PVA cheaper was to use less of the expensive stuff and more water. A handyman in Pretoria will more than likely source his materials from the local hardware shop in Pretoria, that all the local handymen use. The materials cost the same unless the Pretoria handyman has a better discount structure, but even then the materials are likely to cost no more than 5 - 7.5% less.
Every Pretoria business owner I know will use that 5% to increase their profit slightly and make it look like their labour rate is slightly cheaper than every one elses. This is a very likely scenario that one Pretoria handyman will have fewer overheads than another and will work for a reduced rate. This is also the handyman likely to run into trouble faster because he has no meat on the bone, if something goes wrong. Things that can go wrong are many, from a burst tyre to an injury on a job. The handyman in Pretoria, that is too cheap will have no back up plan in these situations,
A few years back I drove a Kombi and the engine blew, Parts were unavailable and I had to make a plan urgently, I had enough cash in hand to buy a motorbike to get to the job and continued working while waiting for the parts. The Pretoria handyman with no meat on the bone may have been stuck, without transport for the 3 weeks I waited for those parts.
My advice is, don't go for the cheapest quote unless it's within 5% of the other quotes.
Check the Pretoria handymans track record
A handyman is only as good as his last job, He may have been working for an employer or a client in Pretoria, Check what they thought of him, Now it's not always neccessary to physically visit a site to check things, You can check their Google reviews, their website and ask for a client you can contact. But do some checking. If he has a website do a reverse image check to make sure that the images are his own. I have heard of and seen web sites where the "Business owner" has taken images from the internet as samples of their work.
Doing a reverse image search is not difficult, Go to https://www.tineye.com/ and enter the url of the image. To find the url, right click on he image and open the image in a new tab, the url is that bit at the top of the browser that says http:// and will end with either gif, jpg or png. Google also has an app for this.
Get your quote from the Pretoria Handyman in writing
Get the quote in writing, The level of professionalism will be apparent. If the quote is scribbled on a piece of paper, it will be vastly different to a professionally produced quote with terms and conditions. Make sure that every item is specified, A quote that says fit kitchen, is vastly different to one that says fit kitchen as per drawing, materials, doors and faces: Cadbury Oak melamine, Tops: Stardust Formica Bull Nose, The latter is detailed and you know what is expected as does the Pretoria handyman.
If he promised you a sink and taps, make sure it's specified on the quote, because if it's not specified he may forget. A complete and fully descriptive agreement is always better than he said, she said.
Check the terms and conditions and if there is anything you don't like or disagree with, have it removed, If there is something you don't understand ask the handyman to explain it to you. You have the power in the negotiation, you can always go to another handyman in Pretoria if you cannot reach an agreement, The Pretoria handyman probably needs the job to keep his workers busy.
Get 3 quotes from the handymen in Pretoria
Before you get your quotes, get specific about what you want done, make a list and specify how you want the job tackled, specify the taps, the paint colour, the finishes, so that each handyman that is quoting is quoting o the same specification. If one Pretoria Handyman is quoting on Woodoc 25 and another using a no name varnish, you will get a difference in price that may be huge, but if both are using Woodoc 25, you are able to actually compare their quotes objectively.
A brass screw and a steel screw can change the price of a job by a large amount, but the brass screws will outlast the steel screws by a factor of 5, Using Saligna vs using teak on that deck can halve the price, but the Saligna is far more likely to twist and crack as the seasons change. If you want the cheaper option ensure that all the quotes are using the same materials. I have in the past seen quotes for decks that I have quoted on that were a third cheaper, but if I used the same materials my quote would be about the same.
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