We take many calls from folks that want to jump to the bottom line. They ask “How much will my project cost?” Many also lament that “this time” they want a reliable service provider, explaining the difficult time they had the last time they had somebody out to their home.

Many assume that all service providers are providing the same basic service, and thus they compare one to the next based on price. While ‘products’ often come off the same factory line, and can be compared on price, regardless of the store you purchase it at, when purchasing services, you really need to research the company and their staff and know who you are hiring.

A ‘professional service provider’ is a licensed business in the state or municipality that they work in. They also likely have an occupational license or contractors license, depending on the home service they provide. They carry Workers Compensation Insurance to care for their staff should anyone be hurt on the job, and they carry General Liability Insurance should in case of an unexpected event. Say, for example, that they rupture a pipe and flood your home.

A professional service provider is generally setup as a company, has employees to do the work, and has customer service staff to assist you with questions and scheduling. If there is ever an issue that needs attention there is a general manager or owner that can be reached. In a worst-case scenario, one can visit the office, explain the issue/concern and ask for a resolution.

The best professional service providers hire employees to take calls and do the work. By not using sub-contractors they have better control of scheduling and quality. These staff are background checked, drug screened, are properly trained and credentialed for the work they do.

Asking about cost is a fair question, we all have budgets and may not do a project if its more than we want to spend. That said, if you only focus on pricing and don’t confirm that you are dealing with a professional service provider, you may get burned. The stories I hear about service providers being hard to reach, not showing up, on-again off-again projects, and guys disappearing when projects are half done are mostly situations where the ‘guy’ the customer hired is not a professional. Their service provider is essentially doing ‘side work’ full time.

If you can’t find a service provider online to read prior customer comments and reviews, you are likely not working with a professional.

Know who you are hiring and be aware of the risks when hiring an unprofessional service provider. If you’ve been burned, or know somebody that has, consider the information above and whether you (or they) were working with a professional. A professional may cost a bit more, but the quality and customer experience is far superior and is part of what you are paying for.

Mr. Handyman; There’s simply no one like us.