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San Clemente Journal

Fixing up for the Holidays

Nov 30, 2006 10:42PM ● By Don Kindred
by Shannon Shimizu

It’s the holiday season… The temperature is changing, decorations are being brought down from their various storage spaces and plans are being made to get together with friends and family. Just when you think you have it all organized and everything is going to go off without a hitch that phone call comes. You know the one you reverently hoped you wouldn’t get. As you pick up the phone to answer it, the voice on the other end belongs to that special family member. Every family has one; “Aunt Millie” is on the phone announcing that she will be joining you and your family for the holidays and she will not be alone. Several distant relatives will be joining her. 
Suddenly, your intimate family gathering has turned into a giant much extended holiday party. While thoughts of menus fly furiously through your head you gaze around your house and notice that peeling wallpaper that has been there for 15 years. Somehow you manage to overlook it on a daily basis. It has really become part of the décor of your home. However, you know that “Aunt Millie” will be the first one to remark about it. 
The holiday season can be busy enough without worrying about the various idiosyncrasies that every home has. The leak in the bathroom sink, the chipped tile in the entryway, the deck that needs to be refinished; the list is long. It can be frustrating for homeowners because while they may have a long laundry list of small things that need to be fixed around their home they don’t know who to call. Often times, the jobs are so varied and individually, so small that a contractor of that particular trade will not be able to do the job. This is where a handyman comes in. You can save yourself a lot of time and money by finding one competent handyman who can do several different projects instead of hiring a different person or company for each individual job.
Finding the Right Fit 
If you haven’t had personal experience with home improvement it can be difficult to tell if someone can successfully complete your project. Let’s face it you want the job done right the first time around. One of the first things you need to find out is how long the handyman has been in business. How long has he been doing repairs and how many jobs has he done. Make sure your handyman has previously performed the jobs you need done. Get a written quote for the project. And also inquire about a guarantee of performance. 
Communication plays a huge factor in any type of home improvement project. Before hiring anyone make sure there are open lines of communication and that both you and your handyman have a clear and concise understanding of your project. Also ask the best way to contact him before, during and after your job. Be sure to ask if he will come back at no charge to fix any problems that may occur with the work after the job is done. An ask what kind of guarantee he gives. 
Make sure your handyman has references from past customers. A great way to check a person or company’s performance is to ask their previous customers about their experience. Was the previous customer happy with the outcome of the job? Did the handyman show up on time or call if he/she was going to be late. Also, ask if they cleaned up after the project, used foul language, played offensive or loud music; basically if they were respectful of you, your family and your property. Another source of reference is the Better Business Bureau. A handyman who leaves homes a mess or performs shoddy or incomplete work will have complaints logged against them with the Better Business Bureau.
Having a competent and respectful handyman in your corner will certainly make your life easier. Especially during the holiday season when “Aunt Millie” comes to town. b
If you are looking for a handyman Five Star Consumer Referrals, Inc. offers a free referral service. For more information (949) 305-5900
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