I'm always reading tips about the best time of year to buy clothes, or a new woodstove, or a car, and it struck me that nobody ever seems to write about the best time of year to hire a handyman.
Of course, one answer is obvious: the best time to hire a handyman is when something breaks. For example, if you accidentally step through your attic "floor" while putting away your Christmas ornaments, you don't want to wait around.
On the other hand, there are lots of home improvements that can be postponed until the right time. If you're just looking for someone to swap out a light fixture or paint your living room, you can plan ahead.
Like most things home-related, the handyman business tends to be seasonal. For some reason, people are more inspired to start new projects in the Spring and Summer, even if it's indoor work like installing a new closet system.
That's when you can benefit. Waiting times for handymen are often shorter in winter, so you'll have more craftsmen available to offer a home repair estimate, and you'll get your project done much sooner.
The "off season" starts shortly before Thanksgiving. (While everyone else gets distracted by thoughts of turkey and seasonal shopping, you can get your home remodeling done in a jiffy.) Oddly enough, I find that I get a little bit busier during the New Year; there are always a few people who want to start the year off with a clean closet or a fresh coat of paint in the living room.
Then as February rolls around, the end-of-winter blahs set in for many people. Take advantage of that moment to shop around for the right person. But don't wait too long; once the sun starts to shine, many people start to notice those repairs or updates that they've been putting off all Winter.
While you're planning your home repair project, keep in mind that there are a few projects which simply aren't feasible in wintertime.
For example, staining a deck must be done during a week of warm, dry weather if you want to do it right. (In fact, the timing is so difficult that I no longer offer this service. Luckily, it's not hard to do it yourself using my tutorial.)
But for most projects, the "winter doldrums" are a great time of year to start a new house repair project. You'll have more craftsmen to choose from, you'll get your job done sooner... and you might even beat the winter blues while you're doing it!
Credit for image of blue closet: Rubbermaid
For those of you that are interested in property management (that is, being a landlord and managing rental properties), I thought I would share a pair of articles which I recently wrote on LinkedIn:
If you like these, take a moment to connect with me on LinkedIn. I'm always glad to meet new people!
Image credit: First image is by me. Second image is by JDHRosewater on Flickr.
I know... I know.... that's a grandiose title. I'm just trying to be fun here. But as a matter of fact, that's what it feels like to be handyman.
Some of my coolest jobs seem boring from the outside, because there's not a big difference between the "before" and "after." But I really enjoy doing them. It's a small but tangible way of making the world a slightly better place to live.
Case in point: these handrails. Before, they were "okay." They could help you balance yourself as you walked up the stairs, but they weren't very sturdy.
But take a look at the "after." Now that's a handrail you can trust!
When I look at these pictures, I imagine an apartment dweller going up the steps on a rainy day. I like to think that they notice and appreciate the firm grip these railings offer. It might not look exciting, but it's a good day's work, and that's why I love my job.