We welcome your calls and questions. However, since we are often on a job and may not be able to stop and answer the phone, perhaps some of the FAQs below can answer your question.
What size jobs do you do?
We do any size job - nothing is too small or too large. Do you need a garbage disposal swapped out? Sure! Do you need a whole kitchen remodel? We will do that through our sister company, Ugly Duckling Kitchen and Bath Transformations.
Do you do free estimates?
If your job will require less than a full day of work, we usually do not travel to give an estimate - because we can typically finish the job that day. We will be happy to receive pictures of your issue and talk over the phone (usually in the evenings) free of charge. Please see our Services page for estimates of common jobs. (804) 241-6907.
How do you charge for the job?
We charge by Time and Materials because we feel this is the most transparent, and fair, way of billing for our services. There is never a minimum charge like the other guys. Nor do we charge a travel fee for jobs in the Metro Richmond area.
Any materials and truck stock used on your job is a straight pass through on cost with no upcharges to you.
So if you provide an estimate is that the maximum the job will cost?
We use a variety of information to arrive at a cost estimate for your job including but not limited to: information supplied by you, our experience in providing similar Services, and industry standards.
However, once we get in to a job, we may discover hidden issues that need to be addressed, and which could influence the total cost. For example, if we discover non-compliant electrical or plumbing, we must correct this situation. These issues are typically not apparent with a surface inspection of your space.
The biggest factor for a job costing more than the estimate is - you. We almost always get the "while you are here"'s where you ask us to look at or correct another issue outside of what you originally asked for. If time permits, we will almost always try to accommodate your request however this additional work may increase the cost.
What is the difference between an "estimate" and a "quote"?
As answered above, Your Neighborhood Handyman charges for our work based on Time and Materials. We feel this method is the most transparent for our customers and is fair for both of us. Simply stated, you pay us for the amount of time, at an hourly rate, it takes us to do the job, plus the actual cost of any materials necessary to the job.
We will often provide an "estimate" of how long we think the job will take, plus how much materials (if any) will cost. Bottom line, this is a best guess. The actual time may be longer, or it may be shorter. On average, we find our estimates are within +/- 10% of the actual time we spend on your job.
A "quote" is typically a monetary figure a contractor gives you to accomplish a job. This figure may include materials, but often it does not. In essence, the contractor is telling you he will do the job for the amount he has stated, and he will assume any risk if his "best guess" is wrong and it takes him longer. Also, he will profit more if the job takes less time.
Your Neighborhood Handyman strongly feels that the quote process is inherently unbalanced for the customer. In that, it is to the advantage of the contractor to maximize his profit by cutting corners, using inferior (cheaper) materials, rushing the work, and/or finding "add ons" that increase your cost in order to spend as little time and money on your job while guaranteeing himself the greatest profit based on the agreed upon price.
What forms of payment do you accept? When do you get paid?
We like the old standbys of cash, check, or charge.
Payment is C.O.D. and is due in full at the end of the job, or at the end of every day should your project require multiple days.
Should materials be estimated to cost more than $100, we may ask you to purchase them yourself.
Who does the work? Do you use subcontractors?
The owner John either does all the work himself or is there to supervise.
We do reserve the right to use subcontractors however we rarely do unless it is for a specialized function such as floor refinishing or HVAC work.
Do I have to be there the whole time you are on the job?
That depends on you. We are comfortable being left alone to do the job - if you are comfortable with that. We do ask that we meet prior to starting the job in order to confirm the specifics of the job and to inspect the site. If you elect to leave, we will need a key as we may have to leave the site to get materials that we do not normally carry on our trucks.
Are you licensed, insured, and bonded?
Yes to the first two, but no to being bonded.
Bonding is used primarily for government projects. Since we don't accept that type of work, there is no need to carry the expense (and to pass it along to you) of being bonded.
What do you need from me to start my project?
We use a simply contract that spells out what we will be doing for you, when we will do it, how long we estimate the job will take, and what the hourly rate is. You sign this and away we go!
We will need from you: confirmation that you are authorized to commission the work and pay for it. You provide electricity, bathroom facilities and running water where reasonably possible.
By contracting with Your Neighborhood Handyman, you affirm that you have obtained any necessary permissions and/or permits required for the work to be performed.
How do I get on your schedule? My friend says you are really good but also really busy.
We are typically booked about three weeks in advance. Since we do small, medium, and large jobs, depending on the type and scope of work we have going on, we usually have availability to fit in small, short timeframe jobs.
Also, on occasion, we will have larger jobs cancel at the last minute. We usually keep a running list of people who are flexible in their timeframe so we will start to fill our schedule from this "wait list" first.
I am a big fan of the TV remodeling shows. Can I help you with my job?
We are very happy to accommodate your need to get down and dirty and your wish to expand your knowledge and experience. Should you elect to help, please understand that: 1) you do so at your own personal risk: 2) we cannot be responsible for any injuries or damages you, your space, or our equipment may experience: and 3) the job may take longer with your help and thus may cost you more.