We all fancy ourselves as handy, but when the bathroom sink does a reenactment of Noah’s Flood, you’ll find yourself stepping cautiously away from the tool box and towards the phone.

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Unfortunately, many handyman out there are as skilled as you are, and finding the best one available is a taxing and dizzying process. When you’re looking for someone to rescue you from a failed DIY or worse, how do you begin the search for the best?

  1. Google It

When looking for the best option, everyone’s first choice – and the best choice – is turning to the internet. A simple Google search on the best handymen in your area or in the specialized problem you have can give you a host of options. While this is nothing new, it’s important to remember that the first results on the page are there due to high traffic, excellent marketing, and good feedback. If they’re the first results in your search, it proves they’re likely popular and trusted enough to earn their fame.

  1. Ask for Referrals

First-hand accounts are more valuable than a fancy webpage where marketing efforts make professionals look like they can cure cancer while they’re fixing your broken garage door.

– Friends and family

By knowing the people you ask personally, you can draw your own conclusions about the validity of their recommendations. If your sibling is highly price-conscious and still chose a certain handyman to fix their plumbing, then you can have more confidence that the professional offers a fair rate. If you’ve seen their work first-hand while visiting a friend, then you can know whether that broken sink of yours will be fixed or start spewing water a week after they’re gone.

– Social media

Social media offers a more casual platform to get opinions. While people may not take the time to go to Yelp, your Facebook or Twitter acquaintances may take a few moments to let you know their personal and unbiased experience, adding to your view of a handyman while they’re in between their Farm-Ville games.

  1. Seek Out Online Reviews

Getting honest and unbiased opinions from multiple sites will give you a valid and well-rounded view on the right person to hire.

– Yelp

Yelp is most likely the first search result you see when Googling a handyman. If not, still seek out this website, as reputable professionals will capitalize on the trust and popularity it offers. By allowing customers to post anonymous reviews or under an assumed name, you can evaluate what the handyman has done well, what they offer, their schedule, and what to expect from contacting them – and all from many honest sources.

– Online Forums

Finding a home-repair forum where people are talking about their experiences shouldn’t be hard, and once you arrive, you can view the ongoing communication between satisfied and unsatisfied customers. Since forums take a little more time than sites like Yelp, the information you find there will be from sources with invested interests and with room to dispute or give more detailed opinions.

– Angie’s List

A site meant to connect professionals with their ideal clientele, Angie’s List is thorough in vetting the businesses and handymen they advertise. Unlike Yelp, which is more relaxed in who they allow to have accounts, and forums, which can be created by anyone, Angie’s List requires thorough information be submitted by their users, allowing you to choose from a better crop of options. Here you can learn about a handyman’s work history, see their reviews, and speak with them more directly.

  1. Contact Multiple Handymen

There are no doubt tons of handymen to choose from, but that’s not your problem; finding the right one is. You can use this problem as an advantage, by contacting multiple handymen and comparing them to one another to give you a clearer view of the field and why you should choose one over the other.

– Determine the norm

You want to pay a fair price for a fair job, but anyone who’s ever bought a car knows that the price tag may look a little terrifying for what you’re receiving, even if it is fair. Handymen receive a bad reputation as professionals who overcharge, and going in blind can mean you end up with a bad experience. By contacting multiple options, you can narrow down the average price, services, and time taken to complete a project, and with this knowledge, you can weed out those taking advantage and those offering a real benefit.

– Ask for advice on other handymen

If you’ve contacted one Jack of All Trades and found that they’re busy, that they don’t specialize in the task you need, or simply won’t suit your price tag, you can use this opportunity to ask for insider advice. Many will be familiar with their competition or counterparts and can offer first-hand insights as a professional themselves as to which would be best suited for your needs. Now you have more than a referral – you have an educated one.

  1. Ask Local Businesses

When friend and strangers aren’t enough, it’s time to start looking for referrals in places where it counts. Think of where your ideal handyman would frequent, and who would have the most accurate insights?

– Hardware stores

A hardware store is to a handyman what a craft store is to an artist, and this means your local hardware store may have dealings, run-ins, or relationships with some of the best professionals in the field. By asking around or inquiring on advertised professionals, you can get an opinion and recommendation from a source that knows what they’re talking about.

– Other kind of handymen

People of similar niches tend to flock together, and this means that while your car mechanic may know nothing about how to fix a broken garage door, he may have friends or acquaintances that are the best in the business. Asking for a quick referral or advice on where to look can cut through the trouble of searching around.

Finding a handyman can be hard, but with these five ways, you can source the best one possible.