Importance of handy men workers being insured and bonded

What should one check for before hiring handy men in cleaning gutters, patching roof, etc?
What should coverage be?
  11 answers
  • Carmie Carmie on Feb 15, 2015
    I had a contractor to put a new roof on my house. He left off one important thing. Tar paper. My roof started leaking like a seive. Took him to court he won. Because St.Louis contractors don't put tar paper on roofs. And I live hundred plus miles from there.So really check out your contractor before hiring him.

    • Irene Irene on Feb 15, 2015
      That judge should be investigated. Why would he use standard that are not local standards. Sounds really fishy to me!

  • Melody Williams Melody Williams on Feb 15, 2015
    I would make sure they are insured. A lot of times around my area, they include that info in their ad in the phone book.

  • Janice B. Janice B. on Feb 15, 2015
    I can say from experience they should be licensed and have worker's compensation insurance. Hired a "painter" who we found out later was a convicted drug felon. When he failed to even start the job,not return calls, etc., I had to threaten to call his probation officer to get the deposit returned. Insist on written proof of proper license ( this guy's ended up being a vendor license for the local flea market!) and insurance. Mine was a rookie error....never again.

  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Feb 15, 2015
    We have used a contractor we found through Home Depot. I don't know if HD investigates them before approving to be listed; but we have been lucky. Yes, they are insured and bonded. Or use someone who knows someone, like a friend or neighbor.

    • Carmie Carmie on Feb 16, 2015
      @Liliana Wells In this part of Missouri they don't have to be bonded or have insurance. Anyone can say they are contractors. Lowe's use to recommend people,they don't do that anymore.

  • IndianaBound IndianaBound on Feb 15, 2015
    Ask the contractor to have his insurer send you a facesheet detailing his insurance. If you don't receive that he probably isn't insured regardless of what he says. In Pennsylvania workmen are supposed to be licensed so you can ask for license number. I don't know what that means for you in real terms of protection, though.

  • Carol Carol on Feb 15, 2015
    references. word of mouth is the best advertising and if they have none of this....move on.

    • Carmie Carmie on Feb 16, 2015
      @Carol This man had references. I was told he was honest and done really good work. He cut corners and was putting money in his pocket.

  • Jean Thompson Jean Thompson on Feb 15, 2015
    Local Building Supply places like Lowe's, 84 Lumber, Home Depot... many times they have a directory or a board with local Contractors names/business cards....

  • Dee Dee on Feb 15, 2015
    I used a contractor that was referred by a "friend of a friend". We went and saw his work and it looked great. All he had to do was install a small tiled bathroom floor. If we were younger, we would have done it ourselves. Anyway, he started the job, did not put thin set under all tiles, rigged the toiled with shims. We found all this out after being paid, because it looked beautiful. However the first time we walked on the floor the porcelain tiles cracked. Called the contractor, he came to the house to look at it and said he would be back in 15 minutes. That was 2 years ago, never saw him again. He changed his telephone number and took our hard earned money! Went through a reputable company that sells floors. They did a beautiful job, in fact I hired this company to install shower tiles and new floor in my other bathroom.

  • 861650 861650 on Feb 15, 2015
    Anytime you have someone working inside your home. Make sure you secure prescription medications, your purse and valuable jewelry, etc., even if they are bonded!

  • Debbie Debbie on Feb 15, 2015
    Absolutely true for any valuables, including meds! I use Angie's List.

  • Debbie Kuhar Debbie Kuhar on Feb 15, 2015
    I need my chimmey repointed. Called one guy and he answered his call from a bar. A week later, my phone was ringing of the hook while I was still sleeping, it was the contractor that I called. He went up on my roof without my knowledge, myself not knowing if he was bonded or insured. Difinately not hiring him