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Don’t take a person’s word that they’re licensed to do work in your state. Most states will let you check the status of a person’s license online, and the online listing may also report any complaints received about the individual’s work or business practices.

Search for your state’s licensing department to see if they offer this feature.

That discussion may give you some clues as to their professionalism.

Small jobs – like unclogging a sink or minor appliance repairs – are usually completed on the spot for a service charge in addition to the professional’s hourly rate.

So much so that I don’t recommend hiring a contractor or handyman from Craigslist.

The same can be said for people who go door-to-door peddling new windows or other home repair items.

Even if your family or friends can’t help do the work, they may be able to provide referrals to professionals they’ve used in the past.

Getting a personal referral is one of the best ways to find a handyman or contractor whose work is tried and true.

I’m not saying there aren’t good people advertising on Craigslist, but I have heard many a horror story about people misrepresenting their skills or outright scamming others on the site.

Now that he’s gone, it’s fallen to me to get all these tasks done.

Some have been easy to take over while others are still far beyond my skills.

Once you get a written estimate, it’s a good idea to see how it stacks up against industry standards.

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