Monday, November 28, 2016

Buyer Beware: Unlicensed Contractors - Part 2

In our last post (Buyer Beware: Unlicensed Contractors - Part 1), we included a few things homeowners should consider when considering whether to hire a contractor who could be unlicensed. Below are some tips on how to avoid to avoid hiring an unlicensed (or just plain bad) contractor, which could protect you and your home from physical and/or financial damage:

1. Make sure a contractor is licensed.
In our state (Tennessee), it's prudent to check the state's website for License Search and Verification:

For example, one could enter "Results Handyman" as the firm name and click on "Home Improvement" form the Profession menu. Doing so returns our state license number (#6802) and shows that the Status of our company is "Active - Fully Licensed". One can click on the "Details" tab to see additional information.

2. Verify that a contractor is insured.
Check to see if they carry general liability insurance and workers' compensation coverage.

3. Look for warning signs which may indicate that a contractor should be avoided. These include:
-Did you get an unsolicited call or knock on your door?"
-Are you unable to verify a company's address or phone number?
-Do they demand full or large payment upfront or do they require payment in cash?
-Are they using high pressure sales tactics such as requiring you to make a hiring decision today?
-Do they refuse to give you anything in writing or are they unwilling to give you a price?
-Have they asked you to sign a document that includes blank spaces to be filled in after the contract is signed by you?
-Do they have a bad attitude or do they speak or act unprofessionally?

4. Check References.
An experienced contractor will have successfully completed other projects that are similar to yours. If a contractor has done good work in the recent past, they should have some clients who are willing to give a positive reference.

Bill Boyd

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Buyer Beware: Unlicensed Contractors - Part 1

A few days ago, a good friend of ours answered a knock on her front door. The smooth talking gentleman on her front porch said he was a "paving contractor" who happened to have some material leftover after doing a project for UPS. He then commented on the condition of her driveway and offered a super low price on re-paving it. To no one's surprise, his "too good to be true" offer was valid for one day only. Fortunately for our friend, she said no to the deal and the paving man went on down the street. As we were talking to our friend about this incident, we realized that many homeowners don't know what could go wrong when hiring an unlicensed contractor. Below are a 3 things every homeowner needs to consider:

1. Unlicensed usually means uninsured. If that's the case and the contractor causes damage to your home, you will most likely end up paying the price. It's a mistake to think that your homeowner's policy will bail you out. Most homeowner policies require work to be done by licensed contractors and often specifically exclude damages caused by those who are unlicensed. And even though it sounds unfair, you could be held responsible for the medical bills and various other damages (such as lost wages) sustained by an unlicensed contractor if he gets hurt while working at your home.

2. As a group, unlicensed contractors are known to be extremely unreliable. They typically cut corners everywhere they can, performing shoddy work while using cheap and inferior materials. Hire one of them and you could end up paying to have the work redone in the not so distant future. An unlicensed contractor will probably ignore building codes and standards as well. You will almost certainly be forced to correct their shoddy repairs if and when you try to sell your home. Trying to save a few dollars now can cost you dearly later.

3. Those who ignore our contacting laws have a tendency to ignore other laws as well. We recently read about a city that conducted an undercover sting operation to catch those contracting without a license. Of the 14 people they cited for unlicensed contacting, one was also arrested for possessing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Several others drove to the site of the sting operation with a suspended or expired driver's license. One of them was also out on parole. According to a city official: “Some of the people we catch have serious criminal records, and are not the kind of people you want around your family or the valuables in your home.”

Keep an eye out for our next post on Unlicensed Contractors, which will include some helpful tips on avoiding those rascals.

 "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." –Benjamin Franklin

Bill Boyd

Monday, March 18, 2013

Nashville Homeowner: "I Want Good Value" on Handyman Repairs

Last week, after calling us for handyman work, a Nashville homeowner remarked, "I want good value". What is value? Like you and I do, this gentleman likely gets packets of coupons in the mail regularly, that offer seemingly "good value" on everything from carpet cleaning (e.g. 4 rooms for $79) to replacement windows (e.g. $159.99 for any size double-hung AND a free steak dinner with a quote). We don't clean carpets and we don't serve up sirloin tips and baked potatoes. However, it you look past the hype of bulk mail specials that can seem too good to be true, you will see that Results Handyman Service provides real value: Nashville's best handyman services (*) at reasonable prices.

At Results Handyman Service, our ONLY focus is on residential handyman jobs in the Nashville, TN area. We respond quickly and effectively to the home repair needs of our clients. Some of our competitors regularly bid on million dollar commercial plumbing jobs while others focus on building custom houses. Do you really think a small list of handyman repairs is a priority of theirs?

Like the best of those big companies, we have super experienced handymen, with many years of industry experience. To protect our clients, Results Handyman Service is licensed, bonded, and insured (TN License #6802). We proudly offer a 2 year warranty on our work.

Unlike the "big boys", we have no office staff, so we don't have to pay the salaries of salespeople, executive assistants, etc. Our handymen don't drive new trucks, and we don't brainstorm in a studio outfitted with oil paintings, mahogany desks, and ergonomic leather chairs. If you ever drop by our inexpensive rented warehouse, unfortunately, we won't be able to offer you a gourmet coffee drink from a single service brewing system. You will see 2 small desks in the corner, where our owners share a single phone, a passion for excellence and efficiency, and a desire to continue to be the best handyman company in Nashville. Because we are so diligent at keeping our overhead costs low, we can offer you top quality home repairs at prices that may surprise you.

We once heard someone say that it's difficult to get the right answer if you ask the wrong question. We agree. We also believe that if all you want is a good price, call the jack-of-all-trades guy whose quote is rock bottom. Just don't be surprised to learn that the quality of his work is rock bottom as well. Or, if you want a good feeling, call the fellow in the bespoke suit who drives a new luxury car and belongs to the right club. But be prepared to pay dearly for that feeling. If, on the other hand, you desire real value - premium quality home repairs at a fair price - pick up the phone and call us at 615-891-7334.

(*) Results Handyman Service was voted Best Handyman in the 2012 Nashville Scene Readers' Poll.

Bill Boyd

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Spring in Nashville : A Handyman Can Assist You

I was working outside in Nashville with a handyman earlier in the week and got spoiled by the 70 degree day. This morning, while walking my dog in the snow, I was reminded that old man Winter is not gone just yet. However, Spring is right around the corner. Over the next few weeks, we will give you some home maintenance tips for the coming season. If you have questions or comments about this article, or suggestions for future posts, please email us:

Spring in Nashville can bring a variety of weather, from a wet snow in March to heavy rains and even tornadoes and flooding. You can't stop the weather but you can be prepared. One of the things I helped our handyman do this week was to clean a porch gutter on a client's home. The gutter was so full of twigs and decaying leaves that it was being pulled away from the roof. Gutters cannot function as designed when in this condition. Don't let the Spring rainy season catch you and your gutters by surprise. Clogged gutters can allow water to damage your roof and walls. If you don't inspect and clean your own gutters, contact us and we can do it for you. We can also check to make sure that your downspouts are clean and oriented to drain water away from your foundation walls.

Your roof is vital to protecting your home from Spring rains. A good time to check your attic and ceilings is on a rainy day. Do you see any drips or wet spots? If so, give us a call and we can give your roof a complete inspection. A minor repair now can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in damage later. Even if your roof isn't leaking, it's a good idea to get your roof inspected, especially if it's been a few years since your roof was replaced. Don't let old, cracked or missing shingles ruin your day, not to mention your ceilings, furniture, and flooring.

Now is a great time to inspect your home's exterior. Do you see any flaking or missing paint or bare wood? How about cracked or missing caulking? Take a close look around your windows and doors. If you see anything that doesn't look right, give us a call and we can have a handyman give these areas a thorough inspection. Often, a little caulk and touch up painting is all that's needed to get your home's exterior fine tuned for Spring.

Please stay tuned for more Spring maintenance tips. Results Handyman Service looks forward to helping you protect and improve your home in 2013. For those of you who voted us Nashville's Best Handyman in the 2012 Nashville Scene Readers' Poll, we thank you again and assure you that our prices are still reasonable while our quality and service continue to be the best in town.

Bill Boyd

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Looking Both Ways

Months ago, a handyman of ours worked on a century old home in East Nashville. During the job, he replaced a few pieces of broken stained glass in the front windows. This week, I thought about that home and how having those beautiful windows would be almost like having Christmas lights installed and plugged in every day of the year:

As 2012 comes to a close, we reflect on both window panes and growing pains:

While continuing to provide quality service to our existing clients, we have met and helped many new clients with their homes, and we have worked through some growing pains. We are thankful that you were patient with us when we expanded our workload a little faster than we expanded our workforce. We continue to expect excellence of ourselves and of anyone we would send to work in your homes. Because of our extensive screening process, it takes us a bit longer to find honest and highly skilled craftsmen who also communicate effectively and put our clients first. We are now adequately staffed to take care of more great clients, while maintaining our super low overhead. Thus, we can continue to provide top quality repairs while charging around 25% less than our competitors.

In 2012, our company continued to gain recognition for our efforts:

Earlier this year, we learned that we had been selected for the 2012 Nashville Award in the Handyman Service Contractors category by the Nashville Award Program Committee. The Nashville Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the Nashville area. Each year, they identify companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success. Their selected local companies enhance the positive image of small business through service to both customers and community.

In October, we picked up a copy of the Nashville Scene, wondering where whether Results Handyman Service would be included in their annual "Best of Nashville" issue. We were thrilled to learn that in the 2012 Best of Nashville Readers' Poll, we were not just listed, but Scene readers had voted us Number One in the Best Handyman category! We enjoy the challenge of competing against companies that are larger than us and that have been in business in Nashville for decades. We may not be the biggest or the oldest handyman company, but are honored to have so many people in Nashville who now regard us as the best.

Looking ahead:

As the first month of new year is just a few days away, we recall that January was named after Janus. In Roman mythology, Janus was a god of doorways and passages. In art, he is depicted with two heads facing in opposite directions. Today, while we really enjoy looking back, we also look forward to new opportunities in 2013 and beyond. As we begin our 5th year as a handyman company, we have plans for continued growth, especially in a couple of key areas that we will share with you very soon. We also plan on improving how we manage larger projects, so that we can complete them faster and more efficiently.

One thing that won't change is our commitment to being the best residential handyman company in the Nashville area. We promise you that we will keep our focus on you and your home. We definitely aren't going to design or build any mansions this year. You also won't see us servicing the HVAC units at the new convention center. Our one simple goal remains: to provide homeowners with friendly, skilled, high quality service people at reasonable prices. We won't be satisfied until we achieve 100% client satisfaction.

We hope everyone has a happy and healthy new year! Stay tuned to this blog in 2013 for tips on maintaining and improving your home.

Bill Boyd

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Stay Safe and Protect your Home this Winter

Winter and the holidays can be some of the best times you will have at your home. Below are a few tips to help you stay safe and protect your biggest investment this winter.

I was asked by a client last week if he could use indoor extension cords for outdoor holiday lightning. I wanted to do my Fire Marshall Bill impression (let me show you something!) but realized that safety is no laughing matter. Extension cords are classified for either indoor or outdoor use. Outdoor cords are more durable and rated to withstand a wide range of temperatures, moisture, etc. It's OK to use an outdoor cord indoors, but you should never use an indoor-rated cord outdoors…doing so could shock someone or cause a fire hazard. Read and follow all the instructions on your lights and power cords. If you plan on treating your neighborhood to a Griswold type lighting display, we recommend that you have a licensed electrician inspect your wiring and circuit protection.

Home fires occur more often during the winter months than any other time of the year. Fire hazards include candles, space heaters and fireplaces. It is smart to buy and install smoke alarms on every floor of your home. Smoke alarms should be tested monthly. According to the CDC, carbon monoxide poisonings peak in December and January. Carbon monoxide detectors can be life savers, but more than 2/3 of American homes don't have one in place.

Outside your home, it it is wise to remove dead tree branches. Even a small amount of ice or snow on dead branches, along with wind, can cause them to break and damage your home. If you haven't already, now is an excellent time to clean your gutters. Snow and ice can quickly fill your gutters if they are already clogged with debris. When snow and ice begins to melt, the resulting water can get under your roofing. This water can cause serious damage your ceilings and walls.

Bill Boyd

Monday, October 15, 2012

Best Handyman: Nashville Scene Readers' Poll

We were both happy and a little surprised to see Results Handyman Service at the top of the rankings late last week when we picked up a copy of The Nashville Scene. That issue features their 2012 Best of Nashville awards for various categories. Scene readers voted us #1 in the Best Handyman category.

We are honored to be voted Best Handyman. We know that many our wonderful clients took the time and effort to cast a ballot where they had to vote in 20 or more categories. We know without a doubt that our clients are the best in Nashville and we are glad that many of them believe that we are the best in town as well. We attribute much of our success to the drive for excellence exhibited by our great staff. To both our fabulous clients and to our team, we extend a huge Thank You!

We were initially a bit surprised to be at the top of the rankings, mainly because we are a relatively young company (this is our 4th year in business) and we compete against some companies who have been operating in Nashville for decades. Upon further review, perhaps we shouldn't be that surprised to be selected Best Handyman in Nashville. Our ONLY focus in on residential handyman jobs in the Nashville, TN area. We can therefore respond quickly and effectively to the home repair needs of our clients. Some of our competitors offer handyman services, yet it is clear that their main emphasis is on designing and building homes, while others run commercial plumbing and HVAC crews.

If you need a new house, we can refer you to one of Nashville's best builders. If you need a handyman, call us to discuss any mix of issues. We can handle almost any home repair and improvement scenario. Our prices are competitive and our service, quality, and professionalism are second to none.

Bill Boyd

P.S. Click here to see results of 2012 Nashville Scene's Readers' Poll:
Best of Nashville 2012