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

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall Forward - Part 2: Winter Proofing your Home

Hope everyone enjoyed the official start of Fall. The recent cool nights (and the Christmas decorations some local stores already have on display!) remind us that Winter is on the way. Now, is a great time to think about ways to weatherproof your home. Investing a little money now will make your home more comfortable when old man Winter comes knocking and can also save lots of money on your heating bills.

Last week, we were helping one of our clients in an older home come up with an action plan for winter. One of the first things we noticed was that that their upper window sashes had slid down and inch or so, instead of staying up where they were designed to be. This was an easy fix for our handyman, and while there, he sealed a few gaps around window frames with caulking and replaced the cracked weatherstripping around their doors. He also inspected their basement and applied fresh mortar to a couple of small cracks.

Finally, he took a look in their attic and found that they had adequate R-30 insulation in most areas. However, he did see a spot that had no insulation at all. It was in an area that we believe had previously been under a roof leak, as there was a 5 gallon bucket in the middle of the area that had no insulation. Since our client had just gotten a new roof, our handyman simply added some new insulation to that spot. Further, since our client didn't want that bucket, we added it to our growing collection of things in our shop that we might need one day. Buckets are one thing, but I don't think we will ever find a home for that 19" Zenith television, circa 1985, that yours truly couldn't give away and didn't want to throw in the dumpster.

Did you know that household fires are more common in the winter? Fall is the perfect time for replacing batteries in all of your fire alarms.

Bill Boyd

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fall Forward - Part 1: Painting and Gutters

As our company embarked on an early morning gutter repair project a few days ago, I wondered if I should have worn a jacket. The cool crisp air reminded me that Fall is quickly approaching. Schools are back in session, football is a frequent topic of conversation around Nashville, and it won't be long until the leaves change from green to shades of yellow, orange, and red. Thinking of these bright colors reminds me that the mild weather we are now experiencing is a perfect time to do exterior painting. And when those leaves start falling, many of them will end up in your gutters.

In Tennessee, exterior house paint has to stand up to extreme conditions, from snowy winter days to spring showers to 100+ degree heat and the bright summer sun. If it's been a few years since your house was last painted, or if you aren't sure when your house was last painted, you may be taking a chance by postponing repainting. Paint that is peeling or wearing off will quickly allow wood rot to begin, and other materials can suffer when paint comes off. Wait another season or two and you may have to replace wood trim or make other repairs in addition to investing in a new paint job. With sufficient prep work and high quality paint applied by professionals, a quality exterior paint job can last for several years, lowering your maintenance costs and saving you money in the long run. Painting is also one of the best ways to upgrade your home's curb appeal. Now, while we are enjoying lots of clear mild days, is a great time to do exterior painting in our area.

We would be glad to come out and take a look at the condition of the paint on your home. While there with a ladder, we can also quickly check the condition of your gutters and downspouts. At the home we repaired on that recent chilly morning, in just a couple of hours, we re-secured several of their gutter sections and reattached gutter extensions with rivets. These inexpensive repairs, along with a simple gutter cleaning in a few weeks, will go a long way in protecting our client's biggest investment.

Watch for our next post on roofing and some other items that may need attention before Winter.

Don't Forget: Estimates are Free. Neglect is Expensive.

Bill Boyd

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pricing - Part 4: Get Peace of Mind

Get Peace of Mind with our Fixed Pricing

As we say on our website, the question about pricing that we hear the most is: "You contractors are supposed to be professionals. Why don't you know what a job will cost ahead of time?"

That is a great question, and we have structured our company so that we can properly respond to it. We will offer a fixed price bid on almost any home repair job. Our fixed price proposal will include both labor and all materials. It will also include a detailed description of the work to be done and the precise costs for doing it.

Upon approval of pricing, a time will be scheduled for work to begin. On the day that work is to begin, our people will be on time. They will follow the agreed upon schedule and they will clean up after themselves. 

When your project has been completed, we will invoice you and you will be given payment options: Cash, check or all major credit cards. We do add a 3% charge for taking a credit card, but that is what we pay for providing that service and we do not want to penalize our clients who pay using cash or checks.

This post concludes our series on pricing. We hope it has been helpful to you. We look forward to your comments.  If you have any questions, please email us: or call us at 615.891.7334.

Bill Boyd

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pricing - Part 3: "Time and Materials" Billing

Some handyman companies prefer to operate using "time and materials" billing. With this method of billing, the client is billed by the hour for labor. It also means that the client pays for a mark-up in addition to the materials used on the job. This can be a fair way to operate. In order to be fair for the client, you should know the exact rates and mark-ups. Some good questions to ask: What is the standard hourly rate for labor? Is the handyman 'on the clock' when driving to my job and when driving to buy materials? Is there a different (higher) overtime rate, and if so, when does this overtime rate apply? What are the mark-ups on materials, on dump fees, on permit fees, etc.? If a subcontractor (e.g. electrician or plumber) is involved with my project, what is the mark-up?

Again, "time and materials" billing can be fair. This is especially true when you are dealing with a contractor you trust. This trust is important because you need to be certain that all time on your job, and all materials used, are tracked accurately and honestly. You have better things to do than auditing material receipts and standing there with a stopwatch while a handyman is working in your home.

You may be wondering why "time and materials" billing exists. A lot of contractors prefer it because it because it ensures that they are being paid for anything that happens. Did the handyman forget a tool or some material? Did he cut a board incorrectly? Did he start painting with the wrong color? With "time and materials" billing, you are agreeing to pay for their mistakes and for their extra trips to the workshop and/or the home improvement store.

With this type of billing, you may also be billed for "water cooler" talk time if more than one man is on your job. More than a few handymen we have met through the years are pros at both carpentry and story telling. Further, we have been told of a handyman at a local company who routinely buys more material than is needed for a job. The client pays for all the material, along with a robust mark-up, only to have the rogue handyman take the 'leftover' materials for his personal use.

If you like this post, please take a look at our other posts on pricing. Next week, we will describe a simpler pricing method that many of our clients prefer.

Bill Boyd

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pricing - Part 2: Our Overhead is Lower, So Our Clients Save

On our website, we state that prices fluctuate widely among contractors. Then, we offer several reasons why this is the case. We can't and don't want to match the rock bottom prices of fly by night contractors, those who are unlicensed and operate without liability insurance, or the guy in a truck who needs a big deposit before he says he will be able to schedule your job.

However, we gladly proclaim that our prices are lower than those of our legitimate competitors. One of the main reasons we beat them on price is that our overhead is lower than theirs. On average, our prices are 25% lower than theirs.

Some of our competitors outfit their handymen with brand new trucks and vans. The owners and managers of these companies typically work in fancy offices, furnished with artwork, mahogany desks and ergonomic leather chairs. They also have a bunch of office people to pay each week, including salesmen (sometimes called client account managers), executive assistants and office managers. It's a good bet that their office people stay happy and alert, thanks to their gourmet single serve coffeemakers & iced beverage machines.

At Results Handyman Service, our work vehicles are clean and reliable, but we buy them used and keep them maintained. Our company is both led and managed by the owners. We have no other office staff. We don't rent office space or pay a mortgage on a building. We operate out of an inexpensive warehouse with a small area set aside for a couple of vintage desks and a phone. The clerk at the local convenience store operates 'our' coffee machine. He knows we will be by early and that we like it black.

Because we are so diligent at keeping our overhead costs low, we are able to provide top quality home repairs at very reasonable prices. It's no surprise that we have a growing list of satisfied clients.

Bill Boyd

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pricing - Part 1: Cheap Things are Seldom Good

Steve and I have spend a good deal of time this winter discussing pricing. We are aware that too many companies in our industry take advantage of homeowners who don't have the facts on pricing. We want people to know more about this topic so they can protect themselves and recognize real value.

Below is something that caught my attention recently was a notice from the Nashville Police Department. It reminded me of something that my grandfather used to say: "Good things are seldom cheap and cheap things are seldom good".

East Precinct - Metropolitan Nashville Police Department
ATTENTION: Recently, across the city, there has been an upswing in an old scam. Someone unknown to you knocks on your door, offering roofing, driveway repair, or other service. Usually, the victim receives worthless service or none. If not already relieved of their money, the victim is threatened to pay up. Therefore, be wary of unsolicited offers that are too good to be true. Check credentials and verify employment claims and affiliations.

For years, we have been telling people to be on the lookout for unlicensed and uninsured contractors. Whether someone knocks on your door or not, you should be aware that people who offer very low prices are most likely not going to deliver a quality service to you. So, what would a homeowner encounter from the guy who offers a very low quote? First it is likely that the guy offering a rock bottom isn’t licensed as a contractor in the state of Tennessee. You can check for yourself at

It is also common for low cost contractors to operate without liability insurance or bonding. As a homeowner, you need to be aware that if you hire a contractor who is unlicensed and uninsured, you are taking on a significant risk. If that contractor damages your property, your homeowners insurance is not required to pay for the damage. This could make you responsible for a catastrophic loss.

Sadly, a good number of these low cost guys have substance abuse issues and therefore may need cash quickly. They may quote a price, ask a homeowner for a deposit and then proceed to get drunk or high. As an example, someone approached me and asked for a job last year. When I questioned him about his previous employment, he told me his former boss had terminated him because he was “too spaced out”. Steve and I saw him a few weeks later in a convenience store near our shop. As we were in line with our morning coffee, we noticed the "spaced out" guy purchasing a big can of Red Bull and an even bigger can of beer. I said hello and he seemed proud to mention that he hadn’t slept the night before AND was on his way to do “some electrical work”. We wouldn’t be shocked to learn that his career as an electrician was a short one!

We hope you can avoid all the spaced out "electricians" and other "cheap" contractors in our area this week. We look forward to sharing more about Pricing with you very soon.

Bill Boyd

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Results Handyman Service: 2011 Nashville Award Winner!

Steve and I are proud to announce that Results Handyman Service is the 2011 Nashville Award winner for Handyman Service Contractors category by the US Commerce Association. We were informed of this award in late December, and would like to take this opportunity to share our good news with everyone.

We sincerely thank our awesome clients, our talented & hardworking team members, and all of you who have supported our business throughout the past year. Without you, receiving such an award would not have been possible. We are super happy to be among what the USCA calls "an elite group of small businesses". Everyone on our team is thrilled about receiving this prestigious award. We look forward to keeping our momentum going and having 2012 be our best year yet.

A picture of the Award now on display at our office is below, followed by a  USCA press release.

-Bill Boyd

Press Release


Results Handyman Receives 2011 Nashville Award

U.S. Commerce Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement

NEW YORK, NY, December 18, 2010 -- Results Handyman has been selected for the 2011 Nashville Award in the Handyman Service Contractors category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).

The USCA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2011 USCA Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

About U.S. Commerce Association (USCA)

U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) is a New York City based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USCA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

The USCA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

SOURCE: U.S. Commerce Association

U.S. Commerce Association


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Winter & Home Repairs

Winter is a slow time in several industries and the home improvement industry is one of them. Companies like Results Handyman are looking for inside work now. We prefer to keep our guys busy this time of year, rather than having them stay home. What does this mean for homeowners? We can get most projects completed quickly, and we are now offering discounts!

Spring and Summer are good times to address painting and roofing, but what should you be focusing on when the temperatures drop? The obvious things are interior walls and ceilings. They may be cracking, damaged or perhaps they just need a coat of paint. This is a perfect time to get a free estimate on these kinds of repairs.

Cold temperatures can also bring to a head projects that you may have long known about, but didn't want to face. Are you noticing cold air around windows and doors? These are the two primary culprits when it come to energy loss. The remedy may be as simple as caulk. It would be helpful to have an experienced contractor do an inspection. We have years of experience when it comes to correcting faulty insulation and installing all types of weather stripping.

Middle Tennessee is hard on home foundations. We have long dry spells followed by heavy rains and this can cause foundations to shift and crack. It isn't unusual to find entire areas of a home sagging. We work with a structural engineer to provide reasonably priced solutions to these problems. Often, repairs and corrections can be made without damaging landscaping or drywall. We will present a proposal with a fixed price free of charge. As we often say, "Estimates are free but neglect is expensive".

Wood rot is a common issue and you would be surprised at how often and how cheaply it could be avoided. Keeping your gutters clean and your windows and doors coated will extend the life of your home. We offer a reasonable "one trip" price to make sure that your gutters (including downspouts) are cleaned and flushed. We also bag and remove all debris. We'll also caulk around doors and windows during the visit which will prevent moisture from getting behind wood trim, which is where most rot occurs. It takes less than 48 hours to get a free quote for this service.

One more item that you don't want to ignore is pipe insulation. Most burst pipes happen at night, and that is the most expensive time to call a plumber. Don't wait until the damage occurs and you are out hundreds (or thousands) of dollars. Call now to have an experienced contractor inspect your plumbing system.

-Steve Ford

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Price, Quality, Service

Several years ago, I spotted a sign on a store window that said: Price, Quality, Service - You Pick 2 of the 3. I assumed that this business owner thought he offered both good quality and decent service, but at a high price to the customer.

At Results Handyman Service, we know some home repair companies in Nashville who operate with this "2 out of 3" philosophy. As a client, we definitely think you should demand excellent quality and top notch service. But, you shouldn't be expected to pay super high prices. All the good handyman companies in our area have insurance, pay their workers well, and expect to make a fair profit.

Unlike some of our competitors, Results Handyman Service doesn't have expensive mahogany desks and ergonomic leather chairs, office managers, executive assistants, and brand new trucks and vans. Our work vehicles are clean and reliable, but not new. Our owners are the only ones in our small office. And that's only when they are not meeting clients or pitching in to help keep our projects on schedule and on budget. Because we keep our overhead costs low, we are able to provide our clients premium quality home repairs at moderate prices. In most cases, our hourly rate is $25 or more lower than the "2 out of 3" crowd. And remember, when it comes to service, it's in our name for a reason!

Price, Quality, Service: You Deserve All 3.

-Bill Boyd