Spring has sprung, and along with the warmer weather comes home improvement season. Better Business Bureau wants consumers to do their research and especially be aware of one local handyman who starts jobs but doesn’t finish them, leaving his customers with even bigger headaches.

M&D Construction has earned an F rating with BBB. The company is owned and operated by Michael James Day and is based in Washington Court House. BBB is investigating two serious complaints on M&D Construction after being contacted by consumers who hired the company to work for them.

One consumer hired Mr. Day to fix a slow-flushing toilet; months after snaking the main drain, the snake is still there and the consumer is faced with a $10,000 estimate for repairs.

Another consumer hired him to fix a fence, and put in a concrete patio and laundry room. Months after beginning the renovations at a cost of $11,000.00, she says her home is in shambles. Mr. Day does not respond to her repeated requests to return, or refund her money.

“Spring is prime time for home improvement projects, and BBB always advises consumers to do their research before hiring a handyman,” said Kip Morse, President/CEO of BBB serving Central Ohio. “We have created a variety of resources for consumers to easily find trustworthy businesses in our community, including our dedicated home improvement microsite, bbbhomehelp.com.”

BBB offers these tips for hiring a handyman:

* Ask for Suggestions. Ask friends, family members, and neighbors to recommend a reputable handyman they have used in the past. Check out all of the recommended handymen at bbb.org to read reviews and make sure there are no outstanding complaints.

* Make a List of Needs. Make a list of exactly what projects you would like the handyman to complete. When selecting a candidate, be sure to ask them about their range of skills and if they specialize in a particular project. Discuss the list with each handyman you are considering to be sure they have prior experience completing the jobs.

* Interview At Least Three Handymen. Request an estimate from each handyman. Ask all the handymen how many years of experience they have. Ask them to provide a list of references you may contact. Find out if the previous customers were satisfied with the completed project and if it was finished according to schedule. Be sure to ask if they would use the handyman again for a future job if needed. If possible, visit the references’ homes to check out the completed projects in person.

* Check Credentials. Be sure to get proof that the handyman is licensed and registered in the state you live. Find out the type of insurance the handyman carries to be sure you will be covered in case there is an accident on your property. Find out if the job you need completed requires a permit and if the handyman will be able to obtain the permit for you.

* Discuss Payment. The handyman you hire could charge in a variety of different ways. Find out if the handyman charges by the hour, by the type of job, or another method. Set up a payment schedule before they start working on your house. Never pay in full up front.

* Get Everything in Writing. Require that the handyman provides a contract that includes: the start and completion date, details of each job, and the payment schedule. Ask if the handyman will provide a guarantee for their work. If so, be sure it’s included in the written agreement. Before making the final payment, inspect the completed job to be sure it’s done to your satisfaction.

* Beware of Scams. Don’t trust handymen that solicit door-to-door or claim they have material left over from their last job. Walk away from a handyman that demands to be paid before the job is completed. Be wary of handymen that pressure you into a decision, only want to be paid in cash, or request that you obtain a permit for them.

Staff report