• If you own a home, you will be responsible for maintenance of the house and yard including odd jobs. If you have a strict HOA (Home Owners’ Association), you will be forced to keep a clean appearance of roof, gutters, walls, fence and yard or you may be fined.Odd jobs include lawn mowing, tree trimming, fence repair, gutter cleaning, driveway power-washing, house-wall power-washing, painting, plumbing, electricity repairs, water heater repairs, and air conditioning repair, and dependent on the type of job, are provided by individual handymen or companies.

    Lawn and Maintenance Jobs

    Lawn mowing, tree trimming, fence repair, gutter cleaning, power-washing and painting are often done by Spanish-speaking personnel with little to no English-speaking skills. Unless you are fluent in Spanish, it is advised to make it clear to the manager or leader who often has good skills what you want specifically and have him talk to his crew.

    For lawn mowing services, prices range between $20 – $40 depending on size of yard and are often considered a great value compared to mowing yourself in record breaking heat. In the winter months, grass may only need to be cut once a month, but during growing season ranging from March to October, every week. A good lawn mowing service will put your home on a set schedule. Payment is usually by cash or check in person or by leaving it in a safe place for the mower to pick up and may include several weeks in one payment.

    Some lawn mowing services may also offer fence repair, tree trimming and gutter cleaning service but in general, there are specific individuals or companies to hire for these type of jobs. Prices can range around $200 to $400 depending on amount of work to do. They are paid the same way as lawn mowing services.

    Finding someone for these type of jobs is usually fairly easy as you can just ask around the neighborhood or check the local neighborhood paper. Many providers also proactively contact you by posting a business card or flyer on your door describing their services or may even knock on your door to ask if you need some work done.

    Repair Jobs

    Jobs such as plumbing, electricity repairs, water heater repairs and air conditioning repair are considered specialty jobs and are usually offered by either individuals or larger companies that are certified to work on such equipment. Some companies provide some sort of combination of the services, such as plumbing and heating & cooling (air conditioner) and it is useful to establish a relationship with them so that you become a priority when your air conditioner breaks in the 100F heat in the summer and wait times can be eternal.

    Contractors offer professional personnel with certifications but reputation and services vary and it is always advisable to try to find a reputable company through recommendation of a friend or coworker first.

    For more ways of finding a company, use some of these resources:

    1. Ads in local neighborhood paper, Yellow Pages or online at http://www.craigslist.com
    2. Visit The American Society of Plumbing Engineers, Houston, TX, http://www.aspe-houston.com
    3. Electricians Houston, http://www.electricianshouston.com
    4. Houston Better Business Bureau, http://houston.bbb.org
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