We've had plenty of experience trying to get our houses repaired in the Hamptons—not always happy ones. So if you need help figuring out how to find people to get things fixed, read along.
Start by using your Google finger to find workers. Craigslist is another good resource. What about a service such as Angie's List? In the Hamptons, not enough businesses are listed to make it worthwhile, in our experience. They use a geographical radius to determine which contractors are local to you, which isn't helpful here, because plumbers in New London are not going to boat over and replace your faucet.
Once you've found contractors, it's time to get out your phone. You will call 4-5 people and maybe two will call you back. Whoever you manage to reach on the phone and talk to is the one who will actually get the job.
Try to use local people. If you use a large company who advertises service "from Manhattan to Montauk," rest assured they probably don't mean it--especially the Montauk part. Local people are more likely to show up and besides, it's better to keep the Hamptons economy strong using local workers. Sometimes, though, a large company will actually show up and is better at scheduling than an individual proprietor.
Wait—they might not show up? Possibly. Unfortunately contractors aren't necessarily the best at scheduling their time, especially if they work for themselves. Get used to the idea that if this is your summer house, not your full-time residence, you will be spending time waiting for workers who won't show up. You could try calling a maintenance company or manager who will do this for you.
Once you've become a bit more experienced, you will assemble a team of local plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and so on, who you know to be reliable. Make sure to recommend them to others—good work deserves good word of mouth.
Sometimes it's just easier to learn to do small repairs yourself: fixing a running toilet, replacing some wood molding, spackling a hole. Know your own comfort level and don't attempt anything dangerous like electrical wiring or plumbing gas. The Internet and Youtube has a wealth of information out there on doing repairs and you can go as slowly as you need to. You might surprise yourself with your own competence! [Curbedwire]