Your Only Handyman Guide To Find Best Handyman Services
What is a handyman service?
Handyman services typically include repair and maintenance operations that are usually offered to homeowners and businesses. The services offered by a handyman are of a general nature encompassing a number of repair and maintenance duties as opposed to that offered by a contractor who specializes in a specific area of technical expertise. In most cases, a contractor is a manager that would outsource or contract out the work to other handymen and would charge a premium on top of what he pays to the handymen he hired for work. A contractor, therefore, is suitable for jobs that are big in size, complex in nature, and require a team.
What jobs can a handyman do?
As far as handyman services for homeowners are concerned, they include; plumbing work, electrical work, basic paint work, cleaning, equipment and home appliance repair, etc. For businesses, the services are more or less the same with the addition of repairing and maintaining the company machinery, and identifying and reporting the need for major repairs.
How much should I charge for handyman services?
According to Home Advisor, the pricing of handyman services varies and depends on a number of factors. First of all, it depends on the size and complexity of the job that handyman is hired for. Second, it depends on the experience of the handyman; greater the experience, more the price. Third, it depends on whether the handyman works independently or if he is associated with any particular handyman services business. The more sophisticated the business is the more they tend to charge. Bigger handyman service businesses bring in more experience to the projects they do and that too with greater service quality.
When it comes to pricing, the handyman service can either be an hourly job or a fixed flat-rate job. Jobs that are usually in the installation space are fixed flat-rate, since there is not much uncertainty regarding the amount of time that would go into the completion of the task. Typical examples of these tasks can be mounting wall TVs, installing a toilet, among others. However, tasks that are in the repair and maintenance space tend to have variable hours. In these type of jobs, the handyman would usually prefer charging a per hour amount, in order to be compensated for the amount of time and effort he has put into the job.
Whether a job should be a fixed flat-rate or an hourly is something that can be and should be negotiated upfront. There can be instances where a $55/hour handyman would ask for a flat-rate of $150 and complete the job in an hour.
How much is a handyman per hour?
On average, the hourly rate of a handyman would range from $60 to $65. However, professional handymen or those associated with big companies tend to charge an average of $125 per hour. Moreover, the national average in United States of America is $77 per hour. Increased hourly rates come with the assurance that the handyman is an experienced professional, has a license to do these projects, and has some kind of liability insurance. A handyman having a liability insurance means that the insurance company would pay for any damages that might have taken place at work in which the handyman is at fault. Therefore, any claims made by the customer would be taken care of by the insurance company.
Do you tip a handyman?
Many homeowners and businesses have this question regarding how much to tip the handyman for the work accomplished. It is generally a good practice to tip the handyman, particularly if he has delivered a satisfactory or, as one could say, a top-notch service. For example, he diagnosed the problem quickly saving time, or he delivered professional quality work. In that case one might tip the handyman in the range of $20 to $50. There is no need to tip them a specific percentage of the total bill, no handyman expects that. If someone goes by the percentage approach, the percentage can be really high in some cases. Therefore, it is always wise to tip them in the range of $20 to $50. In addition to that one must also make sure that in case the handyman is working for a business, they pay the handyman and not the business owner or the contractor.
Why you should hire a handyman?
When it comes to home repair and maintenance or when you need to assemble or disassemble your furniture you might think that you can do this yourself. After all, tasks like these only require an average level of intelligence and you might wonder how difficult can these tasks be. But home repair, maintenance and installation jobs can actually be really frustrating and time consuming if you haven’t done them before. This happens for a number of reasons. First you don’t have the relevant experience of doing that particular task. Second, you don’t have all the required tools that are not only necessary but also make the job easier and quicker to complete. Third, you might not have available the safety gear that might be necessary to finish particular jobs, electrical work for example. Finally, would it be worth your time to engage yourself in these labor-intensive jobs when you have some other important work to do? This is why hiring a handyman comes really handy because he has all the relevant experience, he has done numerous jobs in that area of expertise, he has all the necessary tools that are required to do a particular job, and he has all the safety equipment that is needed. While the handyman does what he does best, you can find a better use of your time and save yourself from all the frustration.
Is handyman a good job?
People that become handymen usually start off working as a helper or an assistant with experienced and professional handymen. The typical entry level requirement, however, for becoming a handyman is a high school diploma or equivalent. Therefore, it is a good job for someone who wants to start earning right after high school. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, USA there were around 1,488,000 handyman jobs in the US market in the year 2018. Moreover, the job market for handyman is projected to grow at a stable rate of 6% from 2018 to 2028. In addition to this, the median annual wage for handyman services was around $38,300 in May, 2018. The lowest 10% earned less than $23,540 and the highest 10% earned more than $62,400. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor)
Is a handyman business profitable?
Many reading this would be wondering if they could actually start a handyman services business. For someone with home repair and maintenance experience/skill-set, starting a handyman services business would be a really practical and lucrative idea. But just like any other business, this business too comes with its own challenges and complexities. In order to be successful in this line of business, one does not only need the right set of capabilities in terms of skills and experience but also needs to get other essentials covered. One needs to have the right sets of tools required to cater any kind repair or maintenance job they land. They also need to have the relevant licenses to perform a particular task. Installation, repair and maintenance functions that are very sophisticated would require some kind of a license, and most licenses would require the handyman to pass an exam. Last but not least, just like any other business, the key is marketing. Without marketing one won’t be able to find new customers. This marketing can be through word of mouth, distributing flyers, having a website or having a social media footprint. One would need to position themselves where they are easily discoverable by their ideal audience, the ones that are looking for home maintenance and/or repair services. One might have a blog with relevant material regarding what handyman services they provide and how they do what they do. A perfect blend of all the above would definitely result in a very profitable handyman services business.
Do you need a license to work as a handyman?
In most cases you would be able to run a profitable handyman services business without having to worry about licensing. This is because many states have what they call a ‘Minor Work Exemption’ or ‘Handyman Exemption’. For example in the state of Arizona, United States, repairs and maintenance operations of a ‘minor or casual nature’ with a contract price aggregating to less than $1000 can be performed by an unlicensed handyman. In this case however, the $1000 contract price includes the cost of labor and materials. Let’s have a look at what is written regarding this exception in the California Contractors License Law & Reference Book issued by the Contractors State License Board;
“Work on a project where the combined cost (labor and materials, whether purchased by the contractor or the consumer) is less than $500. A project cannot be divided into smaller pieces or billed by the hour to get around the $500 limit.” (B&P Code §7028)
While a Florida handyman doesn’t need a license to perform work, he most likely needs a business license if he is receiving compensation for work. Not all Florida counties require that handyman businesses register, but most do. While a handyman working in Maryland will need a Home Improvement license from the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
Therefore, different states have different thresholds and different requirements for the exemption and you would need to refer to the licensing board of that state in your particular area of work.
The ‘Minor Work Exemption’ or the ‘Handyman Exemption’ would also depend on the nature of work you are performing as a handyman. For example, if you want to offer services in the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC) space, or electrical work, or work pertaining to the structural integrity of a building, you would need a license no matter what. It would not matter if the contract price is less than $1000 or not, since the nature of job is very sophisticated, and if not done properly or by a professional, there is an increased risk of things going wrong. Therefore, before starting to offer handyman services one should do a proper research as to what are licensing requirements for that type of work or, at least, should be aware of the limitations of the type of work that can be done if one wishes to continue as an unlicensed handyman.
Since having a license for handyman work above a certain threshold is essential (for instance, $500 in California), it therefore is important to be fully aware of the pitfalls of not having one and what would happen if one ends up contracting a project without a license. For example, in the California Contractors License Law & Reference Book issued by the Contractors State License Board regarding contracting without a license the following passage is written;
“Contracting for work valued at $500 or more without a license can lead to misdemeanor charges. Unlicensed contractors face a first offense sentence of up to six months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine, and potential administrative fines of $200 to $15,000. Subsequent violations can result in increased criminal penalties and fines…”
As long as you are very well within the $500 mark, in case of California, and $1000, in case of Arizona, you don’t need to worry about anything. But again, there are states that would require you to be licensed handyman no matter what the contracting price of the project is. Therefore, having a good understanding of licenses and how to get one is really crucial in this line of business.
Where can I get a handyman license?
After having established the importance of having a license, one might wonder how to get it in the first place. First of all, you would need to have a comprehensive understanding of the projects you want to do and services you want to offer as a handyman because it is possible that the projects you undertake are a combination of multiple services and each service might need a different license. Once you have determined what services you are going to offer and whether you need just one license or an individual license for the different aspects of the service, you would have to look up the licensing regulations of the state you are operating in. Sometimes these regulations can be very strict requiring you to complete up to 4 years of education to become a proper licensed handyman. But most states are not that strict. For example, the state of Michigan would require you to take 60 hours of educational courses to get a license in basic handyman work.This would include painting, carpentry, laying concrete, et cetera. However, on the contrary, the state of Nevada would require you to complete up to 4 years in education to be able to take projects in excess of $1000. After determining the license you require for your handyman business you would need to sign up to take the exams required for the license. You might be expected to take a number of exams, each covering a different module, in order to be fully eligible for the license. One or more of these exams would be related to the technical knowledge of the service you are providing. If there are any additional exams, they would be related to business operations and the laws, codes, and regulations associated with the line of work you are seeking a license for. Once you have passed the handyman license exam you would finally have to file an application for the license. Bear in mind that the exam scores are valid only up to certain period of time, and in most cases this duration can be as low as one (01) year. Therefore, try to file the application sooner than later. Complete all the necessary paperwork that is required by the State Board of Contractors. Moreover, most states, in addition to all the necessary paperwork would also require you to submit the general liability and worker’s compensation insurance, or maybe one of them.
1. General Liability Insurance:
Commercial general liability (CGL) is a type of insurance policy that provides coverage to a business for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage caused by the business’ operations, products, or injury that occurs on the business’ premises. (Source: Investopedia)
2. Worker’s Compensation Insurance:
Workers’ compensation insurance protects employees under state laws and provides medical care, death, disability and rehabilitation benefits for workers who are injured or killed while on the job. The insurer agrees to pay all compensation and benefits related to the insured employer’s state’s workers’ compensation laws. (Source: Investopedia)
How do I start a home repair business?
After having acquired the relevant license(s), you are only a few steps away from setting up a licensed home repair business providing handyman services and following are these steps;
- Start an LLC (Limited Liability Company)
- Get an EIN (Employer Identification Number)
- Apply for a Business License
Starting an LLC (Limited Liability Company):
Starting an LLC is really simple. All you need to do is to go to your State Secretary’s website and start out with filing an application. Choose a name for your company and make sure it is not already taken. Put in all the relevant details and pay the required application fee which is usually going to be in the range of $100-300. It would take a couple of weeks for the relevant company creation documents to reach you by mail.
You might be wondering as to why you need to setup an LLC. As a matter of fact, you don’t need an LLC to start your handyman services business or any business for that matter. Many would argue that having an LLC would look professional and give a lot of credibility to the business. Professionalism and credibility is important but this is not the major reason why you would need an LLC. To understand the real reason we would first have to understand the difference between a sole proprietorship and a limited liability company.
Sole Proprietorship versus Limited Liability Company
The sole proprietorship is the simplest business form under which one can operate a business. The sole proprietorship is not a legal entity. It simply refers to a person who owns the business and is personally responsible for its debts. (Source: Entrepreneur)
Limited Liability Company (LLC):
A limited liability company (LLC) is a corporate structure in the United States whereby the owners are not personally liable for the company’s debts or liabilities. (Source: Investopedia)
The reason it is wise to have an LLC for a handyman services business is that in case a customer decides to file a claim, he would have to do that against the business and not the person. This would limit the liabilities to the company. Individuals that start their business as a sole trader or sole proprietorship are vulnerable to claims and lawsuits filed by customers or any individual that your business might have caused any harm that may be liable to compensation for punitive measures.
Get an EIN (Employer Identification Number):
An EIN is used for tax-related purposes. In order to get one, all you need to do is to go to be IRS website and download the application. List your company name, your SSN (Social Security Number), and required information. An EIN is very important if you plan on hiring employees. However, if you want to run your business as a single individual then your SSN would suffice and you would not need an EIN.
Apply for a Business License:
Finally you would be required to get business licenses in the city you want your business to operate in, because each city has different regulations determining how businesses can operate there. For this you would need to contact the local Chamber of Commerce for assistance. Fill out the application form and wait for the license to arrive by mail. Having a local city license is very similar to the one you would get from the state. It might have a small fee and may take a couple of weeks to arrive by mail. Moreover, you should also be aware of any city-level regulations that there might be regarding the operations of handyman services.
How much does a Mr. Handyman franchise cost?
Other than starting a handyman services business from the scratch, one good alternative is to buy a franchise of an already well-known business in the same niche. Mr. Handyman is a very good example and they do offer franchising. According to their website, the initial investment for a handyman franchise usually varies. However, the franchise fee is $59,900 with a total investment ranging from $117,500 to $149,500. These investment figures are only an estimate and the actual value would be determined when you contact the Franchise Developers at Mr. Handyman.
According to the Mr. Handyman website, the total investment would roughly depend on the following four (04) factors;
- Territory Size: This includes the number of households within a geographical area where the franchise would serve. Greater the number of households, bigger the investment. According to criteria set by Mr. Handyman there should be around 40,000 to 60,000 households.
- Startup Costs: Starting a completely new Mr. Handyman franchise would require new equipment, supplies, vehicles and other business-related expenses.
- VetFran Discount: Handyman offers a 15% discount on the initial investment to the veterans.
- Existing Business:If you already have a similar business in the same handyman services niche, then there is roll-in discount if you rebrand your business to Mr. Handyman.
How do I become a handyman on Taskrabbit?
Besides, going for a franchise of an already existing handyman services business, one can also sign up on online marketplaces that bring together freelance labor and local consumers. For someone interested and skilled in handyman services and not having the significant initial investment required in franchising, this is the way to go. One good example of such online marketplace in the American market is TaskRabbit (www.taskrabbit.com).
TaskRabbit is an American online and mobile marketplace that matches and brings together freelance labor and any sort of labor-intensive demand there is, allowing customers to find help immediately and at a per-hour pricing of their liking. TaskRabbit has freelancers that offer services including cleaning, moving, delivery and handyman work. Following are all the services that are currently listed on the TaskRabbit website.
|Handyman Services||Yard Cleanup & Removal||Furniture Delivery|
|Hauling Services||Delivery Services||Light Installation|
|Help Moving||Laundry Services||Closet Organizing Services|
|Hire a Personal Assistant||IKEA Furniture Assembly||Furniture Removal|
|Minor Home Repair||TV Mounting||Furniture Movers|
|Hire a Painter||Hanging Pictures Help||Disassemble Furniture|
TaskRabbit has made the process of signing up really simple. You can simply go to www.taskrabbit.com and click on ‘Become a Tasker’. After clicking, you would be required to put in your personal details. Once you have done that you would be required to ‘Attend Info Session’, the session is designed to familiarize you with the mobile application, to give you an overview as to how you can boost your chances on the platform, and to guide you to draw your ‘Work Area Map’. Work Area Map is the geographical boundary within which you are willing to do projects and would like to be notified whenever a job within your domain of expertise comes up.
There are two ways you can get projects on TaskRabbit. First is the ‘Job Feed’ where customers post jobs they want to get done. You can easily browse through the job feed and find the projects you are interested in and apply on them. The customer would get multiple applications from the likes of you. After interacting with the potential candidates the customer would select the ‘Tasker’ he/she deems fit.
Second, the customer would directly contact you i.e. the Tasker after browsing the TaskRabbit marketplace. When a customer invites you for a project, you would be notified and after having a conversation with the customer you can make your final decision.
The platform helps the customers making the hiring decision by giving every Tasker profile the following metric ratings and badges.
- Positive Reviews (Metric): How often this Tasker received a positive review based on all tasks completed.
- Reliability (Metric): How often this Tasker shows up and completes the task.
- Task Count (Metric): How many jobs the Tasker has done in a particular area of expertise.
- Great Value (Badge): The Tasker has a high rating and a great price.
- Elite Tasker (Badge): The Tasker is an Elite Tasker because they are experienced and consistently get high ratings and reviews.
Can I do plumbing without a license?
Whether or not you can do plumbing work without a license depends on the state you are working in. For example, in California you can do any plumbing work as long as it within a $500 range (inclusive of all material and labor costs), similarly in Utah the threshold is $3000. But you can only take work that is of ‘minor or casual nature’, like replacing a kitchen faucet. However, in some states handyman are prohibited by law from performing any kind of plumbing work without having a proper license and insurance. This is because most of the plumbing operations involve water and seals; even a minor leak can end up wasting around 10,000 gallons of water per year. Moreover, water seepage due to leaky pipes can lead to structural damage to the building. In some cases plumbing work deals with high pressure steam, letting an unlicensed handyman or plumber work on these projects greatly increases the risk of there being an explosion and subsequent human injury and property damage. Therefore, it is always wise to get a plumbing license before taking up major plumbing project.
Can a handyman do electrical work?
In America, every state has different rules and regulations. Most states have some kind of a ‘Minor Work Exemption’ or ‘Handyman Exemption’ that allows handyman to do projects below a certain threshold with being required to have a license. For example, in California, any job that is worth less than $500 (inclusive of all materials and labor costs) can be done by a handyman without a license. Therefore, a handyman can do electrical work or any work for that matters, as long as it is below the $500 mark. Moreover, the work must also be of ‘minor or casual nature’ to be able to fall under the ‘Minor Work Exemption’. In case of electrical work it can mean replacing lights or replacing an electrical fixture. But this exemption wouldn’t include wiring because wiring can only be done by a licensed electrician. If a handyman wants to do major electrical work or he wants to do electrical work worth more than $500, he would be required to get a C-10 Electrical Contractor License from the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB).
Do I need a plumber to replace a toilet?
Replacing a toilet is generally a very straightforward task having a few very clearly defined steps. You can find many DIY articles online and videos on YouTube. If you have been involved in DIY home repairs and installations, replacing a toilet wouldn’t be a big deal. In most cases, what makes a toilet replacement expensive is not the toilet itself but it is the plumbing cost that makes it expensive. According to Home Guide most homeowners spend around $150-180 (exclusive of the price of the toilet). The replacement cost including the toilet prices ranges somewhere between $221-427. Therefore, if you have the skill of replacing a toilet then you might end up saving a lot. But there is a downside to this as well. While installing or replacing a toilet you have deal with water and seals, there is good chance that you might not seal the connections properly. A leaking toilet can cause the water to seep into the floor beneath the tiles, if you have a floorboard it will start to warp and disfigure. Moreover, this seeping water is sewage water. Other than the structural damage it will leave you, your family, and your pets at risk due to the constant exposure of raw sewage water. Whether to replace the toilet yourself or not is a judgment call and it should include a proper risk-benefit analysis.
Can a handyman replace a faucet?
In most cases a handyman can very easily replace a faucet. But there could be situations where the lack of accessibility, rust and other leakage problems might require a journeyman plumber to fix it for you. Even in these tricky situations an experienced handyman can replace a faucet for you and in most cases without even having a plumbing license. However, since in replacing a faucet we are dealing with seals and water, it is really important to monitor it for the next 24-48 hours for any potential leakages.
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Last update on 2019-11-21 from Amazon Product Advertising API