Have a home repair? A handyman can fix it and more
From small repairs to large home improvement projects, highly rated handymen explain how useful a jack-of-all trades can be for homeowners.
What jobs can handymen in your area perform?
Tracy Roberts: Doors, windows, painting, drywall flooring, bathroom remodel — there’s so much.
Vincent Smith: It differs every day. One day, I’m building a fence. The next day, I’m doing a bathroom remodel. It’s never the same thing.
Dan Wentworth: In the state of Kentucky, you don’t have to be licensed to do electrical repairs or install electrical outlets. It’s the same with plumbing. In the state of Kentucky, a handyman can do anything in the home.
What jobs are outside a handyman’s purview?
Roberts: Electrical, plumbing, roofing and A/C. Anything that you have to pull a permit to do, a handyman can’t do it.
Who we spoke to
Tracy Roberts Handyman Service
Newport Beach, California
To learn more, see the Angie's List Guide to Hiring a Handyman
Smith: I’m not allowed to do hot mop, a process to seal bathroom tile. Pretty much, I do everything else.
Wentworth: We can’t do work on heat and air units or install new electrical or plumbing, but we can make repairs.
Do you charge by the hour or by the job?
Roberts: I charge by the job. I bid the job.
Smith: I charge by the hour. My rate is $55 an hour.
Wentworth: We are an hourly service. Rates start at $70. If it’s electrical- or plumbing-related, then it goes to $90 an hour.
Should customers pay upfront?
Roberts: My policy is — and I haven’t had any problem whatsoever — if the job is $300, $400, I go ahead and pay [for materials] out of pocket. If it’s, like, $5,000 I request 50 percent upfront and then the other 50 percent on completion.
Smith: For a first-time client, I have you pay for materials then you can pay me for the job after it’s done. I don’t get paid upfront for anything. If you’re a trusted client, I can pick up the materials and then you can pay me.
Wentworth: Never. The contractor buys the material, and he’ll give the receipts to be reimbursed.