How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Handyman?

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Gala Trimble

Subject: Handyman Team

If a team of two are working on a handyman project, should the hourly rate still remain the same, or is it usually increased for the second set of hands?


Subject: hourly rates

I have been doing thee types of repairs, ascwell as new residential and commercial construction for about 40 years and to be honest, it strictly depends on whether the other person is Skilled, or just a Helper. Skilled extra help is usually a little less than the Lead person and the unskilled, but knowledgeable helper, will usually be a third of the leads wage unless the skills he has Warrants a higher pay. I use both. Some to labor and fetch things as well as hand them to me and assist in installs, and the other that can do some tasks unsupervised. Hope this helps. Thx


Subject: handypeople

Don't forget a lot of these responses are from people in the business~ They'll never tell anyone but their family they're getting screwed~


Subject: Tile work

2 questions:
I have a 24 x 24 room which I am getting porcelain tile installed.
I have purchased all the materials as directed by an associate at Home depot, and the room has been cleared out. A contractor offered to install the tile for $850 Does this sound reasonable?

I found a local paint contractor as I wanted my garage floor painted.
Originally I wanted Epoxy, but he suggested a different type of paint as Epoxy was in his words ridiculously expensive. He quoted me $550. ( meanwhile another guy quoted $1200 for Epoxy ) , so I agreed and went ahead. He went to store to buy materials and immediately I wrote a check. Then he came back next day to paint.
He spend 1.5hrs in total. I feel completely robbed. How could he charge me $550 for 1.5 hrs work? When i questioned him, he said he was an insured construction company for over 20yrs and thats what the rates are. Does that sound right?


Subject: Tile

I agree... You got a steal on the tile. Most charge $10-20 a sf. (w/materials)


Subject: Why would you feel robbed?

It sounds to me like you need to look at things differently. You paid less than half for your garage floor.. Right?

850 sounds like a steal. My bathroom is 18 X 30 (Its awesome) and I ended up doing it myself because the quotes were 3-4 thousand.


Subject: Cost question

Recently had a 60 sq foot dropped ceiling replaced with 4 replacement canned lights. Electric already in place. Bill came to $900 in labor and $400 in material. The contractor spent 3 days and 6 hours each day. I cannot wrap my head around the labor cost. Can someone advise?

Dixie O'Connor

Subject: Electrical Labor Costs

Hi - Generally licensed electricians in Burlington, VT charge $65 on up for labor so using your calculation of 18 hours and a fee of $900, you paid $50 an hour. I'd say you got yourself a bargain!


Subject: Labor Cost

So you paid $80hr for the 3 days work which isn't bad because an Electrician paid separate alone would be $100 hr. and probably would have taken the day to do or at least half. You did good with price. If you are happy with the work then its a win-win!!


Subject: Cost

I want to add my 0.02 here because there seems to be a great disconnect of understanding business with home owners and some business owners.

Let's just create a parable for laymen sake. Imagine home owner you want to have a yard sale and you price all your stuff at new prices regardless of the current economy. But you feel your price points are worth the cost such as its still in the box and never been used, or its like new only used once and so on you get the picture. Now imagine every government agency from local to the IRS with their hand out wanting nearly 50% of what you took in.

Lets not forget the insurance for people coming in your yard just in case they get hurt so you don't get sued. Oh and you had to sit in the sun all day getting sun burn having to deal with the elements while your kids are trying to micro manage your day.

See that is what its like for a Handyman when you want to complain about his fees. So my question is did you not get other estimates? That is your option you know. Going with a low balling person is your worst mistake. If you're trying to save money end the end this will come back and bite you. It may cost you more but not as much as having to pay twice for the same work because you wanted to cut corners.

One thing I learned doing this is that no matter how low the price is dropped a customer who is price shopping is never satisfied with what it cost them.

scott sprowl

Subject: labor cost

Sounds more than reasonable. This works out to 50.00 per hr. Your not only paying just labor. Expertise is what you are paying, I'm in the handyman business, I'm paid but my years of experience and knowledge.

James Graham

Subject: Kitchen lighting

$900 to install 4 recessed cans? Sounds kinda steep to me especially with wiring already at the location. Were you watching him to see what he was doing? At most I would say 1/2 hour per can light, unless he was cutting drywall to run new wires and then having to patch all the holes. BUT still not 18 hours!

Travis Lee

Subject: labor costs

I agree. $50 per hour is good. Not only are you paying for the person's time, you're also paying for their experience and the usage of the tools needed to do the job properly. If they don't have the tool they either buy it or rent it.

Casey R. McKinney

Subject: Labor cost

Was there strictly 1 person working on this one problem? Were there multiple people working on this project? His rate comes to $50/hr....... that's very acceptable for 18 hours of work. If there were multiple people working on it, you got a heck of a deal, quit complaining.


Subject: reliability

I had good handymen...but one day they didn't come as promised and when I called they were so called, finishing up another job..Fine, so they should call me and let me is totally unacceptable.
It totally disrupted my entire day...I have plans too.

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I have never know of any spay on popcorn to have asbestos , but there is alot out there that I havent seen I guess. The best way of removing popcorn is with a 3 gallon sprayer and 12inch mudding knife. Spray the popcorn with warm water, let set for a minute and scrap.

OK - terminology issue here. The "shower pan" is a collection liner than underlies the shower floor itself, and is designed (if built and plumbed right) to trap any leakage from the shower floor and route it to the same floor drain pipe. Example image here, copper in this case -

It sounds like your are saying the shower floor or base unit failed - likely a fiberglass or plastic shower, which commonly fail due to incomplete support under them. This can be repaired if fiberglass, but is not usually done unless just microcracking, as it is hard to find an expert - usually you have to have a car body fiberglass specialist or a surfboard repair expert do it, and the color will not match perfectly unless you get a new gelcoat over the entire base unit. Cost about $300-500, ASSUMING the material can be repaired - true fiberglass can, thermoplastic can sometimes be welded but anyone's guess how long it will last without cracking again, plastics like PVC can rarely be fixed so they will hold someone standing on them. Any sort of repair is likely to crack again, because you have done nothing to remove the cause of the cracking which is standing on a base that is not fully supported over its full extent. Some cheepo or desperate plumbers try injecting non-pressuring type expanding foam underneath to improve the support - this does a great job of supporting it but unfortunately supports mold, so starts stinking in short order as a rule.

The normal fix is to remove and replace it, because once it is out there is no sense in putting a damaged one back in for the small increment in cost. Removing it means taking the shower wall liners or the bottom row or two of tile out so you can get the new base unit into place (because they overlap it), then replacing them. So, the $3000 range indicated is indicative of this type of job, which typically runs from a very low of around $1500-2000 for an identical base unit, to more typically $3-5,000 depending on whether a shower enclosure or tile walls. Of course,when the new one is put in, it is CRITICAL that it be fully supported - this means rubbing plumbers rouge or similar marking substance on the bottom, test fitting it, and then lifting it out and checking that all the stiffener ribs and support pads made contact with the pan, and making adjusments as necessary until it has full contact, then standing in it and rocking back and forth to check for any points not making full contat and fixing them.

The $10,000 plus numbers you got must have been for entire shower replacement down to the joists and studs, and the $30,000 range number would be typical for a full bathroom remodel with new shower or shower/tub and doors and surround, wall finishes, vanity, sink, toilet, and flooring and door.


I am not sure a general handyman is the right person for the skylight.  We fix quite a few skylights that were installed by handymen and that could be the problem at its origination.  You will want a roofer for that.


As long as you are splitting the trades at that point, might as well get a flooring contractor to look at the floor once you have figured out the skylight repair/replacement equation.