How to Find a Great Handyman

How To Find A Great Handyman

What Types of Work Does a Handyman Do?

If you’re anything like me, there are MANY times when you either don’t have the right skills or just don’t have time to tackle household tasks and you’d love to find a great handyman to take care of them for you.

A good handyman can perform various types of work, ranging from plumbing to general maintenance and basic home repairs. Other types of work a handyman may do include installing lights and ceiling fans, painting walls, and digging into gardening and landscaping tasks.

Some handymen choose to specialize and focus on certain types of tasks, while others will do any work they can get their hands on.

Find a Great Handyman: What Should You Look for When Hiring?

It’s important to be careful and thorough when hiring a handyman, as the last thing you want to do is hire someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing and only makes things worse.

Here are some important considerations you should make when hiring a handyman:

Are They Licensed & Insured?

These are both important points to check before any handyman starts performing work on your home. Checking whether or not they’re licensed helps you get a sense of their competence and knowledge, though you should keep in mind that a state or federal handyman license isn’t available for all types of work.

Making sure that they are insured is very important as well, as if a handyman gets injured while working in your home and they don’t have insurance, you could end up responsible for potential medical bills.

Does the Handyman You’re Considering Have the Right Skills for the Job?

Asking what kind of jobs they can do is advisable even if you already know that they can perform the type of work you currently need, as you or a friend might need more assistance later, so it’s good to have an idea of what other work they can do in advance.

How Much Do They Charge?

Cost is always an important consideration, especially when it comes to hiring a handyman as the work can be quite expensive. Be sure to be clear on how you will be billed (per hour or per project, for example) and also be clear on if their price covers the cost of any required materials or replacement parts.

Once you have an idea of the total cost of using a particular handyman, you can get other quotes and make a comparison (though it’s not advisable to solely base your decision on price.)

Do They Guarantee Their?

In most cases, a handyman can fix the issue at hand and it won’t be a problem again in the immediate future. However, there are occasions where the issue reappears – and unless you have agreed a guarantee with them, they are under no obligation to come back and fix the issue again.

This is why it’s a good idea to agree a guarantee – especially for plumbing and electrical work, as you may need another round of work almost immediately if there’s another issue that was causing the initial problem – and have it included in your written contract with the handyman.

How Soon Can The Job Be Completed?

It’s important to know when the job will be completed, especially if you’re in a hurry. Having a target date to go by will help stress to the handyman that you want the work to be done urgently, and you may be able to cancel the contract if it’s not delivered by that date.

Can They Provide References?

When we moved into our house, we posted a request for referrals on our neighborhood Facebook page and got several great recommendations from locals who had great experiences hiring handymen.

Many handymen rely on referrals and word of mouth to get new business. And, with there being quite a few unscrupulous handymen out there, it’s advisable to only consider working with a handyman if they ca/n provide some references who can vouch for them and the quality of their work.

This doesn’t completely eradicate the risk of you using a handyman who won’t do a good job, but it certainly reduces it and can give you an idea of what they’re like to work with before you part ways with your hard-earned cash.

How Much Does a Handyman Cost?

On average, a handyman in the US charges $18.36 per hour of work, according to data compiled by ZipRecruiter. There is some variation in cost throughout the US, but in most cases, you should expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $20 per hour.

However, you should keep in mind that some handyman jobs, especially those which are more skilled and technical, like plumbing or electric work, are considerably more expensive than less advanced work, like painting or gardening.

The best way to get an accurate idea of what you should expect to pay for a particular job is to get a few quotes from different handymen. Be sure to factor in the cost of materials and parts so your comparison is representative.

Where Can I Find a Great Handyman?

As mentioned, many handymen get new business from word of mouth and referrals – and that’s typically the best way for you to find a great handyman. But, if you’ve recently moved to a new neighborhood or just don’t know anyone else who has recently used a handyman, there are other ways to find a trustworthy and reliable handyman.

Yelp is a good place to start, as there should be a good selection of handymen and other contractors in your area. And because Yelp is a very active platform, most handymen will have at least a few reviews, so you can get an idea of their reputation and what to expect from hiring them.

Angie’s List is another great platform to use to find handymen (and just about any other type of informal paid labor, like babysitters and cleaners.) Unlike Yelp, you have to pay a subscription fee (which starts at $30 per year) to access Angie’s List, but it can be well worth the money as there’s a great selection of handymen on there.

And, if you just want to use this platform to find a great handyman for a single job, you can instead purchase a monthly plan and cancel your subscription once you’ve found the one you’re happy with.

Should I Do the Work Myself?

After discovering some of the challenges of finding a good handyman, you may be thinking if it’s even worth the fuss and if you may be better off performing the work yourself. Ultimately, it comes down to your competence at the task you have on your hands.

If it’s a fairly simple task, like painting, and you have some free time on your hands, it can be a good idea to just perform the task yourself and save yourself some money in the process. However, if it’s something more advanced, it’s advisable to find a great handyman to make sure the job is done properly.

Final Thoughts

It can be stressful to find a great handyman, as some unscrupulous contractors have given the industry a bad name and it’s difficult to know who you’re getting into bed with before you part ways with your cash.

However, as long as you follow our tips – like always agreeing a contract and specifying certain details, such as a delivery date and a guarantee period – you should be fine. It’s always best to stick to referrals from friends or neighbors, but if that’s not an option you should be sure to request a couple of references before you let a handyman start working on your property.

A Quick Summary

  • Most of us will need to rely on a handyman at some point in our life, but hiring a good one is easier said than done.
  • Find a great handyman who can perform various types of work, ranging from plumbing and electrical work to general maintenance.
  • It’s important to be careful and thorough when hiring a handyman, as they may do a poor job and will therefore force you to hire (and pay) another handyman to do the job again.
  • There are many important considerations you should make when hiring a handyman.
  • For example, you should check if they are insured and licensed, and be sure to get a few local references from them.
  • You should also ask if they offer a guarantee and check exactly how you will be billed (per hour or per project, for example.)
  • The best way to find a good handyman is through word of mouth, but if that’s not an option you should try using Yelp or Angie’s List.
  • The latter is for paid members only, but it’s quite affordable and can be used to find all sorts of informal workers.
  • The US average cost of a handyman is $18.36 per hour, but you should be prepared to pay more for electrical or plumbing work, among other types of more skilled labor.
  • If the work you need done is quite simple, like painting, you may decide to just do it yourself and save yourself the money and hassle of finding and hiring a handyman. 
David Goldstein
David launched Boomer Buyer Guides with his wife Alice to provide Baby Boomers with trustworthy, well-researched information about products and services that Baby Boomers buy. Learn more about David Goldstein