Tips & Advice
What types of services does a handyman offer?
A handyman offers small, miscellaneous repair and maintenance services, usually for the home. These services might include installing faucets and sinks, putting shelves together, resurfacing cabinets, replacing light switches, carpentry repairs, pressure washing, drywall service, and hanging photos. As a general rule, handymen cannot take on large jobs or anything defined as “structural.”
Does a handyman do electrical work?
A handyman can do minor electrical work, i.e. replace light fixtures and switches, in most states. However, they cannot do anything technical, i.e. anything that touches routing wires or circuit boxes.
Note that for mid-sized jobs that do not require a full-on electrician, but do require some electrical expertise--like fixing wiring in lamps, or replacing electrical panels--there is such a thing as an “electrical handyman” who has obtained an electrical license.
How much does a handyman service cost?
Typically, a handyman service costs in the range of $60-$75 per hour, if the handyman is an independent service provider, based on what is needed to be done in the home. A handyman agency will charge more--in the range of $100 per hour. In most situations, a handyman can also charge based on the project, and will give a flat rate for a standard small project that they know will take a certain amount of labor and parts costs. For this type of job, many handymen will give a quote before beginning. Also, ask if there is a “travel” charge or an “after-hours” charge.
What is handyman service?
Handyman service is also known as a maintenance person or “jack of all trades” specializing in odd jobs and upkeep around the house. The word “handyman” describes people who are “handy,” i.e. good with fixing things--or good at hands-on labor jobs. Handyman service is a standard convenience for people who don’t want to DIY small home projects, but don’t want to hire a licensed specialized contractor either.
Does being a handyman require a license?
Being a handyman does not require a license in all states, but it does in some. Furthermore, some states let individual counties or cities set their own contracting laws. The parameters of what is considered handyman work vs. contractor work are sometimes determined by the dollar amount of the project invoice, so an unlicensed handyman can legally take on a painting or electrical job that is small enough to be under the legal dollar amount. In other places, there’s a definition for handyman work that can be done without a license: i.e. small non-structural repairs.
Do home remodeling companies offer warranties?
Yes, home remodeling companies have a responsibility to offer minimum warranties to clients, and many of the reputable ones provide warranties well beyond the minimum terms.
Do home improvement projects require a permit?
Yes, home improvement projects almost always require a permit. Only remodels that are purely cosmetic--i.e. interior painting, cabinet refacing, replacing hard flooring--do not require permits. It is usually prudent to check with the local building/permitting office in advance of beginning the project.
What is a home improvement contractor?
A home improvement contractor is a licensed, insured, and bonded residential contractor who specializes in home renovations, home remodels and additions. Some home improvement contractors are mid-sized companies with employees, and they can handle major projects, such as second-story additions, from soup to nuts, bringing on reputable subcontractors and handling the permits with the local authorities. Other home improvement contractors specialize in just a few trades, like flooring or roofing. Individual, inexpensive home improvement contractors can be just a step up form handymen or carpenters--but if they’re making any lasting changes to the residence, they should still be licensed and insured.
What is a home improvement loan?
A home improvement loan is a loan specifically earmarked for renovating/remodeling the residence, and if the collateral is home equity, the borrower usually needs to detail the scope of improvements and costs, and a contractor needs to sign off when complete. However, people with good credit can also commonly take out unsecured home improvement loans, and there’s also an option of taking out a subordinate (second) mortgage.
Is home renovation the same as home remodeling?
Home renovation is not the same as home remodeling, though it is similar. Home renovation is the term for making improvements to the elements of a residence that are rundown or noticeably dated or too old to be comfortable/livable any longer.