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.
Are drywalls installed with nails or screws?
Either nails or screws are effective in hanging drywall. Nails are cheaper, but it takes longer to hammer nails them into a wall stud. Screws are a bit more expensive, but are can be drilled in faster and are generally more secure, which is ideal for ceiling installations. Screws can be easier to remove if you need to take out a piece of drywall. The difference is going to be negligible.
How is drywall installed?
Installing drywall is really not a complicated process.
- Decide on nails and hammer or screws and a drill.
- Once you have your drywall, start by putting adhesive on the wall studs (the vertical structure that holds the wall in place). This helps hold it in place while nailing or drilling it in.
- Align the sheet across the ceiling and across the studs and hammer/drill a few nails/screws into it, approximately 12-18 inches apart. Make sure the nail heads sit BELOW the surface. You will cover this will filler later.
- Measure and cut your next piece of drywall. Be sure to use a rasp (file) to hone any rough edges.
- Hang, nail/screw into place and continue the process. Be sure to mark location of wall studs so you know where to hammer/drill.
- Once you have measured and hung all drywall, you will use filler to cover any gaps and the nails or screws to create a flat surface.
- If you have electrical boxes in the wall, be very careful working around them.
How much weight can drywall support?
How much weight drywall can support varies on several factors. First is thickness. Drywall comes in three standard sizes; 5/8, 3/8, and 1/4. Obviously, thicker is sturdier. Drywall is surprisingly sturdy and can support up to roughly 40 pounds on a single anchor stud, but the key to strength is to spread the weight out over multiple anchors, the objects you drill into the wall to hang things on that come in a variety of sizes and strengths. Using more of them distributes the weight out and lessens the burden on the individual one. So, heavier objects, like mirrors, will need more anchors. Different types of anchors include: toggle bolt, threaded toggle, molly bolt, threaded anchor, and the various types of picture hangers. Hanging objects from a wall stud (the wood borders that make up your wall and sit behind your drywall) will provide maximum strength.
There is no healthy dust; it’s all harmful to a degree. Breathing drywall dust frequently, over time, will likely cause symptoms similar to allergies. Frequent inhalation can lead to sinus and throat irritation, coughing, phlegm, and reactions similar to asthma. This condition can be easily remedied by proper ventilation and wearing a face mask when working around drywall. If you are hanging drywall on a one-time basis you are probably OK, but prolonged exposure will eventually have harmful effects. Use a mask; they’re cheap and readily available.
Is drywall fire resistant?
Yes, there are fire resistant drywalls available. Different manufacturers use slightly different ingredients and some use fire-resistant additives. For instance, fire-rated gypsum uses glass-fiber reinforcement, along with other additives that enhance its ability to resist fire. Type X drywall is rated fire resistant and contains the glass fiber reinforcements as well. Type X has special core additives for enhanced fire resistance, and is usually 5/8 inch thick. This does not mean they are fire-proof, it means they can stand up to fire better and can last longer than lesser-built materials. Ultimately, everything can burn.