Hiring a Handyman for Minor Home Repair

home repairs
Photo of a cat looking at a handyman by eye of einstein/Flickr.

Need some small repairs done around the house? You might find hiring a handyman to be very cost-effective.

The decision to hire a local handyman for minor home repair depends on the scope of the project, your own abilities, and the amount of time you have to work on it. Handymen can be very useful for small-scale projects that have stacked up over time, creating a "honey-do" list of items like replacing washers, caulking around sinks, and repairing sticky windows. For more complex projects such as remodeling, rewiring, roofing, and making major home repairs, it’s better to work with a licensed contractor.

Handyman Skills and Training

Handymen generally have a variety of home repair skills and can handle basic plumbing, electricity, heating and cooling, painting, and repairs. They’re more skilled and experienced than many homeowners, and must be licensed or registered with the state where they work. Some handymen might have specialty training, but not the advanced training of specialists like master electricians. This may work to your advantage, because a single handyman can do jobs that would require multiple specialists, saving you both money and time.

The Handyman Can

If you need a paint touchup on the garage doors, light fixture installation, and a minor plumbing repair, for example, a handyman can do all of these things so you don’t have to hire and coordinate three separate contractors. In addition, the handyman’s hourly fee would probably be lower than that of a specialist, making this a solution that is both time-saving and cost-effective. If you own multiple properties, consider establishing an "on call" relationship with a given handyman for basic repairs so tenants have someone they can call quickly in an emergency if they cannot reach you.

Tackle That List

Homeowners with a list of minor home repairs that are either beyond their skill or too time-consuming to do themselves might want to consider hiring a handyman. Examples can include applying paint and sealants, maintaining gutters, installing fixtures, handling minor plumbing issues, repairing siding and fencing, and assisting with hardware installation for window treatments. Some handymen also offer help with home organizing and holiday lighting as part of their services.

For Larger Repairs and Remodeling

More significant home repair will require a contractor. Contractors have the skills to coordinate long-term projects like remodeling, along with the professional qualifications to handle home repairs that require a specialized license or permits; for example, re-roofing may require a permit from a county agency. In addition, they carry more insurance, so that if something goes wrong, their work will be guaranteed and you’ll have a legal route to pursue for being compensated and having the problems fixed.

Find a Handyman

If you’re looking for a handyman for minor home repair, start by checking local listings and reviews to see what kinds of services are available and find out more about how their customers felt about their experiences. Your state or region may require that handymen carry licenses along with insurance, in which case this information should be provided up front. Expect to pay by the hour with an additional cost for materials; always ask for an estimate before authorizing work. Outline a clear list of jobs at the start to help the handyman make an accurate estimate and ensure that you’re most likely to be pleased with the results.

Updated July 4, 2018.

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