Handyman cost guide
A faucet in your bathroom is leaking. Someone has broken glass in one of your windows. You want to install a new garbage disposal under the kitchen sink. Not many homeowners can do those jobs on their own. Even if they do, though, the end result may be far from perfect, which may cause even more trouble. A wiser approach is to hire an experienced handyman (or handywoman) who can handle small and large household fixes quickly and by following the accepted standards of quality. Below, you will find some information on the average fees for handyman services.
Here you will learn about:
Average cost of the handyman services
Information to check
Other frequently asked questions
Handymen are independent (or corporate) professionals who are called by homeowners to perform a variety of small (or more rarely larger) technical household tasks such as hanging a lighting fixture, installing a toilet, or repairing drywall. Considering the number of jobs that handymen tackle and their diversity, it's hard to tell exactly how much they charge for their work in general.
Among many factors that determine the final figure in the quote is the complexity and urgency of the problem, the professional's experience, availability of materials, distance from the handyman's base to a home, whether the professional is licensed, and some additional considerations. On average, homeowners report spending from $200 to $650, with the maximum fee being $1,200 and minimum around $100.
What payment structures do handymen use?
There are two common payment structures: per hour and per project.
This structure of payment for handyman services is typically used for smaller jobs or jobs with unknown variables. The minimum time they require is from around half an hour to 60 minutes. A good example is hanging a door. While the task may appear straightforward, there can be a number of obstacles such as the floor. The height of the door may have to be adjusted to close freely. How much time it will take is not exactly known. Other jobs estimated by the hour are drywall repair, painting, or plumbing. Note that there is normally a minimum charge that you'll have to pay regardless of the time it took the handyman to complete the task. Depending on the complexity of the job, you may have to pay from $50 to $80 per hour and more. For instance, replacing a toilet will cost you $80. For hanging a ceiling fan and lighting fixtures, a handyman will take the same amount.
If the job is simple and will hardly present any unpleasant surprises or if it's time-consuming, handymen prefer the per-project structure. Typical tasks include clearing or repairing gutters, mowing the lawn, repairing drywall, hanging mirrors, replacing broken tiles, and some other handyman services. Note that in many large projects, the “stage” payment is common. That means handymen ask homeowners to pay them a portion of the total sum after completing several tasks before they continue working. To give you an idea, a project approximately 60 minutes in duration may cost $90. If 4 hours are required to finish the work, you may have to pay around $210. Projects that last over 4 hours are estimated at $320 and above. A few examples:
- Kitchen cabinetry assembly and installation - $3,700
- Window installation - $850
- Door installation - $520
- Toilet installation - $160
- Ceiling fan installation – $180
- Sink faucet installation - $130
Also, remember that the quality and price of materials may significantly affect the total cost of handyman services. The best way to determine an approximate fee a handyman may charge is to take the price of the materials and multiply the value by two.
Is there a travel charge?
It's specific for each particular case. If your home is located in a suburb or a rural area, you may have to cover the travel expenses the handyman incurs. Apart from the time it actually takes the pro to get to your place, the price of gas and mileage have to be accounted for. Many handymen have no separate travel charge but include it into their hourly fee. If there is a separate charge, it's normally calculated based on the distance from the handyman's base to the home. Expect to pay between $0.25-$0.55 for one mile traveled.
What other factors may affect the total cost?
This is where you need to find the right balance between price and quality. A more experienced handyman may have a heftier rate. However, you can expect the work to be done by the highest quality standard and in a short time. That's because a seasoned professional may have done many similar jobs before and knows all in and out. By contrast, a less experienced handyman is not so expensive. Yet, he may spend more time to complete the project. Paying by the hour, you may end up with a higher fee than that set by an experienced pro.
Independent handyman or company
If you hire a handyman who works independently, you can expect more flexibility regarding fees. On the other hand, if you prefer the corporate option, the handyman is restricted by the company’s pricing policy.
Information to check
When it comes to handyman services, many states don't require obtaining a formal license. However, it's not always the case, and you should inquire with your local authorities if a license is a must. While unlicensed handymen may be cheap, you never know if you can count on the quality outcome. On the other hand, licensed professionals are more reliable and always give a warranty for any job they perform.
The wisest approach to finding a qualified handyman is going to your local hardware store or asking your friends about good professionals. Unfortunately, scams and con artists are not rare in this field. They just take money from customers before even putting on their robes and then simply vanish without a trace. So, if you decide to hire a handyman from an ad, check their identity with the local police department.
Many individual handymen and companies offer discounts to old age pensioners, veterans, and other categories of the population. Check it with the professional when negotiating on the quote.
Written quote and guarantees
Don't leave anything in the oral form. Make sure the handyman lists every single task to be completed, specifying the fee and time it should take to finish the job. Also, let the professional describe the end result in writing. That gives you a tool to make an unconscientious handyman do the work properly.
Other frequently asked questions
How can I reduce the overall cost of the project?
Clear the coast
Prepare the place where the handyman will be working: remove the furniture and any objects that may get in the way. Otherwise, the professional may add this service to the quote and you will end up paying more.
Group several jobs
Depending on the urgency, you may consider bundling several smaller tasks into one project. As said above, when the per hour structure is used there is a minimum charge regardless of the time spent on the job. So, if fixing a faucet will take around 20 minutes, for instance, you may still have 40 minutes of unused time. Why not ask the pro to have a look at your struggling ceiling fan and replace that broken tile in the kitchen as well?
Hire a novice
You may also consider hiring a less experienced handyman. While you may have doubts as to the quality of the end result, novices are usually keen on establishing a good reputation and will go “above and beyond” to keep you happy. What's important, they are likely to take a smaller fee.
Purchase materials yourselfHandymen often purchase the required materials and then charge by the time they spent shopping. Consider buying and delivering materials yourself.
Can the price rise during the project implementation?
Yes, it can. In certain cases, a handyman may not know specific details of the project as they are hidden from view. For example, when mounting a TV on the wall, they may suddenly discover that the wall material is not sturdy enough and needs reinforcement, which entails additional expenses. In a situation like that, discuss the price before the work continues.
Handymen are important professionals that help homeowners in many household maintenance tasks. They can charge either by the hour or on the per-project basis. The exact amount depends on several factors including the difficulty of the job, the time required for its completion, the experience of the professional, distance from his place of business to a home, and others. On average, expect to pay from $200 to $650 for handyman services.