A handyman is a skilled laborer who provides basic home repairs. Anyone can call themselves a handyman, although most who do so are skilled with repairs and home projects. Reading reviews is a good way to determine their fitness for your job. The tasks a handyman can perform include assembling furniture, painting interiors and exteriors, repairing fences, repairing broken doors or replacing trim, hanging lights, hooking up appliances, and much more. Handymen may have flat fees for certain services, or charge an hourly rate. Handyman rates are often lower than those of a contractor, as they don’t have the same specialization. Some states have no limit on the work a handyman can perform, while others do. For example, California’s Building and Professions Code section 7048 (small operations) permits handymen to provide work similar to that of a contractor (floor installation, painting, etc.) provided the total cost of labor and materials does not exceed $500. A handyman is a great resource for minor home repairs at a lower cost than a licensed contractor, but for more complex projects, it pays to hire a specialized contractor. Fore more, check out our tips for smart hiring on Thumbtack.
Finding a good handyman can change your life. Within days, the endless list of insurmountable tasks that were either out of your skill range or impossible to fit into your busy schedule can be completed. If you know you want help but aren’t sure how to hire the right pro, ask these questions to find the right fit:
- What is your work experience? If you are putting in a tile backsplash, you want someone experienced with the task, not someone who generally does painting and junk removal.
- How much do you charge? Handymen often charge hourly rates that vary based on the complexity of the task they’re hired to do, as well as flat rates for standard jobs. Be clear about what they’ll charge before you hire them.
- On that note, discuss payment details. It’s wise not to pay all the money up front, especially for larger projects. You may be able to pay a deposit for materials and pay the remainder upon project completion.
- How long will the job take you to complete? If the handyman is as busy as you are and a fence repair is going to take months, you should probably find another qualified handyman for the job.
Read client reviews and follow up with references to make sure you’re choosing the right handyman for your projects. For more, check out our tips for smart hiring on Thumbtack.
Property management companies manage the rental of residential homes, apartments, condos, commercial spaces and retail spaces. Property managers can oversee just a single unit or many properties, whether those sites are inhabited full-time or are vacation rentals. A property management company helps a property owner or landlord find tenants; collects rent; takes care of accounting, property maintenance and repairs; handles on-site management; and manages vacation rental check-in and checkout tasks. Although many property owners or landlords successfully manage their own rental real estate, a property management company can help you handle tenant issues and maintenance problems, especially if you are not located in the same city or state. Most property management companies deal with tenants directly, and their tasks include:
- Marketing the rental property
- Collecting rent
- Handling repair problems
- Responding to tenant complaints
- Evicting tenants
A property management company may be a good choice for property owners who have several investment properties, live far away from the rental property, or don’t have time for hands-on management.
A property management company can be a landlord’s greatest asset. As a neutral third party, the property manager handles the day-to-day operations of a real estate investment, from a single vacation home to a large apartment building or several rental properties. A property management company can be especially helpful to landlords who own several units and can’t manage each of them individually, or those who live too far from their investment properties to meet with renters and oversee maintenance. Property management is particularly important if your rentals are part of an affordable housing program. To receive financial assistance from the government, the landlord must comply with a complicated set of rules; property management companies should have both experience and expertise in complying with the rules specific to each housing program.
In some states, a handyman can provide plumbing services, but it may be in your best interest to call a plumber, particularly for issues more major than unclogging a drain or attaching a new sink. Hiring a plumber is important because mishandling your water and gas lines has the potential to do great damage to your home, your family’s health, or even the safety of your neighborhood. A handyman is not legally required to have any training or licensing in plumbing matters, while a licensed plumber has undergone years of education and on-the-job training. In some cases, homeowners insurance won’t cover damage caused by plumbing repair done by an unlicensed handyman.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most plumbers learn their trade through a four- or five-year apprenticeship with 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. They also receive classroom education including “safety, local plumbing codes and regulations, and blueprint reading. They also study mathematics, applied physics, and chemistry. After completing an apprenticeship program, plumbers … are considered to be journey workers, qualifying them to perform duties on their own,” according to the DOL. Licensed plumbers should do continuing education to keep abreast of safety and technology changes. Poor plumbing can lead to sewage backups, a flooded home or even natural gas leaks, so it’s best to leave it in the hands of a specialized professional.
The national average rate for handyman jobs is $90-$160. A handyman performs general maintenance and repairs for residential and commercial properties. A handyman may charge a flat fee for standard services that take a predictable amount of time, such as installing a new appliance, as well as an hourly rate for larger projects such as digging out and replacing a rotted fence post. A cost-saving strategy when hiring a handyman is to bundle all the tasks you want them to do into one visit to make the most of any minimum service fee. Hourly rates for a handyman can average $50-$100 per hour. Pricing will depend on skill and experience required for the job, as well as regional labor rates. Here are a few examples of average handyman flat rates.
- Attic ladder replacement: $150.
- Toilet replacement: $75.
- Ceiling fan and light fixtures: $75.
- Faucet replacement: $125.
- Garbage disposal: $75.
The licensing requirements for property managers vary from state to state, but many states require property managers to have a real estate broker’s license and in some cases be a legal resident of a state. Property management may not be specified in a state real estate statute, but according to the Institute of Real Estate Management their activities may include advertising the availability of a rental property, discussing a property management agreement with an owner, negotiating leases, showing a rental property and collecting rents.
Regular lawn maintenance can do wonders for your home’s curb appeal. Professional lawn care prices will vary based on the regional cost to do business and regional cost of labor, the size of your lawn, and any additional services you may desire such as edging or mulching. The national average for lawn mowing costs is $30-$50. Pros may charge an hourly rate, a flat rate or by the square foot (an acre contains 43,560 square feet). Square footage rates factor in the professional’s time, the use of their equipment, and the gas to operate the mower. Distance may also affect cost: If you live outside the company’s standard service range, you may pay an additional travel fee. Here are some examples of average prices for mowing and lawn maintenance:
- Up to 8,000-square-foot property: $30 per week/$120 per month.
- Bimonthly: $40 per service/$80 per month.
- One time only: $45 per service.
- Prices include mowing all turf grass areas; trimming grass away from fences, structures, trees, and lawn edges; and clearing or blowing all grass trimmings from driveways, sidewalks, curbs, etc.
- Hourly rate: $25 per hour (including travel, equipment costs and labor).
- Lot size:
- Smaller lots in subdivisions: $35.
- Half-acre lot: $50.
- One-acre lot: $100.