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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a handyman during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Setting up a safe consultation or appointment with a handyman during the COVID-19 pandemic starts with comparing local professionals online. Message or call the handyman to ask about performing a consultation over the phone or, better yet, a video call. This will allow the handyman to assess the problem without increasing the risk of transmission by visiting your home. If the service is essential and the handyman needs to enter your home, you’ll need to take stringent safety measures for the visit. Discuss temporary fixes if possible, and come up with a plan for safety and digital payment.

How can I find out if a handyman is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

Depending on the service needed, a handyman may be considered essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can check by visiting your city or state’s government website. In addition, CISA’s Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 webpage offers national guidelines for determining essential services. Their page delineates 16 essential infrastructure sectors that can continue to operate during the pandemic. But note that not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.

Are there ways to be safe if I hire a handyman when social distancing?

If you hire a handyman, stay 6 feet away from the handyman at all times. If you have an indoor emergency and it’s considered an essential service, take extra social distancing precautions with your handyman. Do not make physical contact, stay at least 6 feet from the handyman, and exchange payment through digital services instead of cash or check. Talk with your handyman and agree on a plan in advance.

Can I use digital payments to pay for handyman services?

Many handymen accept digital payments for work done repairing homes. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the urgent need for social distancing, this trend is likely going to increase. Handymen often accept payment through popular platforms like Paypal, Google Pay, Zelle, Venmo, Square Cash and more. 

Consult with the handyman before you begin work to ensure you’ll be able to conduct the transaction safely and in compliance with official guidelines.

Does a handyman need to enter my home?

In many cases, a handyman will not need to enter your home for outdoor repairs, but they’ll likely need to enter your home for indoor repairs. With the pandemic’s associated safety guidelines, it’s important that this only occurs for absolutely essential projects. Avoid any physical contact with the handyman if this is the case. Sanitize surfaces, and conduct payment through a digital platform like PayPal or Venmo. Be sure to contact your handyman and develop a plan before the job commences.

Is it worth it to hire a handyman?

It’s worth it to hire a handyman in many cases. For example, you should hire a handyman when the project’s size and scope make it challenging to complete by yourself. These projects may include major home remodels or additions, foundation work or electrical/plumbing/HVAC-related tasks. However, make sure the handyman has the proper credentials or license to perform the necessary work.

You might also want to hire a handyman if a contractor’s price is too high. Handymen often charge less than general contractors, but contractors typically have the required license to perform certain tasks.

And, lastly, think about the complexity of the job and the cost of future repairs. It’s worth it to hire a handyman when the project is complex. Doing something incorrectly can wind up costing more than hiring the pro in the first place.

Do handymen offer remote or virtual services?

Because a handyman needs to be physically present to perform work, they have not traditionally offered remote or virtual services. However, if you come across handyman profiles that state they offer remote services, message the handymen to see what those services include.

Confer with your handyman to see if consulting over video calls is possible. The professional may be able to walk you through performing basic plumbing, electrical, HVAC and other types of repairs around the house. Compare the handymen in your area side-by-side online, and ask whether they’re willing to help remotely.

Can a handyman do plumbing?

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.

How much does a handyman charge?

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.

What does a handyman do?

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.

Reviews for Ashburn handymen
Tony S.
Handyman @ Your command is just what I've been looking for. The tech "Hugo" was very good and professional. I was very pleased with his work and his knowledge.
Handyman@Your Command LLCHandyman@Your Command LLC
Laura A.
Kuffa is a great handyman. Very hard working. Great attitude. Caring about the quality of the work and ensuring I was happy. Came the second day even though he had to drive far, so he wouldn’t let me down.
Kuffathehandyman of the DMVKuffathehandyman of the DMV
Sreedhar Reddy M.
He responded very quickly and arrived the very next day morning. He came on time as quoted and did an amazing job in replacing the vent cover, closing all the bird entry points, cleaning up the work area. I will highly recommend him for any handyman work he listed on.
brothers  G construcciónbrothers G construcción
Thumbtack Customer
Needed a handyman to repair several items before I sold my condo, including multiple cracks in drywall and a broken faucet handle. Walter and his team not only repaired everything perfectly, but the price was more than reasonable when compared to other offers I received. Not only that, but I live out of state, and Walter was in constant communication and provided detailed before and after pictures. Very happy with the level of work and service provided.
Eagle Home Solutions  inc. (Walt . L)Eagle Home Solutions inc. (Walt . L)
Chi I.
Adrien has become our go-to handyman. We brought him onboard to install our chandeliers, curtains, wall fixtures, automatic door knobs and the like. He did a phenomenal job and was extremely flexible to work with. One thing that is highly commendable is his tenacity and hard work. He has a can-do attitude, backed-up by his ability to literally fix/install anything home improvement related. Definitely recommend him!
Kinard EnterprisesKinard Enterprises
Sugu S.
Kevin performed several handyman duties at my house and I thoroughly impressed by his professionalism. He requested all the different jobs I want to get done and asked for photos. He offered a fair pricing and once we agreed on the job, he explained each of fixes in detail and he is demonstrated patience and checked his work at the end before i inspected it. I plan to use him for other jobs in the coming weeks.
ALZ Handyman servicesALZ Handyman services
Milind J.
I needed 3-4 things fixed in my townhouse. Scheduling was easy. Carlos and his partner worked on fixing few openings at the corners of roof, then installed a toilet flush, caulked windows (that would hopefully prevent water seeping in the basement during heavy rain) and cleaned up gutter. He also sent me the pictures that he took (before/after) as I asked. I highly recommend him for any handyman work.
Adwoa J.
Mike is an EXCEPTIONAL Handyman and you get far more than what you pay for. I recently moved into a new home and I bought several furniture items that needed assembly - two filing cabinets (Office Depot) for my home office and a mud room shelf and bench (Pottery Barn). I also have several paintings and mirrors to be hung and a TV to be mounted on the wall. Mike was very professional and courteous as we discussed the project over text and phone and I immediately felt comfortable hiring him for the project. I interviewed 4-5 people and other contractors were either unresponsive or their estimates were way above my budget. Mike responded quickly which is great! He arrived about 10 minutes early for work and got right down to it. I was home that day with my 8-year old daughter and best friend and we all felt so comfortable as he worked in the office. He read the instructions provided and worked quickly and diligently, cleaning up after himself (which he didn’t need to do). Everything turned out beautifully and I’m so thrilled. Mike will be my ONLY go-to handyman from now on. If you are lucky enough to hire Mike, you will not be disappointed. I rarely write reviews but I can’t say enough about how awesome Mike is. Hire him. And thank me later.
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