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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How much does a handyman charge?

Minimum rates for handyman jobs typically range from $60-$100. 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.

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 fees.

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.

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.

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.

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.

How do you find a good handyman?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Reviews for Ashburn handymen
Thumbtack Customer
Changing of Outdoor lites 3 stories high.Great job. Reasonable and fast. Will use again for handyman services. bhornick
Giddens Pressure Washing and Lawn Care and junk...Giddens Pressure Washing and Lawn Care and junk...
Sam W.
Marlon was very professional and friendly, he got the job done efficiently! Would recommend for any handyman projects
2 C.O.O.L. Enterprises2 C.O.O.L. Enterprises
K. A.
Overall, a great guy and an even better handyman. He’s completed three different jobs for my family and I. Polite, on time, and a true professional.
2 C.O.O.L. Enterprises2 C.O.O.L. Enterprises
Cheryl L.
I was pleased with help from Mr. Q, he was responsive, helpful, professional, fair in price. I absolutely recommend him for your handyman needs!
Mrque's Services LLCMrque's Services LLC
Haley h.
Call a real handyman that’s insured, don’t use this website for this service. He will take advantage of people who don’t know much about houses and repair work.
Cassandra Y.
Dwayne was professional, polite, and provided quality work. He offered suggestions and completed all my handyman projects in a timely manner. I would recommend him for your projects.
Time for a change remodelingTime for a change remodeling
Thumbtack Customer
His work is amazing! too call him a handyman does not fit the description of the quality of the work he does. He goes above and beyond the line of work. Recommended to all!!
Right Up Your AlleyRight Up Your Alley
Linda C.
B&C Handyman Services did a great job installing my new remote controlled ceiling fan, chandelier, and 2 pendent lights. I would highly recommend them and look forward to working with them again.
B&C Handyman Services, LLCB&C Handyman Services, LLC
Diana P.
Rick was on time and professional. He is a very skilled handyman and provided me with suggestions regarding proper placement for my mounted TV, address sign, and towel racks. He is a very pleasant communicator and the quality of work was excellent! I recommend Rick to others!
Rick's Repairs and ServicesRick's Repairs and Services
Brian F.
Rick did an outstanding job fixing some rotten woof on a doorframe. He responded within 30 minutes of my post and came to do the job 2 business days later. Highly recommend for any handyman carpentry or painting jobs. I will use him in the future.
Rick's  carpentry and paintingRick's carpentry and painting
David S.
Perry fixed two doors and replaced one interior door on my house. He also caulked the kitchen sink and did some yard work on my front lawn. Everything was fixed to my satisfaction. They are reliable and do qualify work. I would use him again for future handyman jobs.
All purpose maintenanceAll purpose maintenance
Latisha B.
I was very satisfied with the work that he did. He was easy to contact and very prompt to come out and give a estimate. He fixed everything the next day and was in and out. He even put my son's door back on and I didn't even ask. He is very professional and I will definitely be using him for all my handyman needs.
All purpose maintenanceAll purpose maintenance
Hope R.
Don't use guy! He quoted me 45 an hour, he got to my house and said it will be $100! I said that's not what your Thumbtack said! He said that's just for Thumbtack that's not his price! I said bye and I'm not gonna be bamboozled by a underhanded handyman! Don't stop swipe left and keep moving!
Kelsey A.
Ray and his helper Jake were both very professional and knowledgeable. They were able to help me with several projects. I felt very comfortable having both of them in my home. The work they did was impeccable and they walked me through everything. It is great to know there is a quality reliable handyman in the area that I will most definitely be using again in the future for more home projects!
Reds handyman serviceReds handyman service
Cat W.
Excellent Handyman Review! Use this company! First the company is a small business and Vet owned and operated, WIN! The owner, Phil, scheduled my appt at a quick convenient time and was very personable. He was able to complete most of our odd job tasks and was upfront and honest about an item he couldn’t instead of trying to do something outside of his scope (replace a window) which is a huge plus. He also is a stickler about his work ethic and decided to return to replace a drain with a better functioning drain plug b/c he doesn’t believe in leaving things as-is or doing half jobs. But the best part is the company transparency; his story is in his profile, his going rate is there, and he is extremely fair with pricing and hours worked. We will also be using his services for carpet cleaning in a few months. Use this company for handyman work for sure and if it’s Phil, Im sure the carpet cleaning will be excellent too!
Full Cycle Cleaning and MaintenanceFull Cycle Cleaning and Maintenance
Laura H.
Brown’s Affordable Handyman Services and his crew did an excellent job on the repairs done to my shed, fence, and entryway. They completed the work promptly and did quality work at affordable and unbeatable prices. My shed, fence, and entrance look beautiful!! Mr. Brown was easy to communicate with, and his crew was very kind, neat, and respectful. I have contacted him already about a new job. I would highly recommend this company and will continue to call on them for future jobs inside and outside my home.
Brown’s Affordable Handyman ServicesBrown’s Affordable Handyman Services
DeAndre B.
Hire this guy. He was scheduled to arrive at 9am, he arrived at 8:50 and was working by 9am. He doesn’t mind if you help, it’s not about making hours for him but it’s about building relationships and clientele. He had all the tools for the job, very courteous and respectful of your property and above all, very trustworthy. I left for a few hours with no worries. He teaches you stuff in case you want to do things yourself and if he has to disconnect anything, he reconnects it and gives you his word that it will work just like it should. For instance he had to disconnect all of my kitchen appliances, he told me if any of them leak just call him back and he will take care of them. This is a guy I will be recommending to all of my friends and I am recommending him to anyone looking for a handyman. Five star guy who provides 5 star work!!
Solid ContractingSolid Contracting
Kimberly c.
Mike was a nice guy overall. We dont want to damage his business, as he was apologetic. However, we have to be honest. Once hired, it felt like pulling tooth and nails to get him to return to complete the project. He would give rough ETAs (reluctantly) and we would sit at home only to find out he didnt actually intend on coming that day. 3 separate occasions this occurred and overall the project was delayed over a month. Once he did return there was a bunch of additional work he did not notice on prior visits that would take him longer than the final return visit. We ultimately had to decide to stop him mid project and are actively seeking another handyman who lives closer to finish out what Mike started. We are waiting on reimbursement for what he was not able to complete prior to the holiday. We believe that if you live close to where Mike lives that he would be happy to meet your needs but sadly our house proved to far to feasibly be a reliable option for him and us. We only wished we would have known sooner. Best of luck to Mike and we believe this was a great lesson for all parties involved.
Mikes maintenance mechanical servicesMikes maintenance mechanical services
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Why you should hire a handyman

If you have some odd jobs around the house that you can’t (or won’t) do — replacing a faucet, patching a hole in your wall, whatever — hiring a handyman is a great choice. A skilled handyman can help with a wide range of maintenance and repair work that your house needs, like painting, furniture assembly, and small plumbing and electrical fixes. Compare some of the best handymen near you by visiting their profiles, reading their reviews and getting cost estimates. Contact a few pros to let them know what you need, and hire the best pro who offers the services you need at a price you’re willing to pay.

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