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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
A genuine professional handyman! Thank you.
Handyman Services PDXHandyman Services PDX
Jacqueline B.
Great handyman got the job done. Will have him back
Anne O.
Terae was very pleasant to work with and made quick work out of a couple of small exterior handyman projects.
Fix & FinishFix & Finish
Thumbtack Customer
Appreciated having someone over to handle my various handyman needs without a long wait. Handyman was very professional and fixed everything on my "to-do" list including installing a shelf in my kitchen, fixing my toilet, and doing some caulk work. I would use them again!
Oregon Home CheckOregon Home Check
Michael H.
Emmanuel was a great handyman! He did excellent work in a reasonable amount of time. He will definately be asked back.
Daily Service SolutionsDaily Service Solutions
Bob G.
Quintin is an excellent handyman. I handed him multiple tasks from fixing a window to hanging shelves to plumbing fixes, etc and he methodically went about crossing each item off the list. He is a super nice person and fair in his pricing. I will seek him out again when I need a reliable, competent handyman.
Quintin Time Construction LLCQuintin Time Construction LLC
Rion A.
By far the best contractor and handyman I have hired so far, and I have hired quite a few. I highly recommend!
Genius Home & Automation ServicesGenius Home & Automation Services
Teresa S.
OMG! BEST HANDYMAN I have EVER hired! Worth every penny. Professional. Precise. Communicated extremely well. Jerry is top notch. He beautifully fixed a motion sensor light installation that a prior handyman had done poorly and ineffectively. And Jerry installed a Ring video camera/sensor light and a solar-powered motion sensor light. A consummate professional. OUTSTANDING!! Absolutely I will hire Jerry again.
Pro Handyman Commercial & ResidentialPro Handyman Commercial & Residential
Thumbtack Customer
Dmitriy did handyman work at my apartment complex. Caulking, stabilizing porch railings, etc.. he was professional and did a great job! Will hire again. Thanks Dmitriy.
Karina G.
I highly recommend hiring Croz’s Handyman Service, they hung a heavy mirror for me in no time and were very professional and polite. Would absolutely hire again. Thank you!
Crosby's Handyman ServicesCrosby's Handyman Services
Charlene M.
I am disappointed with the work that was done on our home and feel this handyman was dishonest when he said he could complete the job. Our situation is worse due to the work completed.
Handyman Services PDXHandyman Services PDX
Josh H.
Great guy. Super efficient and knowledgeable. Best Handyman experience I’ve had in awhile. I wish I could mark more than three of five qualities on this site. Definitely recommended.
Cascade Building Group LLCCascade Building Group LLC
Brittany S.
Matthew is a top notch handyman / Jack of all trades. We just bought an old craftsman and have been impressed with the work quality he puts into any job around the house! Very happy to have made this connection.
Portland Metro HandymanPortland Metro Handyman
Sterling O.
We use Terae for all of our handyman needs now. He comes on time and prepared, has a very professional set up, and could not be more polite and patient when working with our many demands. A must hire.
Fix & FinishFix & Finish
Danielle G.
Just moved here from out of state and needed an professional, reliable handyman to fix some electrical wiring and install a fireplace remote. I was pleased by the tenacity to resolve the issue and their professional attitude. Would definitely use again.
Jenny B.
Quintin did an awesome job installing some overhead storage racks in our garage. He was responsive and easy to communicate with. Also fairly priced! We will definitely hire him again for future handyman projects. Thanks, Quintin!
Quintin Time Construction LLCQuintin Time Construction LLC
Anna C.
Matt was great. He got back to me right away and got the job done quick and well. He’s kind and professional and I will definitely call him again next time I need a handyman. Highly recommend.
Leslie L.
I will hire him to do all my handyman jobs. He was professional,courteous. and did the job quickly. I'll definitely have him back to help me again. I'd give him a 6 Stars if I could.
Trace Handy ServiceTrace Handy Service
Maria A.
Joel was awesome! He installed my new mailbox post and my new digital antenna. Very nice guy, did a great job, and cleaned up everything when he was done. I will be calling him for any future handyman jobs, for sure.
On the Level Home ServiceOn the Level Home Service
Rob was super responsive and showed up on time. He was quickly able to complete a project (office cabinets) that another handyman had left in a bit of a mess. He was kind, fast, and completed the project as I had envisioned. I will definitely use him again for any future project.
R. Holmes Carpentry and TileR. Holmes Carpentry and Tile
Doug D.
Andrew responded quickly (which in my experience is unusual for a handyman), researched and carefully followed the instructions for cleaning our particular type of deck (Azek composite), and did a thorough and professional job – including returning items on the deck to their original positions. His fee was quite reasonable, and he was a pleasure to interact with.
Pheasant Painting LLCPheasant Painting LLC
Patricia L.
We hired griffin&sons to help on a few things in the house - fixing a electric light, patch up a ceiling hole and flooring. He was super detailed and experienced. He definitely knows what he is doing. We will definitely hire him back. He is now our new handyman!
Gwyneth J.
Corey was amazingly helpful and personable. He fixed the problem, and also gave me an education in how the piping worked along the way. His prices are more than fair, and he was excellent about communicating every step of the way. I will definitely be contacting him again if I need a handyman!
Corey's Handyman ServiceCorey's Handyman Service
Margaret L.
A car hit my mailbox and broke the wooden post - Jon at Handyman Services responded quickly to my Thumbtack inquiry. He quoted me a great price, fit me in his schedule and I had a new post installed super fast. I'll definitely be calling Jon for other projects!
Handyman Services PDXHandyman Services PDX
Melissa M.
Hedgehog was great! Their handyman, Gavin, was efficient, flexible, friendly, and ready to help us get everything done. I handed him a task list and he knocked out each item with precision and speed, requiring little to no supervision. We're definitely going to ask them back to help out on other small projects around the office.
Hedgehog Home Services, LLC - License # 216957Hedgehog Home Services, LLC - License # 216957
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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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