This article is a supplement to the article “How Much Does A Handyman Charge” that I wrote last year. I think my previous article gives some good insight into the home improvement industry as a whole, but maybe I can offer a better answer to the question: What are fair handyman rates, & how much does a professional handyman charge?
Handyman pricing is typically charged one of two ways; by the hour or by the job. Many homeowners want to know what they are going to pay before the job begins. It’s good to know up front of course, but pre-quoted handyman rates are often given with contingencies built in. As you know, unforeseen things do happen, and a professional handyman knows it. They need to cover their costs, and make a living, especially if something unplanned does happen. There is a fine line between losing money and overcharging. A quoted price will always cover contingencies.
Sometimes it’s best to ask for an hourly rate for odd jobs, and you can always ask for a time estimate beforehand. Plus you can usually determine the final cost that way with some degree of accuracy. Still, unforeseen hiccups can add the time required to complete the job.
Handyman rates by the hour usually consists of a price for the first hour and then for every hour after that. The first hour and sometimes the first half hour will run you somewhere between $35 and $70 then a reduced rate for every hour after that, which usually ranges between $20 and $45. A little higher or a little lower price is entirely possible, especially if your project is a little out of the ordinary.
Ask your local handymanif he has a minimum charge. He may show up and spend 15 minutes on a small task and charge you for a full hour. It’s not uncommon and fair, when you consider that it takes time to drive and gas isn’t getting any cheaper.
The skill level required for a particular job will affect most hourly rates. Unskilled labor cannot demand a high wage, but a job requiring training and practice will most definitely raise the cost of handyman services.
Handyman pricing will always vary of of course, but it really shouldn’t vary too much. If someone requires higher or lower price per hour than what I’ve laid out here, it may be a good idea to look into why your “affordable handyman” isn’t quite in line with the rest of the industry.
Getting a price up front means you’ll know exactly what you are going to pay. However, you can be fairly certain that it will cost you a little more if the job goes smoothly than if you pay it out by the hour. Getting a price up front also means you can compare quotes. Comparing quotes from three or more handymen is probably the single best way to determine what the market will bear for a given job. Let your handyman know right away that you are going to get multiple bids.
Simply stated, quotes are usually the sum of materials labor and overhead. Overhead will never show as a line item on a bid, but both material and labor prices are typically generated with overhead built in.
Never be afraid to ask questions! Any home improvement service provider whether it’s your local handyman or a contracting company should be able to walk you through any pricing situation. Your handyman should be helpful and if he gets agitated by your questions, it may be that you’re asking too many of them, but it’s also possible he’s not worth his price.