As a homeowner, you may be able to handle some of your house’s less major tasks on your own. Still, there comes a point when you’ve got to rely on professional help. A handyman can handle anything from cleaning out your gutters to installing that new faucet. Still, not all handymen may charge you a fair price for these services.
We’ll go into detail about what you should – and should not be – paying your handyman.
However, keep in mind that an hourly handyman rate can vary by where you live, the type of project, and even the skill and expertise of your handyman. A good handyman is great to find. You never know when you need one, and knowing what costs to expect is important!
What Will My Handyman Hourly Rate Be?
On average, a typical handyman charges anywhere from $50 to $80 an hour, not including the cost of the materials they need to buy. This rate can jump even higher to $125 an hour if they work for a company rather than as an independent contractor.
However, these estimates can easily fluctuate based on your location or how complicated the job is. For instance, a handyman in a big city is likely to have higher rates than one that’s operating out of a small town. And, if they’re more experienced or specialize in complicated repair work, their rates could be higher since you’re paying for that expertise.
Handyman Prices Can Vary By Area of Expertise
Handymen are meant to handle those “odd jobs” that you’ve got lying around. Still, many handymen have specific skill sets and specialties. The more experienced a handyman you need, the more likely handyman rates will go up. We’ve included some price estimates for handyman cost per hour based on expertise and the type of project:
- Painting a Room: Painting is one of the easier jobs that handymen handle. Since it may take multiple coats to cover a room, many handymen charge a low hourly rate for this project. The hourly rate may only be $25 to $30, but painting an entire room could take several hours to complete if they also need to prep and prime it.
- Installing a Bathroom Faucet: A simple faucet replacement can take your handyman less than an hour and may only cost you $50 to $80 – not including the cost of the materials.
- Installing a Kitchen Sink: Replacing a kitchen sink is a little more involved and could take your handyman two to three hours. Don’t be surprised if the installation costs you $250 to $300.
- Tile and Grout Repairs: That cracked tile and damaged grout can cost you big-time with a handyman. Since handymen often have to work on grout and tile repairs for multiple days, an extensive project could cost around $450 t0 $500.
- Cabinet Repairs: If you’ve got a simple cabinet repair, like straightening a door or replacing some hardware, your handyman may only charge their hourly rate, and it could take less than an hour. For more involved jobs, like refinishing cabinets, you may need a handyman specializing in cabinet repairs – which could cost you several hundred dollars.
- Drywall Repairs: Many handymen can complete simple drywall repairs in two to four hours and may only charge their hourly rate.
As a responsible homeowner, you should always consider tackling some things on your own. Addressing some general maintenance tasks on a regular basis can save you thousands of dollars in repairs down the road. Performing regular plumbing maintenance is a great example of a homeowner taking charge that can avert huge repair bills.
Influences on Project Cost
With either an hourly or flat rate, some factors can influence the project’s total cost or the handyman’s costs per hour.
Minimum Service Call Fees
Suppose your handyman handles a small job for you, like unclogging a drain or replacing a leaky faucet. In that case, they may charge a minimum service call fee – which could range from $50 to $100. Minimum service call fees ensure your handyman makes at least their hourly rate for the job – even if it only takes them twenty or thirty minutes to complete.
Don’t be surprised if your handyman tacks an extra $20 to $30 in travel fees and expenses. Travel fees don’t just cover the gas mileage from their office to your home, but they can also include any trips they made to purchase materials as well.
Travel fees can add up, so if you’re shopping around for a handyman, it’s never a bad idea to find one that’s more local.
When it comes time to replace a kitchen sink or lay new tile, your handyman will need the suitable materials to get the job done. Along with their own tools, they’ll need to purchase replacement parts or other materials – which are another thing that gets added to your bill.
However, to make a profit, handymen often mark up these materials’ cost, sometimes by 20% to 50%. If your project does require replacement parts, you can save yourself a little money by purchasing those materials yourself.
Remember that even if the job doesn’t require you to buy new materials, you could still see a few material or tool fees with some handymen. For instance, you may hire a handyman to power-wash your deck or the side of the house. They may already have the power washer, but you could still see that 20% markup to use their tools.
The Handyman Himself
Besides materials, travel fees, and location, prices can vary based on your handyman’s expertise and experience. A handyman with twenty years of experience and plenty of technical skills is more likely to be pricier than one who’s only been working for two to three years.
Not to mention, handymen who work for companies tend to be more expensive than independent contractors. Along with requiring specific skills or education from their employees, companies will take their own cut of the profits, leading to higher hourly rates and minimum service fees.
When to Hire a Handyman by the Hour
It can be hard to know when to hire a handyman by the hour, especially if you’re unsure how long the project will take. Generally, smaller tasks that can be done in one or two hours will be cheaper with an hourly rate than a flat rate.
However, with more involved jobs that could take five or six hours – or even multiple days – that hourly rate adds up quickly. If you’re not sure how long the project will take your handyman, you can always call and ask for a time estimate. If it’s more than three hours, you may want to consider other options than an hourly handyman.
When to Ask for a Flat-Rate Price Quote
More tough jobs that could take several hours or even multiple days can get expensive quickly when you’re paying an hourly handyman rate. Add in a few trips for materials and all the traveling to and from your house – and you’ve suddenly got a bill that’s several hundred dollars or more.
You may already know you’ve got a big job on your hands, but if not, don’t forget to ask for a time estimate. If your handyman tells you that it will take an entire day or longer, you may be better off inquiring about a flat-rate cost.
Painting a room, for instance, may have a low hourly rate of $25 to 30 dollars, but by the time they prep, prime, and paint the space, you could be looking at many hours to complete the work.
Keep in mind that if you’re hiring from a company, your handyman might not have any say in whether they work for a flat rate or an hourly rate. The company may have predetermined flat rates for particular projects and only charge hourly for others.
Are Online Handyman Price Lists Reliable?
If you’re trying to gauge price estimates for a specific job but aren’t sure if you’re ready to hire a handyman, you may turn to online handyman price lists to figure out a cost. However, with different price lists throwing out conflicting numbers, how reliable are they?
Online price lists can be semi-reliable, but if you’re looking for an exact quote, you’re better off looking up local handymen and calling around. Since hourly rates and flat fees can change from handyman to handyman and locale, online price lists operate off estimates.
They may give you a ballpark estimate, and if you see exact numbers, you should expect there to be some variation. Price lists don’t always include extra fees, like the cost of materials, travel fees, or even minimum service fees. These sites can’t calculate a job down to the dollar amount, and you shouldn’t expect them to.
If you’re interested to see what’s a fair rate in your area, you can also see if there are any local price lists – which could be more accurate. Of course, the most accurate estimates you get will come from talking to local handymen and seeing what they quote you.
The Big Takeaway: Time
Besides just giving you cost estimates, online price lists do have another advantage – they can provide you with time estimates for specific jobs. These numbers may also have some variation. But, if multiple price lists tell you that a job should only take an hour, and your handyman is saying six hours, you may want to look for another contractor.