When you own a home, it seems as if there's always something that needs to be repaired or replaced. While you may have the skills to handle small projects on your own, there may be some repairs or renovations that you'd be more comfortable leaving to the experts. In those instances, you may want to hire a handyman (or handywoman) to, say, paint your bedroom, clean out your gutters, or install a new kitchen faucet. To help you figure out a budget and determine whether you're getting a fair deal, read on to learn the going rate for some common handyman services.
A handyman is skilled to perform a variety of minor home repairs as well as renovations and construction. Costs will depend on the market and the complexity of the job, and can be charged as a flat fee or an hourly rate.
Typical hourly handyman rates are between $60 and $70 for independent workers and around $125 per hour for a handyman who works for a company. An experienced handyman will know how much time it usually takes to do a particular type of job and will charge accordingly.
- A small job usually takes less than two hours and uses only simple hand tools to complete. This might run you $75 to $150.
- A medium job will be a little more complex and will likely require power tools. It may take between two and four hours, running $150 to $300.
- A large job, as you might guess, will be the most involved and will take anywhere from four hours to a few days to finish, plus it may demand special equipment. Expect a large job to fall somewhere between $300 and $1,000.
Note: If the handyman has to purchase parts or materials for your project, he/she may also charge a markup.
As mentioned, the type of project you hire out will be the biggest determinant of the total cost, no matter whether you're working with someone who goes by an hourly or a flat rate. To help you budget appropriately, here's how a few common tasks stack up, from quick, inexpensive jobs to pricier projects.
1. Cost to Hang a Heavy Piece of Art: $60 to $125
Hanging a heavy piece of art requires miscellaneous hardware and screws (if a hanger was not already attached to the frame). Your handyman will also probably use a stud finder, tape measure, and level-basic tools that he most likely already has on hand. Expect the project to take between one and one-and-a-half hours, depending on the overall size and placement of the art.
2. Cost to Clean Gutters: $100 to $150
Not comfortable climbing a ladder to reach your house's gutters and downspouts? While this is a relatively unskilled job, a typical gutter cleaning will take between 90 minutes and two-and-a-half hours to clear leaves and debris from approximately 120 linear feet of gutter. If you have a lot of trees on your property, get more bang for your buck by having the handyman install a gutter guard while he's up there to keep the gutters clear and cut down on the number of times you need to call in a pro to clean.
3. Cost to Hook Up a Washer and Dryer: $100 to $150
The weight of these appliances is often challenging for homeowners. Assuming that the gas or electric hookups are already in place, the job will take between one and two-and-a-half hours. Expect the higher end of the price range if the washer and dryer set needs to be moved to the basement, water supply hoses or dryer vent pipe needs to be purchased, or an exterior vent hole needs to be drilled.
4. Cost to Replace a Bathroom Faucet: $60 to $150
A straightforward removal of an old faucet and installation of a new one (already purchased) might take 60 to 90 minutes to complete. The higher estimates would apply to jobs that require additional labor to install shut-off valves or replace the P-trap.
5. Cost to Replace Caulking Around a Shower: $100 to $280
While the cost of materials is low, this job can be labor-intensive depending on the type of and condition of the existing caulk. After all, before a handyman can even load a caulk gun, he needs to take care of the old, crumbling caulk lines, which often involves completely removing the old sealant, cleaning up any soap scum and mildew, and preparing the surface for new caulk.
6. Cost to Repair Drywall: $275 to $780
Here, too, prices vary significantly depending on the extent of the damage. A minor repair or patch may be done with a flat rate, but most repairs would be done at an hourly rate of $60 to $90 per hour. This could take a couple of days, as drying time is required between coats of mud, sanding, and touch-up paint. Figure that a 4-foot by 8-foot sheet of drywall, including labor, runs around $45.
7. Cost to Paint a 12-foot by 12-foot Room: $400 to $1,000
If you're experiencing sticker shock at this price estimate, remember that painting is a labor-intensive job (even for experienced painters) because of the significant amount of prep work involved. Covering floors and furniture with drop cloths, cleaning the walls, repairing cracks, taping around windows and doors, priming, painting baseboards and other trim, and cutting in along the ceiling all take time. Textured walls, dark colors, or decorative finishes are usually more expensive, adding another $2 to $4 per square foot.
While there are plenty of projects around the house you can probably do yourself, hiring a good handyman has the potential to save you both time and money-not to mention the hassle of a project that isn't wholly in your comfort zone.
For starters, instead of spending a few hours searching for specialists for every paint, caulk, or drywall project that arises, with just one round of research, you can find a worker skilled in a variety of services. Even better, if you're satisfied with his work, he can come back to help out again and again. Plus, your search may turn up more professionals available immediately to take on repairs or even more ambitious projects. With a jack-of-all-trades standing by, you can stick to your timeline for repairs and small renovations-no need to wait months for a contractor to fit you into his schedule behind larger (and perhaps more lucrative) jobs.
Not only will a competent handyman help you keep your house in good repair, but you may also find that paying someone else to do the work turns out to be an efficient use of money. A handyman will often have the tools needed for the job, saving you the cost of renting power tools, and he may also offer a discounted or bundled rate when you hire him for several projects at once.
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