How Much Does a Handyman Charge?
$177 - $670
$177 - $670
Published January 10, 2022Written by HomeAdvisor.
A handyman who works independently usually charges around $60 to $65 an hour on average. Depending on where you live the actual price range can run from $55 to $75 for an independent operator. A handyman who is part of a larger business can charge up to $125 an hour or more.
Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located?
Where are you located?
|Typical Range||$177 - $670|
|Low End - High End||$65 - $1,400|
Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 85,328 HomeAdvisor members.
|City||Typical Range*||Average Price*|
|San Francisco, CA||$200 - $660||$420|
|Seattle, WA||$220 - $770||$490|
|McLeod, MT||$115 - $560||$335|
|Salt Lake City, UT||$150 - $610||$375|
|Dallas, TX||$165 - $540||$350|
|Chicago, IL||$160 - $550||$355|
|Miami, FL||$160 - $565||$355|
|Lexington, KY||$215 - $755||$485|
|New York City, NY||$195 - $705||$450|
|Portland, ME||$185 - $725||$450|
* Total project costs as reported by homeowners in each location
Expect to pay between $165 and $615 per project when hiring a handyman near you to complete repair and installation work. They may calculate the total using an hourly rate or by charging a flat fee for labor and materials. When paying by the hour, materials are extra.
The flat rate fee for handyman services is between $65 and $1,200, depending on the size of the job. Flat rate quotes typically include materials. The price may go up if they find any hidden issues, such as mold behind the drywall.
A handyman should be able to give you a firm quote in writing before starting any project. You just need to provide sufficient details about the job, including what materials you prefer. The quote should clearly spell out the scope of the project, define the final product and estimate how long it might take. They can then use those factors to choose hourly or flat rate pricing and find the total cost.
Projects can grow and change as they progress, resulting in additional costs. Unforeseen complications can also cause the price to increase. In either situation, they should provide another quote that explains the reason for the higher price.
When hiring a handyman, there is more to consider than the job itself. Other factors to think about include the size of the job, their experience level, licenses they carry and the distance they need to travel.
How big is the job? Whether it’s the physical size of the job or the level of complexity, this is one of the biggest factors that could influence the final cost. Simple repairs, like replacing a toilet valve, are often much cheaper than full installation services, such as putting up a new awning. If you are unsure about the scope of your project, make sure to ask while collecting bids.
An experienced handyman often works quicker than their inexperienced colleagues because they know what’s involved in the project. Their experience allows them to watch for common pitfalls and avoid many mistakes along the way. However, this doesn’t mean that you pay less per hour. In fact, you might see a higher hourly rate.
The licensing requirements for handymen are quite varied and depend primarily on where you live. Some states may not require any licensing while others insist that handymen carry the same licenses, bonds and insurance as a contractor. A licensed expert often charges more than an unlicensed one to cover their increased expenses.
Many handymen advertise that they don’t charge for travel, but if you live in a rural or isolated area, you can expect to cover this expense. Some of these professionals simply include any travel in their hourly rate while others may offer free travel within a certain area, such as the first 10 miles. If they charge for mileage, the standard practice is to charge according to the distance from their place of business. Be sure to ask about this up front.
The popular image of a handyman is the person with a pickup or van loaded with tools who’s ready to tackle any job, large or small. They could be your sibling, your friend or your neighbor. There are also handymen who work for larger agencies, such as Mr. Handyman. You may not know these experts personally, but they probably have access to higher-end tools and are likely licensed, bonded and insured.
Whichever way you go, there are pros and cons to each:
Often go above and beyond to maintain their good reputation and earn word-of-mouth referrals
Flexible in their pricing since the contract is between you and the handyperson, not a company
The person you negotiated the price with is the person who will be doing the job
You have a chance to develop a good working relationship with your handyman
They quickly become familiar with the needs of your house and can help plan future projects
You have to check their qualifications and reputation yourself
You won’t have any solid idea of the quality of work to expect until the end of the job
All complaints and grievances go straight to the person who did the work
The company fully verifies the handyman’s background and qualifications
Standard pricing on small jobs can help you learn what to expect before calling
The company maintains the correct licenses and insurance for your complete peace of mind
Companies guarantee their start time, quality of the work and clean-up as a standard service
You file any complaints or grievances with the company, not with the individual
Company handymen have their prices set by the company and are not as flexible in their pricing
You might not get the same professional each time you need services
Company policy may prevent the corporate handyman from going above and beyond
As an adept DIYer, you likely have a lot of the same skills as your typical handyman. As projects come up, you have to decide if you can handle the job or if you need to hire someone with a bit more experience. The best way to decide if a project is better as a DIY project is to ask yourself what can go wrong and how badly.
Updating your kitchen cabinets with new handles is a project with very few complications. The worst that could happen is that you might not have screwed them in tight enough and they come loose. Replacing an electrical outlet, however, can be very dangerous if you do it wrong. If you don’t know about electrical currents and how they work in your house, call someone who does.
If your to-do list is a mile long, find a handyman to help. They can complete a wide variety of basic repairs and installation services, such as:
Complete HVAC maintenance
Fix your sprinkler
Install an air conditioner in the window
Repair a leaky roof
Install an awning
Secure loose stair railings
Replace old light fixtures
Repaint a bedroom
When home repairs require special licenses or permits, you likely need to hire a contractor instead. Here are some examples of jobs that need a permit and are best done by certified professionals:
Adding a stairway
Installing a new roof
Installing a fireplace or wood stove
Building a raised deck
Replacing certain plumbing fixtures, such as water heaters
Putting in new doors or windows
Building a retaining wall
Any work requiring the repair or modification of the existing electrical, plumbing or gas systems
In some states, like California, a handyman cannot take on jobs that cost more than $500 a day, including materials and labor. If your job is going to cost more than that, you should probably hire a contractor.
When hiring a handyman, remember these tips to help keep your costs down:
Clear out furniture and other obstacles to make the job easier and take less time
Combine multiple small jobs if you can and ask for a discount for bundling the tasks
Shop around for at least three quotes, then try to haggle for a lower rate when possible
Give the new guy a chance when the project does not demand tons of experience
Ask about discounts for seniors, veterans and disabled individuals
A handyman usually has the flexibility to charge for services either way: hourly or flat-rate. You might be able to negotiate with him or her as to which way to charge.
Before you ask, look at how the two differ. Suppose a job takes three hours to complete from start to finish. At $90 per hour, you spend just $270. But, suppose they price the same job at a flat rate of $300. While that increases your hourly charge to $100 an hour, it can save you money overall if the job takes longer than expected. Use your knowledge of the job and its potential pitfalls to weigh each option before deciding which one works best for you.