What is a Handyman?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2019
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A handyman is someone who can perform a wide assortment of small tasks and odd jobs. Handymen can be found in communities all over the world, offering low-cost services ranging from gardening to home repair to their clients. It is usually easy to find a handyman; many advertise in phone books and with fliers around town, and it is also possible to track one down through word of mouth recommendations. Some people become quite attached to their handymen, since a good one can be hard to find.

Licensing requirements for handymen vary. In some regions, you cannot work on plumbing, gas, and electrical systems without a license in these trades, as improperly done work could be dangerous. In other regions, a handyman can perform many basic repairs to these systems without licensing, or under the supervision of a licensed contractor. Some handymen pursue licensure to make themselves more appealing to potential clients, and because it is easier to get bonding or insurance with a license; many customers appreciate the additional security of insurance protecting them from theft and damages caused by a handyman.


The tasks which a handyman can perform vary. Most are capable of undertaking small to medium-sized construction projects ranging from repairing damaged flooring to remodeling a room. Many can work in the garden, paint a house, and troubleshoot plumbing and electrical systems, even if they ultimately have to refer clients to a professional to fix a major problem. Some handymen also offer housesitting services to people who want skilled caretakers to watch over their homes.

Many handymen charge by the hour, and they typically work as quickly as they are able to. Some charge extra fees for emergency or rush jobs. A handyman can extremely useful because he or she can perform a wide range of repair tasks at one visit, allowing homeowners to call one person rather than several to deal with small problems which develop around the house. Many handymen also pride themselves on coming up with innovative, inexpensive solutions to problems to keep their costs down.

The quality of repairs performed by a handyman can vary widely. It is a good idea to ask friends and neighbors for recommendations when seeking out a repairman, as they may have experience with several people in the market which allows them to recommend a particular individual. When you do find a handyperson, you may want to ask about his or her qualifications, and if the handyperson has a relationship with a licensed plumber, contractor, or electrician in the event that you require a licensed professional to finish a job.


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