Handyman services: what is it & how does it work?

These days, many of us choose to employ the services of a handyman, and what better way to find one than by looking online. It sure beats relying on the flyer that got dropped into the mailbox.

You should think carefully if you really do need the services of a handyman, contractor or other specialist though.

In addition, you want to make sure that your man can do the job. Here’s how.

The Basics

A handyman, or handywoman, is usually a skilled tradesman who is well versed in a wide variety of tasks that are likely to be encountered around the home. From repairs to home improvement works, they are a jack-of-all-trades with a wide knowledge base.

A handyman may be skilled in one area, such as carpentry or home electrics, but also be equally happy to do other jobs around the home as well.

Industry Standards

Currently there are no national standards to hold such tradesmen to account - licensing and regulation varies from state to state, so you should consult your state laws and look for any required accreditation before hiring anyone do do work around your house.

This is a situation where you should check online reviews before you hire. A good handyman will always get glowing reviews and be in demand.

You can also check the Better Business Bureau before you hire as well. You’ll be able to check if there’s any outstanding complaints against your prospective hire.

Always get 2 or 3 quotes from different tradesmen to ensure that the price being asked for, and the work being offered is reasonable.

You should keep in mind that the lowest bid may not necessarily be the best, even though it may seem the most attractive. Ensure that you are comparing like with like. Different tradesmen will often offer a very different level of service.

A bid that is carefully considered, well written and detailed should be considered a sign that the handyman is reputable. If they are prepared to be detailed enough at this stage then it is more likely that they are confident in their abilities and the scope of the job in hand.

Make sure that you are clear about what you want and what is being delivered up front.


You should check with your handyman that they are suitably insured before allowing them do do any work on your house.

General liability insurance is a safety net for both you and the handyman, so ensure that you see the certificate before you start work.

Should an accident occur on your property, you could find yourself responsible if suitable insurance isn’t in place before work begins.

Do I Need A Handyman Or A Contractor?

It may not be clear to you at first if you need a handyman, or a contractor or even a specialist building form to get your job done.

Generally speaking, if you have a list of ‘to-do’ jobs around the house, then you have the ideal list of jobs for a handyman.

Fixing shelves, changing light switches and bulbs, leaking taps, broken plaster, decking that’s in need of some love – all these are things that a handyman can take care of.

If however, your jobs span a variety of skills, or mean that the basic infrastructure of your house will need to be affected, then it is going to be wise to employ the services of a contractor. In these instances, a contractor will be best suited to identify any possible problems that can arise from having multiple trades operating in one space and be best suited to manage the interaction between them.

​​​​​​​Summing Up

A handyman is great to have around. Especially a respected and skilled individual with whom you can entrust your to-do list around the house.

There’s a few things you need to do before hand you hire to make sure the experience is good for both parties, but once those are in place, you’re good to go!