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What Does a Handyman Do?March 24th, 2023 by
A handyman is a skilled tradesperson who can perform a variety of tasks around the home and workplace. From fixing a leaky faucet to replacing a ceiling fan, a handyman has the expertise and experience necessary to help you with a variety of projects. However, not every job is suited for a handyperson. We cover the basics of what a handyman does and list the most common services they provide. Plus, we explain what a handyman can legally do and the restrictions that may be in place in your area.
What Is a Handyman?
A handyman is a person who is skilled in a wide range of repair and maintenance services. Handyperson is becoming an increasingly common way to refer to a person of any gender who provides these services. They typically offer services for both residential and commercial properties.
Handyman or person typically performs a variety of tasks instead of focusing on a single trade. Their exact skill set often varies from person to person, but they typically do most installation or repair work within the home or office.
However, some handypersons are skilled in carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, and other trade skills. Oftentimes, they will offer some basic services for multiple skill sets. The handyperson or handyman will usually offer services that do not require specific licensing or inspection.
Some of the most common services include:
- Installing shelves
- Hanging doors
- Building decks
- General carpentry work
- Changing light fixtures
- Replacing light bulbs
- Replacing existing switches and outlets
- Fixing leaky faucets
- Unclogging drains
- Interior and exterior painting
- Patching holes in walls
- Drywall repair
- Hanging new drywall
- Replacing existing doors
- Installing backsplashes
- Repairing grout
- Mowing lawns
- Trimming hedges
- General landscaping and lawn maintenance
- Assembling furniture
- Repairing windows and doors
- Cleaning gutters
- Repairing gutters
- Installing gutter guards
- Repairing decks or fences
These services can vary depending on the handyman’s skills and experience. Some handymen may specialize in certain areas, while others offer a more general range of services.
While there are many services that a handyman can provide, you should always use a licensed contractor if you need extensive electrical, HVAC, or plumbing services.
Does a Handyman Need a License or Training?
In most cases, a handyman does not need to be licensed or certified in order to perform the services they offer. However, some states may require a handyman license or certification.
A professional handyman also requires a separate license to perform certain types of work. For example, most states require specific plumbing, electrical, or HVAC licenses for anyone doing those types of work.
As for training, handymen and handypersons typically learn their trade through on-the-job training, apprenticeships, or vocational schools.
What Type of Work Can a Handyman Do Legally?
In most cases, there are only certain types of work that handymen can do legally. Unless they are licensed, they can usually only offer basic maintenance tasks and minor repair services. Many states prohibit handyman services from completing larger projects for your safety.
However, the type of work a handyman can do legally depends on the laws and regulations in your area. Some states require handymen to hold proper licensing or certifications for some services.
When it comes to plumbing, electrical, and HVAC services, most states require a trade-specific license in order to provide these services legally. This means that even the most experienced handyman will not be able to offer these services without the proper credentials. Obtaining such licenses usually requires some schooling and several years of experience in the field.
However, there is a big grey area when it comes to some electrical, plumbing, and HVAC services. While most states have restrictions, they are usually unclear about specific services that require licenses. For example, handypersons can usually replace an existing electrical outlet or a sink faucet without an electrical or plumbing license.
Project Scope and Cost
Some states also place restrictions on the scope and or cost of handyman projects. Scope limitations use cover major renovations like additions, roof replacement or installation, and other large-scale remodeling projects. Most cost limits range from $500 to $1000 per job. Depending on the state, that limit can cover labor or both labor and materials.
These protections are in place to prevent handypersons from taking advantage of unaware consumers. It also ensures that handymen do not take on jobs that are beyond their capabilities. This could potentially put themselves and others at risk.
Limiting job sizes to an appropriate amount for each state allows unlicensed handymen to focus on smaller projects while still providing quality workmanship for their customers.
Other states set different restrictions on handymen and persons. While many of them revolve around subcontracting and advertising, limitations vary from state to state. Contact your local housing authority for complete details about the licensing requirements and handyman restrictions in your area.
In addition to the restrictions mentioned above, some states also require handymen to carry liability insurance. This type of insurance protects both the handyman and their customers in case of an accident or injury while on the job.
Five Star Rated makes it easy to find a qualified and reliable handyman or handyperson in your area. With our strict prequalification process, you are guaranteed to find a local and trustworthy handyman for simple maintenance and repairs around your home or business.
Plus, we back every one of our handymen with our exclusive Five Star Guarantee. For added peace of mind, you can get up to $2,000 back when you choose one of our screened and verified handymen near you.