ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Find a Honest, Hard-working and Skilled Handyman

Updated on May 3, 2009

Hiring a good handyman is not easy and many people have had bad experiences with handymen. They don't show up, they don't return calls, they overcharge you…

Here are some tips on finding the right handyman.

Rule 1. Make a list of what needs to be done before you call. For example, fixing fence, dripping faucet, loose cabinet doors, faulty light switch, etc. Keep the list of all repairs and improvement needed near the phone so you can give the handyman a good idea of the job size before they come to your home.

Handymen are not necessary Jack of All Trades. Most will tell you up front if they aren't as skilled in some areas, e.g. "I don't fit carpet"

Rule 2. Develop a list of handymen prospects, starting from your neighbourhood.

The easiest way to start your search is to pick up the local newspaper or Yellowpages and look through the home repair classifieds. However, this is not the best way to find the right handyman because many successful handymen do not advertise. After a few years in business, many multi-skilled, fulltime handymen find themselves overwhelmed with business and stop actively promoting themselves. This occurs because of networking, referrals from multiple sources that keep them busy year round.

How do you find these handyman gems? Ask relatives, friends, colleagues, and neighbours for a recommendation. The best handymen operate by word-of-mouth referrals. Ask at your local hardware store, ask a widow, or the pickiest person you know.

Pay attention to handyman vans in your local area. This is another way to find your neighbourhood handyman. We found our favorate handman by this way after being overcharged on a trivial fencing job by another handyman found on the local newspaper.

Rule 3. Ask questions before you hire.
How does the handyman price his work? Does he give free estimates? Does he charge by the hour or half hour? Does he charge more for the first hour?

For small jobs, many handymen charge by an hourly rate, usually with a minimum charge. Make note of his hourly rates. When comparing handymen, realise that the hourly rate can be a reflection of his experience, how popular he is, and the competition's rates on the market.

Handyman hourly rates range from £12-£25 in my area (East midland).

Some handyman charge mark-up costs for materials, from 20 to 100 percent. This is not an unfair practice in an occupation where the tradesman is only getting paid by the hour for the time he is on the job, not for the time it takes to shop for materials (which can be time-consuming). Others charge higher rate for the first hour for this reason. If you decide to buy materials yourself, most handymen will be glad to offer specific advice in what you need to get for the job.

Rule 4. Get two or three estimates. Don’t pick the cheapest one. Most people choose the middle bid. A good job is worth more than saving a little on the bid.

Rule 5. Ask for a written and signed quotations for jobs over a certain amount (for example, over £50 for me) before you hire. Make sure you know up front what you are paying for; look to see if supplies are included in the bid.

Rule 6. Never hire the independent going door to door, asking for work. It is likely a scam, or even a setup for criminal activity.

Rule 7. Do not agree to make a full payment up front. Do not pay the entire amount until the work is completed satisfactorily.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You did a nice job outlining how to find & work with a handyman. Homeowners should take more time at the beginning to find someone good ... and then use them for multiple visits over the years as it's easier for everyone to work with someone they know.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)