What is a handyman? What sort of jobs can a handyman
do for you? Look in the dictionary and you'll learn that a handyman is someone who is "skillful with the use of one's hands" and "convenient, nearby or easily reached." These definitions describe a handyman perfectly. When you have a job or jobs that require the services of someone who has a multitude of manual skills and who is available on short notice, you need a handyman.
What Jobs Can a Handyman Do?
The list of jobs a handyman can do is a long one. As a rule of thumb, you call on a handyman to do all those "little" jobs around the house you can't do yourself. For example:
- Painting: If you want to paint a room but don't feel it's a large enough job for a professional painter, many handymen are skillful painters.
- Wall hangings: Hanging paintings, mirrors, TVs and other heavy objects can be tricky and even dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. A handyman knows which kind of hardware is needed to make sure object being mounted will stay mounted.
- Cleaning: There are many cleaning jobs that require a handyman's services. For example, if your driveway, pathway or patio floor needs cleaning, a handyman may be able to use a pressure hose to remove mould, dirt and grime and make it look like new again.
- Gardening: While you want to call a professional gardener for some jobs, a handyman comes in "handy" for a multitude of gardening jobs.
- Carpentry: Do you need to hang some shelves or have a new door fitted? A handyman can do these and many other small carpentry and carpentry-related jobs for you. While a licensed builder is required for larger structures, a handyman can even erect a shed, cubby house or other small structure for you in some states.
- Kit and flatpack installation: Carports, kitchen cabinets, furniture and many other things often come in kit or flatpack form. A handyman will have the tools and skills to install these for you.
Check with your local council first before hiring a handyman for larger jobs. In some states, a handyman may not be licensed to do work over a certain value and you may need to hire a licensed builder
or structural landscaper
to install outdoor structures even if they are in kit form. Some jobs a handyman will probably not be qualified to carry out unless they also hold the appropriate licence include:
- Plumbing: Most plumbing jobs must be done by a licensed plumber.
- Electricity: Electrical wiring and other specialist electrical work must be carried out by a licensed electrician.
- Gasfitting: A licensed plumber/gas fitter must do your gasfitting work for you.
This does not mean that a handyman cannot do related jobs for you, though. For example, if you just bought a new home theatre
system and you want to have your new flat screen TV mounted on your wall, a handyman can install the mounting, the TV and even thread the cable through the wall cavity for you. They will not be authorised to install wiring that connects to your mains electricity, though.
How Much Does a Handyman Cost?*
A handyman will generally charge by the hour. You may be able to hire a local self-employed handyman for as little as $30 per hour, but the average is around $45 per hour. If the handyman also holds another trade licence such as plumbing or electricity, their hourly rate may be higher. Check their trade licence and only hire a handyman who carries insurance.
*Cost and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces. This article was updated 06 May 2015 to reflect current market pricing.