Last Updated Mar 22, 2017 · Written by Rob Schneider
In the past, handymen did all kinds of work, but today they may be limited to work that does not require a trade licence. What is a handyman? What kinds of jobs can they do for you? You might be surprised by some of the unexpected things a handyman can do.
A handyman is a "jack of all trades." Handymen come from all kinds of backgrounds. Many simply love to fix things and discovered they could make a living doing what they love to do. Others come from trade backgrounds, but enjoy doing other types of work. Some handymen are semi-retired tradespersons, but enjoy staying active and making a living.
A good handyman can do just about any job around the house. Today, they are limited to jobs that don't require a licensed tradesperson, but some have trade licenses and keep them up-to-date. A handyman may be:
The thing that sets handymen (or women) apart is that they enjoy the challenge of doing a variety of jobs. In some cases, they will retain their trade licence, but seek work as a handyman because of the variety of work the job allows them to do.
Before you hire a handyman, check Licensed Trades and find out if a trade licence is required for the work you need done. If it is, you may be able to find a handyman who is also licensed to do the work. A licensed handyman may work for a lower rate and will be able to do other jobs around your house.
No job is too small or large for a handyman. A qualified handyman will have tools for every type of job and know how to use them. Sometimes they might be needed for simple jobs, but a good handyman can also do more complex jobs. The following are some unusual things a handyman can do for you.
If you've purchased flatpack furniture or a flatpack kitchen, a handyman can easily put your flatpack kit together. If it's a kitchen, they can also install it. They will not be able to hook up the plumbing or do the electrical work, but between the lower cost of a flatpack kitchen and a handyman's often lower rates, hiring a handyman is a good way to renovate your kitchen on a budget.
A good handyman can also repair furniture for you. Many have workshops in their garages and have woodworking tools. They can take your broken furniture with them and repair and restore it for you. Look for a handyman with experience as a cabinetmaker for more complex jobs. You might be surprised by the results they can achieve. A good handyman will repair your furniture and know how to stain and polish furniture to perfection.
While it doesn't happen every day, handymen have been asked to build doghouses. A skilled handyman can make anything from an ordinary doghouse to an extraordinary doggie mansion.
An ex-builder or carpenter may be the best choice for this type of job, but handymen in general know how to work with tools and can work from drawings or plans. Since a doghouse does not need to be built to code, a builder's licence is not required. All you need to do is find a handyman who is keen to take on the job and can offer you a fair rate for their service.
Even more uncommon is a cat sanctuary, but handymen have been asked to build structures for cats. One female handyperson was asked to build a sanctuary for five cats. It was a tall order, but the client was satisfied with the result. The sanctuary included shelving, play equipment, swings and places for the cats to perch and relax.
It doesn't happen often, but handymen have been asked to rescue animals. A cat might be stuck in a tree or a dog might get stuck in a fence. Since a handyman has ladders and tools, they have been asked to rescue animals. Usually they are asked by their regular customers, but occasionally a request comes out of the blue.
While it might be wiser to call an animal rescue service for some animal rescue operations, handymen have been asked to make simple rescues that have even included getting dogs unstuck from places they have accidentally gotten stuck in.
Handymen are often asked to do yard cleaning and even house cleaning jobs. Sometimes they can be asked to do odd clean-up jobs. One handyman was asked to clean a car interior and take it to a local auto repair service. Another was given the unenviable task of cleaning up an out of control lawn.
Sometimes clients will ask handymen to do ordinary clean-up jobs, but while they're at the house, the client will ask them to do something extraordinary. Occasionally they are even asked to go shopping or drive an elderly client to the shops. Being "handy" isn't always confined to the types of jobs we usually associate with a handyman.
We usually think of a handyman as a person who can repair things around the house. They are often asked to hang doors, repair windows and do general repairs around the house, but they are often asked to do small jobs a person is unable or unwilling to do. Some of the small jobs can be surprising. A handyman might be asked to:
Hang a mirror or painting
Fix a flyscreen
Install a flat screen TV on a wall
That's just a small sampling of the small jobs a handyman might be asked to do. They might be called upon to do jobs that only take a few minutes of their time. Often elderly or disabled people ask them to do these jobs, but not always. Sometimes clients are busy or don't want to climb on ladders to do simple jobs they could easily do at ground level.
We've listed some unexpected things a handyman can do to make a point. A handyman can do much more than you might think they can. While you might get quotes from handymen for ordinary jobs, when something extraordinary comes up, a handyman might be perfect for the job.
Handymen charge by the hour and in some cases will quote by the job. Getting a handyman to come and change a lightbulb can be expensive because they will charge for travel time, too. If a handyman is already working on your property, ask them what other jobs they can do for you. You might be surprised by how willing they can be to tackle other jobs around your house. Is your garage or closet a mess? Let a handyman clean it up for you. While they're at it, they can install shelving and turn your messy garage or closet into a neat and tidy one.