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Everything you need to know about finding a Handyman

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Home maintenance and repair is an ongoing process. Some jobs you will be able to do yourself, but others you might not have the time, tools or ability to handle. This is when a handyman comes in "handy."A skilled handyman can competently do a wide range of jobs that don't require a specialized trade licence. Here's what you need to know about finding and hiring the right handyman for your home improvement and maintenance projects.

What Can a Handyman Do?

A skilled handyman can do just about any job around your house except plumbing, electrical or other work that requires a licence. In some cases, a handyman might keep their trade licence up-to-date and can even do jobs related to their former trade. Typically, a handyman is called upon to perform these types of tasks:

Painting Plastering Carpentry Pressure cleaning Door fitting Fitting door locks Installing smoke detectors Repairs and maintenance of tiling Repairs and maintenance of decking Installation of sheds and cubbyhouses Installing sprinkler and irrigation systems Cleaning Driveway re-sealing Gardening Gutter cleaning Lawnmowing

In some states, a Handyman or similar trade licence is required. To find out if you need a licensed tradie for your maintenance or home improvement project, visit licensedtrades.com.au .

Hiring a Handyman

A handyman can work independently or be part of a larger company or franchise that provides a number of services. In most cases, a handyman enjoys doing a variety of jobs and has the tools and experience to do them well. Some are better than others, though. If you're hiring a handyman, get at least three quotes and compare them carefully. Their cost should only be one consideration. Can they provide you with references? How long have they been working in your area? Do they have a current trade licence, if needed? Are the insured? Do they have experience in the type of job you need them to do? These are all important considerations.

How Much Does a Handyman Cost?

Hourly rates for a handyman can vary from as low as $25 an hour to up to $75 an hour. In most cases, their rates will reflect the level of skill needed for a particular job. For example, you shouldn't have to pay $75 an hour for changing a light bulb, but if your handyman has an electrician's licence and can install a new overhead light for you, they will probably charge a higher hourly rate.

A better way to estimate how much a handyman's services should cost is to look at average costs for a variety of jobs. For example:

Repair jobs range from $50 to $400, depending on how many hours of work are involved. Installation jobs (such as a flat screen TV or a heavy appliance) cost between $55 and $175 on average. Maintenance jobs usually range between $80 and $300. Painting your living room can cost between $350 and $1200, depending on the size and complexity of the job. Window and door repairs cost between $75 and $300.

To get accurate quotes online, give as many details about your project as possible. This will give the handymen who get back to you an opportunity to provide more accurate initial quotes. They will still generally charge by the hour, so to save money, make it as easy as possible for them to get to work immediately. For example, if you want them to paint your living room, take everything off the walls before they arrive, if possible. If you have a few small jobs that need doing, let them do them all at once and they won't need to charge extra for travel and set-up time.

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 13 August 2015 to reflect current market pricing.


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