A professional handyman service can tackle a number of small jobs and save you lots of time and effort. But some work will still require the expertise of a licensed specialist. So, how do you know when to hire one over the other? Here are five jobs perfect for a handyman (and a few hints on when to call on the experts).
1. Any job you could do yourself
The kinds of projects you could DIY (if you had the time, tools and patience) are perfect for a handyman. A seemingly simple job like mounting a TV or replacing a door can take the average homeowner hours, while an experienced handyman pro can get the same job done quickly and efficiently.
Pro tip: To get the best use of their time — and make the most of their hourly rate — hire a handyman to tackle several jobs in one visit.
2. Replace a toilet, faucet or outlet
Replacing fixtures and switches doesn’t usually require a license. So, a handyman with experience in the field should be able to do the work. Generally speaking, if you’re swapping out a fixture that connects to existing pipes or wiring, you’re in safe territory. But if you start meddling with plumbing pipes, electrical wires, or gas lines, it’s time to hire a licensed pro.
3. Replace a door lock
You really only need a locksmith when you want to repair a lock itself, or you’ve locked yourself out. But if you have keys in hand and simply need to swap an old lock for a new one, a handyman should be able to handle the work. In fact, this is more of a carpentry-and-installation task than a locksmith job.
4. Most one-to-one swap jobs
Replacing crown molding, repairing drywall, installing garbage disposals, hanging a ceiling fan — all these jobs and more replace a dated or broken component with a similar or identical component. And in most cases, if you’re replacing one thing with the same thing, a handyman’s the right pro for the job.
5. Basic seasonal changes
You want a pro to do your twice-yearly HVAC inspection. But a lot of seasonal work is perfect for a handyman. Cleaning gutters, weather-stripping windows and doors for energy efficiency, and hanging holiday lights are all suitable tasks for a trustworthy handyman professional.
Important Things to Keep in Mind:
If whatever you’re replacing or repairing is under warranty, hire carefully. In many cases, the warranty’s fine print will require you to hire a licensed or certified specialist, or you’ll void the warranty.
State and local governments have different licensing requirements for different jobs. Verify that your handyman can do this kind of work.
Always make sure your handyman carries liability insurance, and get all estimates in writing.