Becoming a Handyman

Becoming a handyman requires an eye for detail and knowledge of how to use basic tools. Many handymen learn through working as an apprentice to more experienced tradespeople.


Some also take on temporary construction projects like building homes for Habitat for Humanity, which can help them gain skills and experience. Other handymen rely on online videos to guide them through various tasks. Visit to learn more.

Handymen often work on a variety of different repair and maintenance projects to keep homes and businesses in good shape. Their duties include carpentry, painting, plumbing, and electrical work. They can also perform more complex tasks like installing drywall or new cabinets. They usually work on small jobs that don’t require a state license or specialized education to complete, so they don’t need a permit. However, they do need insurance to protect their assets and ensure clients are satisfied with the quality of their work.

When people have a lot of to-do items on their home improvement list, it can quickly become overwhelming. For example, a homeowner might want to sand and repaint their living room or replace the kitchen floor but doesn’t have the time or tools to do it themselves. A handyman can help them check these tasks off their list and get the job done in a timely fashion.

Another common service handymen provide is repairing or replacing broken windows, doors and screens. They can also perform routine maintenance to prevent larger problems from developing, such as cleaning gutters and removing dirt from shingles.

Often, a handyman can save a client money by doing simple repair and installation work rather than hiring a professional for the task. For example, a plumber may charge to repair a leaky faucet, but a handyman might be able to fix the issue in a fraction of the time for a lower cost.

Many customers hire handymen to assemble furniture, as well as install smart devices in their home, such as doorbells and security cameras. These professionals can also do basic electrical work, such as replacing bulbs and rewiring sockets.

While some experts debate whether or not the term “handyman” is synonymous with “general contractor,” most agree that a handyman is qualified to complete jobs that aren’t too complicated and don’t require a professional license. If you plan to start your own handyman business, it’s essential to obtain general liability insurance to protect yourself and your customers from damages.

Performing Specific Repairs and Maintenance Work

Handymen often work as part of a team alongside professional tradespeople like electricians, plumbers, carpenters and building systems engineers. They may also supervise junior members of their teams or work independently.

Some specific repair and maintenance work that a handyman might perform includes fixing broken windows, installing new doorknobs or replacing outdated light fixtures. They might also help to install smart home devices such as a video doorbell, smart thermostat or a smart lock. They can also help to set up these devices and connect them to the home Wi-Fi network.

While some handymen specialise in particular fields of work, most are skilled in a wide range of tasks that fall outside the purview of other tradespeople. This means that they can offer a more complete service to their customers and fill in gaps in the skills sets of other professionals.

A plumbing system is easy to take for granted until something goes wrong, and that’s when a handyman is called in. Handymen can handle basic repairs, such as unclogging drains or replacing faucet washers. They can also help with larger projects, such as putting in new shower heads or updating old toilets.

Furniture assembly is another task that many homeowners don’t have time to do themselves, but which a handyman can easily undertake. They might assemble dressers, bookshelves, tables or other pieces of wood furniture in a home. Some handymen can even take care of more permanent woodworking tasks, such as repairing or replacing window and door trims or skirting boards.

Unless they are licensed electricians, handymen usually avoid performing any electrical work that isn’t related to light bulbs or simple appliance installations. Complex electrical jobs, such as rewiring a home, should only be undertaken by qualified professionals to prevent fires and electrocution.

However, a handyman can usually help with more minor electric work, such as changing out outlet covers or adding safety switches to breakers. They can also rewire lighting fixtures or replace ceiling fans. If they have a good general liability insurance policy in place, handymen are generally covered against accidental property damage caused by their work.

Performing Electrical Work

There’s a big difference between calling a jack-of-all-trades to fix something in your home and bringing in a licensed professional to perform specialized work that requires specific training. This is especially true when it comes to electrical and plumbing services, as most states require that a license be held to offer these types of specialized work.

Some states also place restrictions on the scope and cost of handyman jobs that a handyperson can take on, which helps protect consumers from unscrupulous contractors who try to push their skills beyond what they are capable of. These limitations are designed to keep handypersons from taking on projects that could put their customers at risk of injury or property damage and also prevent them from taking advantage of consumers who may not understand what types of work require a licensed contractor.

Handymen who have a good understanding of basic electrical wiring are typically able to complete a number of different tasks related to installing and repairing outlets, switches, ceiling fans and lighting fixtures. They may also be able to troubleshoot issues with electrical wiring and determine what is causing problems such as tripping breakers, blown fuses or an excessive amperage draw on appliances.

Many handymen can also help with a variety of other electrical related tasks, such as mounting smart devices like a video doorbell or a thermostat and helping them connect to the Internet. In some cases, they can even advise homeowners on how to improve energy efficiency by making certain changes throughout their homes.

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to working on electrical projects is avoiding mistakes that can be very costly and dangerous. Faulty or improper electrical work can cause everything from fires to electrocution, so it’s important that a handyman has the training and experience necessary to ensure these types of tasks are performed correctly.

Some national handyman services actually assign local franchise owners with specific geographic territories where they can work. These firms handle marketing, advertising and other aspects of the business and then refer customers to a local handyman who will perform the work. This type of arrangement can provide a convenient solution for some consumers who are looking for a reliable and trusted local contractor to help with repairs and maintenance projects around their homes.

Performing Plumbing Work

A handyman will often perform plumbing tasks, such as installing a new faucet or repairing a leaky showerhead. Depending on the state, though, more extensive plumbing work may require a plumber’s license, so it’s important for handymen to check local laws before offering these services.

It’s also a good idea for handymen to stay away from any work that interacts with the sewer line or septic tank, as these projects are more likely to pose health and safety risks. Additionally, major plumbing jobs typically require the removal of existing fixtures, which can be messy and difficult to get back in working condition.

Many states prohibit handymen from performing certain electrical, plumbing and HVAC services without a trade-specific license. These licenses generally require some form of schooling and years of experience, so handymen should make sure they understand their local rules before offering these services to customers.

Some states require handymen to be licensed and insured, especially if they’re self-employed. This helps protect clients from unlicensed contractors and provides them with a means of recouping their losses if the handyman does not perform satisfactorily. It’s important for any home professional to understand their state’s licensing requirements before beginning work, as violations can result in fines, ticketing or even criminal charges.

A leaking fixture is not only unsightly and noisy, but it can lead to water damage in the property and create mold and mildew issues. Fortunately, most handymen can resolve minor problems with plumbing fixtures, such as a leaky faucet, toilet or sink.

Another common service is removing leaves from clogged gutter drains. This task requires the use of a ladder, so it’s not something most people want to attempt on their own. Lastly, handymen sometimes repair or replace broken toilets and bathtubs.

When it comes to drywall, most handymen can handle basic repairs and installation. This is usually a job for a professional who has some experience with drywall work and a decent understanding of the technical aspects involved. It’s also a good idea for any handyman to invest in some general liability insurance and workers compensation coverage. This can help cover costs if a customer is injured on the premises or if the handyman accidentally damages a customer’s property.