Hiring a handyman

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Triple digit golfer
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Hiring a handyman

Post by Triple digit golfer »

My wife and I have several things that we need to have done at home. We've never hired a handyman before, but I'm lazy and not overly handy and am not interested in making a weekend project out of anything. Is it insulting to ask a handyman to go to Home Depot and pick up all of the items needed, including a new front screen door?

How do I determine what the cost should be?

For example, here's what we are requesting be done:

-New front screen door
-Replace weatherstripping on two other doors
-Replace a few kitchen tiles on backsplash
-Remove grout around bathtub and add caulk
-Add shelf to pantry
-Repair botched drywall job on a small ceiling area, about 2x2 feet.

In my head, I am thinking all of this should be able to be done in a day or day and a half by someone who is skilled. So I'm thinking at $50 an hour for 8-12 hours, $400-600 plus materials. Am I even in the ballpark?
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ClevrChico
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by ClevrChico »

I would try to hire a carpenter vs. a handyman. The "handymen" here are mostly hacks that cause as many problems as they fix.

$50 - $60 hour is the going rate here. Do your due diligence of course.
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Triple digit golfer
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by Triple digit golfer »

ClevrChico wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 9:46 am I would try to hire a carpenter vs. a handyman. The "handymen" here are mostly hacks that cause as many problems as they fix.

$50 - $60 hour is the going rate here. Do your due diligence of course.
Thanks, good advice. The guy I contacted comes highly recommended in my area and is actually a carpenter by trade.
researcher
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by researcher »

Triple digit golfer wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 9:41 am -New front screen door
-Replace weatherstripping on two other doors
-Replace a few kitchen tiles on backsplash
-Remove grout around bathtub and add caulk
-Add shelf to pantry
-Repair botched drywall job on a small ceiling area, about 2x2 feet.

In my head, I am thinking all of this should be able to be done in a day or day and a half by someone who is skilled. So I'm thinking at $50 an hour for 8-12 hours, $400-600 plus materials. Am I even in the ballpark?
I'll be surprised if you find a quality worker to do all of this, including driving all over town to pick up the needed materials, for that price.
pshonore
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by pshonore »

I'd at least go to HD and see what the options and costs are for screen doors. Wood, aluminum, storm? etc.
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Triple digit golfer
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by Triple digit golfer »

researcher wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 9:59 am
Triple digit golfer wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 9:41 am -New front screen door
-Replace weatherstripping on two other doors
-Replace a few kitchen tiles on backsplash
-Remove grout around bathtub and add caulk
-Add shelf to pantry
-Repair botched drywall job on a small ceiling area, about 2x2 feet.

In my head, I am thinking all of this should be able to be done in a day or day and a half by someone who is skilled. So I'm thinking at $50 an hour for 8-12 hours, $400-600 plus materials. Am I even in the ballpark?
I'll be surprised if you find a quality worker to do all of this, including driving all over town to pick up the needed materials, for that price.
Maybe it'll be a few hundred more, who knows. Isn't "driving all over town to pick up the needed materials" part of what they do? I doubt a little old lady who needs work done goes out and gets all the parts that will be needed for the repair.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by Sandtrap »

Some Categories:

Handyman/Carpenter/Unlicensed "Contractor"/Does everything and anything better than anyone else and expects a lot per hour but will give you a deal on your work to be done. = Independent minded nice fellow, talks long, takes forever to do the work, would rather be sailing.

Handyman = "jack of all trades" = truck or van + dog and some tools. (sometimes)

Carpenter 1 = "in name only but actually a handyman", or works in construction building homes and handyman as a side job.

Carpenter 2 = long extensive experience as a carpenter, either on his own or as a side business does home repairs.

Carpenter 3 = long extensive experience as a licensed journeyman union trained finish carpenter retired from his own home building company and now keeps busy because he likes working, so does home repairs on a select basis to good customers.

Carpenter 3 & sons.

Depending on the how much you want to spend and quality expectations and extend of the projects: select from the above.
How do I determine what the cost should be?

For example, here's what we are requesting be done:

-New front screen door
-Replace weatherstripping on two other doors
-Replace a few kitchen tiles on backsplash
-Remove grout around bathtub and add caulk
-Add shelf to pantry
-Repair botched drywall job on a small ceiling area, about 2x2 feet.

In my head, I am thinking all of this should be able to be done in a day or day and a half by someone who is skilled. So I'm thinking at $50 an hour for 8-12 hours, $400-600 plus materials. Am I even in the ballpark?
Top
New front screen door (install new or replace)?
If new and new frame out, then price of door plus $200+.
Weatherstripping on 2 other doors. Depends if there's damage when removing or it is frozen/rusted in place. Depends if the right replacement can be found, if not, then takes longer to modify. Can be done nice or sloppy. Can take an hour or 3 hours.
Kitchen tiles on backsplash. Have spouse choose replacement, get the tiles yourself, exchange until you get the right one's. If a bad match then a larger job might be called for. If chipping the grout and base out is difficult to do cleanly, will take long. Not everyone does good tile work.
Removing grout around bathtub can be quick or long depending on adhesion and underlying "rot" and discoloration. What kind of caulking replacement. Caulking can be okay, perfect, or really sloppy. It is an art. If moisture under existing grout, then more trips to let it dry. If patching beneath is needed, then longer.
Add shelf to pantry can be nice cabinet quality work or a handyman level add brackets and a premade Home Depot shelf, or what. Do you want it to look like the rest of the pantry and blend in. That takes time and skill. And will take long.
Repairing a lousy drywall job can be worse than finishing new drywall. While 2x2 may seem small, the blend area can be large. If the existing drywall is really a mess, then sometimes cutting it out along the joists and doing a really nice blend and paint is going to come out flawless, but that is a high skill level. Not all handymen and carpenters are good tapers. It is a high skill level.

What are your quality expectations? Okay, good enough, flawless, good as new?
Likely you are not in any ballpark but it depends on your expectations and budget, and quality of the materials and your home.

j :happy
Last edited by Sandtrap on Thu May 28, 2020 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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daheld
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by daheld »

I know you said you're not interested in doing this yourself, but replacing weatherstripping and scraping out some grout and caulking from a tub should take about an hour total. I would do everything on your list myself, but if you want to hire someone, yes, it can be done in a day or day and a half. It's quite an eclectic mix of items, and I think you should be prepared to spend twice what you estimate.
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Triple digit golfer
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by Triple digit golfer »

daheld wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 10:11 am I know you said you're not interested in doing this yourself, but replacing weatherstripping and scraping out some grout and caulking from a tub should take about an hour total. I would do everything on your list myself, but if you want to hire someone, yes, it can be done in a day or day and a half. It's quite an eclectic mix of items, and I think you should be prepared to spend twice what you estimate.
I could do the weatherstripping and tub myself no problem. I just figured if I'm having somebody do the other items, might as well add it. Probably a good idea to do the small, simpler items myself.

I refuse to do drywall or any tiling. I'm bad at it. Pantry shelf, eh, probably can do that myself too.
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jabberwockOG
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by jabberwockOG »

The work you listed has probably 8+ hours of finding and sourcing for materials - add $500 and you may be in the ballpark.

Get a tile guy to do good tile work, someone that does it for a living. Anybody can put in tile pretty easily but it will almost always look like it was done by an amateur. Doing good pro level tile work is not a handyman skill set.
cs412a
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by cs412a »

Triple digit golfer wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 10:02 am
researcher wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 9:59 am
Triple digit golfer wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 9:41 am -New front screen door
-Replace weatherstripping on two other doors
-Replace a few kitchen tiles on backsplash
-Remove grout around bathtub and add caulk
-Add shelf to pantry
-Repair botched drywall job on a small ceiling area, about 2x2 feet.

In my head, I am thinking all of this should be able to be done in a day or day and a half by someone who is skilled. So I'm thinking at $50 an hour for 8-12 hours, $400-600 plus materials. Am I even in the ballpark?
I'll be surprised if you find a quality worker to do all of this, including driving all over town to pick up the needed materials, for that price.
Maybe it'll be a few hundred more, who knows. Isn't "driving all over town to pick up the needed materials" part of what they do? I doubt a little old lady who needs work done goes out and gets all the parts that will be needed for the repair.
Old lady here. Perhaps you'd be interested in my current experience in getting some bedroom blinds replaced.

My landlord installed some cheap plastic blinds about a year ago. I want to replace them with cordless blinds. Estimate from a local husband & wife window place: $600+ dollars for the blinds and labor. So I found the type of blinds I wanted at Menard's ($16/blind + 11% rebate), went home and made measurements, went back and had them cut the blinds for me. I got the phone number of a handyman from them, on the flyer it said he charged $30/blind for installation. However, he hasn't returned my VM, so I called the building management maintenance and they will do the job for $55/hour, probably next week.
carolinaman
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by carolinaman »

Triple digit golfer wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 9:41 am My wife and I have several things that we need to have done at home. We've never hired a handyman before, but I'm lazy and not overly handy and am not interested in making a weekend project out of anything. Is it insulting to ask a handyman to go to Home Depot and pick up all of the items needed, including a new front screen door?

How do I determine what the cost should be?

For example, here's what we are requesting be done:

-New front screen door
-Replace weatherstripping on two other doors
-Replace a few kitchen tiles on backsplash
-Remove grout around bathtub and add caulk
-Add shelf to pantry
-Repair botched drywall job on a small ceiling area, about 2x2 feet.

In my head, I am thinking all of this should be able to be done in a day or day and a half by someone who is skilled. So I'm thinking at $50 an hour for 8-12 hours, $400-600 plus materials. Am I even in the ballpark?
You will pay for his time traveling to and from HD plus time shopping for you in addition to doing the work. This may work out best because he is less likely to get the wrong things.

Good handymen are hard to find. Any worth their salt will have some carpentry skills but nothing you listed requires an expert carpenter. I would vet them carefully and get multiple references. 2 days is probably a good estimate.
oldfatguy
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by oldfatguy »

Triple digit golfer wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 9:41 am
In my head, I am thinking all of this should be able to be done in a day or day and a half by someone who is skilled.
I think that is overly optimistic ... a drywall repair, alone, will likely take several trips to your house if it is done well.
Topic Author
Triple digit golfer
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by Triple digit golfer »

Thanks for all the posts, everybody!
researcher
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by researcher »

Triple digit golfer wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 10:02 am Maybe it'll be a few hundred more, who knows. Isn't "driving all over town to pick up the needed materials" part of what they do?
Yes, it is part of what they do.
But you are looking for someone who will complete all of those jobs, including running around picking up materials, in a day for $400.

I'm saying I don't think this is realistic.
You might find an unemployed Craigslist "handyman" for that price, but I doubt any serious tradesperson would take this job for that kind of money.
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Triple digit golfer
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by Triple digit golfer »

researcher wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 12:56 pm
Triple digit golfer wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 10:02 am Maybe it'll be a few hundred more, who knows. Isn't "driving all over town to pick up the needed materials" part of what they do?
Yes, it is part of what they do.
But you are looking for someone who will complete all of those jobs, including running around picking up materials, in a day for $400.

I'm saying I don't think this is realistic.
You might find an unemployed Craigslist "handyman" for that price, but I doubt any serious tradesperson would take this job for that kind of money.
Thanks. I'm willing to pay up. I was just trying to get a pulse for how much may be reasonable. Sounds like somewhere close to $1,000 is probably more realistic.
Housedoc
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by Housedoc »

I did this work for about 4 years after retiring from the IT world. I would charge$65 an hour from the time I started on your job. I drove to HD and Lowe's many times making$65 an hour to shop. You will pay for your convenience just like grocery delivery. Shopping $$$ almost as good as driving home on double overtime. Windshield time pays great.
wilked
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by wilked »

Triple digit golfer wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 9:41 am My wife and I have several things that we need to have done at home. We've never hired a handyman before, but I'm lazy and not overly handy and am not interested in making a weekend project out of anything. Is it insulting to ask a handyman to go to Home Depot and pick up all of the items needed, including a new front screen door?

How do I determine what the cost should be?

For example, here's what we are requesting be done:

-New front screen door
-Replace weatherstripping on two other doors
-Replace a few kitchen tiles on backsplash
-Remove grout around bathtub and add caulk
-Add shelf to pantry
-Repair botched drywall job on a small ceiling area, about 2x2 feet.

In my head, I am thinking all of this should be able to be done in a day or day and a half by someone who is skilled. So I'm thinking at $50 an hour for 8-12 hours, $400-600 plus materials. Am I even in the ballpark?
Some advice:

SCREEN DOOR - do you like your existing? If you can replace with the exact same one that simplifies the job. Frankly, if you do that you can do the job yourself. If it's a new door, I would have the carpenter spec and buy the door and replace it. Sometimes you create unnecessary work by buying the wrong door. Replacing a door is simple until you have rotted wood, the new door closure won't work with old, etc. There's always complications with new doors.

WEATHERSTRIPPING - DIY is my advice.

TILE WORK / CAULK - Hire this job separately from an experienced tiler. You'll end up paying a day's wage, $500 or so.

SHELF - I would DIY

DRYWALL - I would DIY. I know you said you're not good at it. No time like the present to get good at it. For a 2x2 patch you can buy a patch that covers it, then just mud over it. You might end up with 4-5 iterations until it's blended, but unless there is some texturing I would DIY. mud/plaster is cheap and each iteration only takes 10-15 mins. The hard part is waiting for it to dry before you wet-sand and eyeball it, then decide to iterate again. Watch a few youtubes but nothing like experience as a teacher. The good news is that once you're done you'll be much better equipped to tackle the next patch.
cs412a
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by cs412a »

I suspect there is a great demand for handyman/carpenter services currently because everyone who has had to stay at home over the past few months has become annoyed by all those little repairs they could ignore when they were busy. As a result, I'd expect that the cost of labor will increase or that the people you contact may be too busy to get back to you.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by Sandtrap »

oldfatguy wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 11:17 am
Triple digit golfer wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 9:41 am
In my head, I am thinking all of this should be able to be done in a day or day and a half by someone who is skilled.
I think that is overly optimistic ... a drywall repair, alone, will likely take several trips to your house if it is done well.
+1
Depending on the repair, even if using "quick mix setting mud" it will still take time from soup to desert to do it in a way that the repair cannot be seen once painted.

j :happy
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researcher
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by researcher »

Triple digit golfer wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 1:07 pm Sounds like somewhere close to $1,000 is probably more realistic.
My Dad did side jobs like this 30 YEARS AGO (I tagged along on many)...he wouldn't take any project for less than $1000.

As others have said, there has been extreme lack of skilled labor in this country for many years.
The stay-at-home orders and stimulus checks have exasperated the problem.
A few hundred dollar job simply isn't worth a skilled tradesperson's time.

You can find Craigslist hacks all day long that will come out and do a crappy job, many of which are likely to rummage through your house looking for prescription drugs and other valuables.

This is why I do 99% of household/automotive tasks myself.
Texgal17
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by Texgal17 »

I have used a “Mr. Handyman” service. It’s a franchise. They have a certain dollar amount to come out and then the cost of service needed. First job I had done was installing kitchen cabinet knobs, that I purchased. Took about an hour.
Second job I had a under mount sink fall through. There were no braces to hold it up so the handyman installed brackets.
He did have to go to Home Depot for some parts, but it was included in the service visit. Both jobs were reasonably priced IMO.

I also went to Home Depot to pick out a screen door for my back door. The laborer came out to do measurements for $50.00 but that was taken off the end price once installed. He brought the door and all knobs with him on install date.
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lthenderson
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by lthenderson »

Triple digit golfer wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 9:41 am Is it insulting to ask a handyman to go to Home Depot and pick up all of the items needed, including a new front screen door?
It isn't insulting as long as the time for them to go get the materials is "on the clock" and you are reimbursing them for the time and materials to do the project.
wmackey
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Re: Hiring a handyman

Post by wmackey »

If you know any of the realtors in your area, you might want to ask them who they use. Thats how I have found the people I have used.
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