Interior

What Does a Handyman Do? 8 Types of Tasks That Can Be Tackled by a Handyman

Someone offering handyman services can perform many different home improvement tasks as a generalist or specialize in a specific area, such as electrical or plumbing.
What Does a Handyman Do

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Q: I’m in need of help with some odd jobs around my house. Should I look for someone who offers general handyman services? What exactly does that entail, and how can I find out what a particular handyman does?

A: A handyman is a versatile professional in home maintenance and improvement who can tackle a wide array of tasks that a homeowner may face. Homeowners often call a handyman for home repairs and other tasks they don’t want to (or can’t) complete on their own. The meaning of handyman (or handyperson) can be summed up in the name: These pros are handy around the house and put their wide skill set to work for their clients.

Whether a homeowner needs help with minor repairs and upgrades or larger, more complex home improvement projects that require the help of one of the best home repair services, understanding the scope of a handyman’s expertise is crucial. While some handyman businesses are similar to those of general contractors, many of whom are equally adept at similar types of work, others take a “depth over breadth” approach and bill themselves as a specialist, such as a handyman plumber, handyman electrician, or handyman painter.

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Whether someone is looking to hire or looking to start a business, they will want to learn the definition of “handyman,” answer the question “What does a handyman do?” and look at the different handyman jobs a homeowner might need to have completed by one of the best home services.

What Does a Handyman Do
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A handyman is a type of repair or maintenance professional who can tackle multiple projects around a home.

A handyman’s job description isn’t limited to just one type of work. This versatility makes these pros particularly valuable to homeowners who are faced with a diverse range of projects. From basic carpentry, minor electrical fixes, and plumbing repairs to painting, assembling furniture, and taking care of general upkeep, a handyman’s responsibilities and skill set are extensive and varied. Handymen are the go-to professionals for those smaller yet essential jobs that don’t necessarily require a specialized contractor but could still benefit from the expertise of a skilled professional.

By hiring a local handyman, homeowners can efficiently address multiple issues in one visit, making these pros an economical and practical choice for keeping a home in top condition. A handyman business can build up a strong client base through word of mouth by providing top-notch repair services to its customers.

Handyman contractors can perform drywall repair and installation, interior painting, and picture-hanging services.

The best handyman services are often sought out for their proficiency in interior home improvements, such as drywall repair and installation, interior painting, and picture-hanging services. Other handyman duties related to drywall may include patching holes, smoothing out imperfections, and installing new drywall.

In addition to providing these services, a handyman can refresh the rooms of a home with a fresh coat of paint or hang artwork or shelving on walls. These services collectively enhance the comfort, functionality, and aesthetic of a home.

Individuals who want to start a handyman business will want to brush up on as many skills as they can so they can offer an extensive list of handyman services to their customers.

What Does a Handyman Do
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Handyman services can also provide furniture assembly, appliance installation, and carpentry.

Beyond traditional handyman repairs, business owners in this field may also offer valuable services such as carpentry, setting up furniture, and installing appliances. A carpenter handyman’s skills can be applied to a range of projects, from custom shelving to minor renovations. Furniture assembly can be useful for homeowners who lack the time or skill to put together flat-pack furniture themselves. And a handyman who has expertise in appliance installation offers a valuable service for homeowners to ensure essential household items such as refrigerators and washing machines function properly.

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Some basic electrical work, such as fixing appliances, installing lights or ceiling fans, or setting up a new TV, can be done by a general handyman.

A general handyman’s capabilities often extend to handyman tasks such as fixing appliances, installing light fixtures or ceiling fans, and setting up new televisions. This level of electrical work requires a keen understanding of safety protocols and technical know-how.

Using the appropriate handyman tools, these professionals can often troubleshoot and repair common appliance issues, ensuring that household gadgets continue to run smoothly. Their skill in installing various types of lighting and ceiling fans contributes to enhancing the functionality of a space by also adding to its visual appeal.

What Does a Handyman Do
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Basic plumbing services, such as unclogging toilets or drains, fixing dripping faucets, and replacing a shower head, can be completed by a handyman.

A general handyman is often well equipped to tackle basic plumbing issues that are common in many households. The range of services these pros offer typically include unclogging toilets or drains, fixing dripping faucets, and replacing shower heads. These tasks might seem simple, but they require a specific set of skills and tools to ensure they are done correctly.

A handyman with plumbing experience can quickly identify and resolve the cause of clogs in a toilet or stopped-up sink or bathtub drain. They can also repair dripping faucets, which not only solves annoying leaks but also helps conserve water and reduce a homeowner’s utility bills. When it comes to upgrading bathroom fixtures such as shower heads, a handyman can ensure a proper installation.

With the proper licensing, a handyman can perform more complex and specialized work, such as tasks related to plumbing, electrical, or HVAC.

Depending on the business owner’s state of operation, the type of handyman license they carry can significantly expand the range of home services a handyman is authorized to perform, especially in more complex and specialized areas of work. This license is a testament to the handyman’s proficiency and compliance with local regulations and safety standards, which is essential for specialized tasks related to plumbing, electrical, or HVAC.

For instance, a handyman with the proper plumber’s credentials can handle advanced plumbing work, from installing new fixtures to repairing significant leaks. Similarly, in the electrical domain, a handyman who is also a licensed electrician can safely execute complex wiring projects or install electrical systems. An HVAC-licensed handyman can perform crucial maintenance and repair work, ensuring that heating and cooling systems operate efficiently and safely. This level of expertise and training not only ensures quality workmanship but also provides homeowners with peace of mind knowing that their projects are in capable and legally compliant hands.

Handymen who have experience in the areas of plumbing, electrical, or HVAC will want to ensure they have a valid license to perform these services so they have an even wider range of offerings for their customers.

What Does a Handyman Do
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A handyman can clean or repair gutters, paint the house, take care of the lawn and landscaping, repair a deck or fence, and pressure wash the driveway or patio.

A handyman can help homeowners maintain and enhance their property’s curb appeal and functionality. Many handyman businesses will clean or repair gutters to help protect the home from water damage. A homeowner might also turn to a handyman for their lawn and landscaping needs, for a fresh coat of paint on the house’s exterior, or for driveway or patio power washing to remove dirt and stains. And a construction handyman can repair decks and fences, addressing damage to ensure safety and durability.

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Some handypeople may offer moving services, including packing, loading, transporting, and unloading.

Some handymen broaden their service range by offering moving services. This comprehensive service includes packing, where they expertly secure belongings to prevent damage during transit. Their skill extends to efficiently loading items and utilizing space optimally while making sure belongings are safe. In the transporting phase, a handyman takes care of the logistics of moving items from one location to another, relieving homeowners of the stress and physical strain associated with this task. Upon arrival at the new destination, they also handle unloading and carefully place items in the homeowner’s designated areas.

What Does a Handyman Do
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The exact services offered by a handyman will vary from professional to professional, so homeowners will want to ask their contractor about the specific tasks they perform.

The range of handyman maintenance services offered by a particular business can vary significantly from one professional to another. This variability stems from differences in training, experience, licensing, and areas of expertise. Some handymen might specialize in certain areas such as electrical work or plumbing, while others might offer a broader spectrum of general maintenance services. Therefore, it’s important for homeowners to have a clear conversation with their prospective handyman about the particular services they need.

It’s important to ask about the handyman’s hourly rate or project fee for a better understanding of handyman costs. Homeowners can often readily find this information if they search for handyman services on sites such as Handy, Angi, or TaskRabbit. To potentially save money, homeowners can ask about whether the business owner offers any discounted handyman packages if multiple tasks are combined into one job.

Handyman business owners will want to make sure they have a comprehensive list of the services they offer to provide to customers. That way, when a customer needs a job done around the house, they can check the handyman services list to see whether or not their preferred handyman can do this type of work.

Prospective clients may also wish to ask about any handyman courses the business owner has taken to bolster their skills, as well as whether they have coverage from one of the best handyman insurance companies such as NEXT Insurance or Thimble. (And of course business owners will want to make sure they include the cost of handyman insurance coverage in their budget every year.)


Homeowners who discuss these questions with the handyman up front and get the answers they need can get a feel for whether the pro is well suited for the job and will be able to meet the homeowner’s expectations and budget. This can help the handyman build trust and a long-term relationship with customers.