Guide to Hiring A Handyman

For small and odd jobs, a handyman may be perfect. We explain how a reliable trader can be found and how they can be paid.

You may consider hiring a handyman or woman if you sometimes need help with odd jobs around the house. Most generalists in property management are sole traders and are therefore not protected by a trade organisation. But how do you find a handyman that is reliable? 

Find out more, along with some usual costs for common tasks, on what work a handyman covers. For more on how to recruit a handyman, read on. 


Suggestions and Endorsements 

When you’re searching for some sort of trader, recommendations from friends and family are a good first port of call. It’s always worth questioning your prospective handyman about what experience they have in the specific field you need if you get a recommendation. If you want someone to repair your guttering, then finding someone specialised in decoration and setting up shelves is not a good idea. 

Consumer giant Which? have a Trusted traders list which contains workmen who have made it through their evaluation process successfully. With a trade standards specialist visiting the trader at their business premises, they check every company to ensure they work to the highest standards. If you need a handyman you can find a reliable merchant in your local region on Which?’s Trusted Traders list.

Reviews and References Search 

You should always verify references from a trader. It’s a smart idea to ask for at least three recent customers’ phone numbers to ensure that the work of the trader was of a professional standard. Instead of solely trusting written references, speak to former employers by phone or in person. 

Many individuals want to see reviews of the previous work of a trader. All of Which?’s endorsed traders have their own company profile page for Trustworthy Traders, where you can read feedback from previous clients. To support those who are searching for traders in the future, all customers are invited to leave a review. To ensure they come from real users, Which? moderates all feedback on the web so you know for sure the information is genuine.

Many handymen and women do an amazing job and prove to be extremely reliable. Take care, however, to cover yourself if you are let down. Make sure you have your handyman’s home number and an address too, because if things go wrong, your trader can’t just vanish. Find out how many customers they already have, and whether they will quickly fit you in or whether you will be waiting for their services for weeks. 

If you hire a handyman to do work as part of a larger project, you may need to arrange your time to accommodate the other tradespeople you are hiring, as these smaller tasks can be designed into the larger electrical, plumbing, flooring and tiling jobs.

Handyman Charges / Fees

Handymen’s quotes for jobs would most likely be focused on an hourly rate, although you may prefer to negotiate a fixed price for a particular job. 

Before any work gets underway, make sure you determine if your handyman can bill per job or per hour. It’s not unreasonable, particularly if they charge an hourly rate, to ask for an estimation of how long the job will take. 

Materials can cost extra almost always, so you can prefer to source these yourself in order to be sure that you get the best possible price for them. In our handyman costs and completion times guide, check the costs of common work.

How to Pay Your Handyman

Find out instantly how your trader would like to be paid – some will prefer cash, while others may accept your bank’s checks or online payment. Paying traders in cash is perfectly legal. Check our tips for paying traders in cash if you are worried about staying on the right side of the law. 

You can view Which?’s Trusted Traders list here.

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