Many jobs around the home can easily be sorted out by a good handyman (or perhaps that should be handyperson).

If you can find a good reliable local one, you’ve hit the jackpot. That’s because they can help sort out so many annoying tasks on your list of things to do around your new property.

But as the old adage goes, a jack of all trades can sometimes be the master of none. So for skilled jobs such as gas, major electrical work and complex plumbing jobs, always make sure you hire a qualified professional.

What they do

A handyman will be able to carry out jobs around the home including:

  • Gardening
  • Painting
  • Basic carpentry
  • Small electrical jobs
  • Assembling flat pack furniture

They will normally provide their own tools and be able to advise and help out with all manner of repair and installation jobs.

What they charge

Most handymen charge by the hour or day. You can expect to pay between £100 and £150 for a day’s work so it may be better to get a few jobs together then hire them on a day rate to get the best value for money.

A few example prices for typical handyman jobs are:

  • Assemble flat pack wardrobe and chest of drawers – £50
  • Replace ceiling light with one you provide – £30
  • Replace single plug socket with a double plug socket (including materials) – £40 – £50
  • Install bookshelves in an alcove next to chimney breast (including materials)  – £150 – £200

What to ask

The first question to ask your handyman is whether or not they are insured. This is essential to ensure that you and they are covered should anything go wrong when they’re working at your property. Ask to see proof of their insurance and this will also allow you to find out their address which could also come in handy if things go wrong.

Then you can get into some basic questions about the work such as:

  • How long will the job take?
  • How much will materials cost?
  • Can I source material or will you?
  • Finally, try and find out how they prefer to be paid. Bank transfer is often the most convenient way

The law

Most electrical jobs need to be carried out by a Part P-registered electrician, or inspected by your local building control department to ensure that they meet the regulations.

However, certain minor jobs, such as replacing light fittings, sockets or switches or adding new ones on an existing circuit (provided they aren’t outdoors or in rooms where water is present, such as a kitchen or bathroom) can be done by anyone with the necessary skills and don’t need certification.

Gas works should only ever be completed by a Gas Safe Engineer.

Trades to trust

The Association of Certified Handyman Professionals. Having ACHP Certification proves a handyman is a knowledgeable professional.

Beware of very cheap quotes or estimates (this could mean they don’t really know what they are doing) and also ensure you always get a quote or estimate in writing. Also, be wary of handymen who are too keen to start the job straight away – cowboy traders often do lots of work in one area before moving out of the area altogether.

Ready to hire?

3 is the magic number

As always, try and get three quotes from three different handymen to ensure you pay a fair price for the job.

Certification and references

Don’t be shy about asking for any relevant certification, proof of public liability insurance and references or photos from previous jobs. If the handyman is trustworthy and competent, they’ll be pleased (and proud) to show you both.