Embarking on the path to becoming a handyman is like unlocking a world of endless possibilities in home improvement. With a blend of practical skills, creativity, and a dash of DIY spirit, you’re about to discover how to transform your passion for fixing, building, and maintaining into a fulfilling side hustle.
So, grab your toolkit, and let’s explore the journey to becoming a versatile and sought-after handyman!
What is a Handyman
A handyman is a skilled individual who performs various maintenance, repair, and minor construction tasks around homes or commercial properties. They address various small-scale issues to keep properties in good condition.
What Does a Handyman Do?
Their responsibilities can vary, but here are some everyday tasks and services that a handyman handles:
- General Repairs: Handymen can fix minor plumbing issues, repair leaky faucets, patch up small holes or cracks in walls, and replace or adjust doors and windows.
- Electrical Work: They can replace light fixtures, switches, outlets, and ceiling fans. However, they usually don’t handle complex electrical tasks that require a licensed electrician.
- Carpentry: Handymen often build or repair decks, fences, and furniture. They can also install moldings, trim, and shelves.
- Painting: They may paint rooms, touch walls, or perform exterior painting. This includes preparing surfaces, applying primer, and choosing appropriate paint.
- Drywall Repair: Handymen can patch and repair damaged drywall, ensuring a smooth finish before painting.
- Plumbing: Basic plumbing tasks like fixing leaks, unclogging drains, replacing faucets, or installing new fixtures are within their skill set.
- Fixture Installation: This includes installing ceiling fans, light fixtures, bathroom fixtures, and kitchen appliances.
- Flooring: Handymen can install or repair various types of flooring, such as laminate, hardwood, tile, or vinyl.
- Gutter Cleaning and Repair: They may clean gutters, replace damaged sections, or install gutter guards to prevent debris buildup.
- Pressure Washing: Handymen can clean driveways, decks, and exterior surfaces using a pressure washer to remove dirt and grime.
- Minor HVAC Tasks: They might replace air filters, clean air ducts, or install window air conditioning units.
- Weatherproofing: They can seal windows and doors to improve energy efficiency and weather resistance.
- Home Safety: They can also provide installation of smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, or childproofing measures.
- Cabinet Repairs: Fixing loose hinges, handles, or damaged cabinet doors is another typical handyman task.
- Small Renovations: Some handymen do small-scale remodeling projects like updating a bathroom or kitchen.
- Yard Work: Yard maintenance tasks, such as lawn mowing, hedge trimming, or minor landscaping, may be included in their services.
- Home Inspections: Handymen can conduct home inspections to identify maintenance issues or potential problems.
How Much Do Handymen Make
According to Glassdoor, a handyman’s salary in the United States ranges from $36K to $55K annually, with an average salary of $43,390 per year.
Factors that Influence the Pay
- Location: For instance, in California, a handyman earns $59K, whereas in Texas and Florida, a handyman earns $48K and $49K, respectively.
- Specialization: If you specialize in electrical work, you will earn more money than some of your colleagues. For example, those in the electrical industry make $53K, whereas those in the hospitality industry make $31K.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a handyman makes a median hourly wage of $21, with New York and California having the highest hourly rate at $25 and Texas and Florida having the lowest rate at $19 per hour.
How to Become a Handyman
Becoming a handyman involves developing skills, gaining relevant education or training, and potentially obtaining certifications. Here are the steps to become a handyman:
Evaluate your current skills and interests. Handyman work covers many tasks, so identify areas where you excel or have a genuine interest. It could be plumbing, electricity, flooring, wall anchoring, or any other specialty that matches your interest.
Familiarize yourself with hand and power tools used in handyman work, such as hammers, drills, meter saws, handheld shop vacuums, and more. Additionally, gather specialized skills. Learn carpentry, plumbing, electrical, painting, and general home repair skills. Then, work towards gaining hands-on experience by working on personal projects or assisting experienced handymen.
- High School Diploma: A high school diploma or GED is beneficial but not a requirement.
- Vocational Courses: Consider enrolling in vocational or technical courses related to construction, maintenance, or a specific trade.
- Apprenticeship: Joining an apprenticeship program can provide structured training and mentorship. You can also volunteer in a facility near you to gain experience.
Certifications and Licensing
- Check Your Local Regulations: Requirements for certification and licensing vary by location. Research your local laws and determine if certification or licensing is necessary.
- Obtain the Necessary Certifications (if required): Complete any relevant certification programs, such as HVAC, electrical, or plumbing. You may need licenses or permits to operate legally, depending on your location.
Each state has different handyman licensing requirements. For example, if you are operating in Georgia and working on projects over $2,500, you should have a residential-basic contractor, whereas Idaho has no specific licensing requirements for handymen. In California, you should have a general contractor license when handling a project worth $500 or more.
Tips for Starting Your Handyman Side Hustle
Starting a handyman side hustle can be a rewarding endeavor. Here are some tips for getting started:
If you decide to run your side hustle as a business, there are a few things to consider before making other moves:
You should consider the legal structure of your handyman business, such as whether you want a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company (LLC).
- Starting a sole proprietorship is easy and inexpensive, as you can start your business with minimal paperwork and formalities.
- As the sole owner, you have full control over all aspects of your business, making it easy to make decisions.
- You can adapt your business to your specific needs and circumstances.
- Operating as a sole proprietorship involves lower overhead costs than other business structures, like corporations or partnerships. Therefore, you might not need to hire as much administrative staff or deal with complex regulatory requirements.
- It is a great way to connect with the clients.
- Sole proprietors often have limited options for raising capital for their business.
- There is limited expertise and resources, which is overwhelming, especially if you lack expertise in specific areas or have limited resources to hire help.
- Expanding a sole proprietorship can be challenging due to the limitations on capital and resources.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
- The primary advantage of an LLC is its limited liability to its owners, which means that your assets, such as your home and savings, are protected from business debts and lawsuits.
- It provides a professional image and conveys professionalism and credibility to potential clients and partners.
- It also offers tax and operational flexibility, simplifies tax compliance, and reduces tax liability.
- Setting up an LLC involves filing fees, which can vary by state. Additionally, you may need to pay for legal assistance or use online formation services, which can add to the initial expenses.
- While pass-through taxation is often an advantage for LLCs, it can become a disadvantage if the business generates substantial profits. Sometimes, LLC owners may pay more in self-employment taxes than a corporation’s structure.
- It offers limited transferability, whereby transferring ownership in an LLC can be complicated. If you plan to sell or transfer your handyman business, it may require approval from other members and a more complex process.
Tools and Equipment
Invest in high-quality tools and equipment for the services you plan to offer. Quality tools can make your work more efficient and professional.
You should research the pricing in your area. Set competitive rates that cover your expenses and allow for profit. Offer discounts for repeat customers, keeping them hooked on your services and referring others to you.
Keep track of your income, expenses, and taxes. This will help you manage your finances and comply with tax regulations.
Marketing Your Handyman Side Hustle
Marketing your handyman side hustle effectively can help you attract clients and grow your business. Here are some strategies, including online platforms, word-of-mouth, and advertising, to help you succeed:
Create an Online Presence
- Website: Build a professional blog that showcases your services, rates, contact information, and customer reviews. Use SEO tools to increase your website’s visibility on different search engines like Google.
- Social Media: Create profiles on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Share before-and-after photos of your work, tips, and relevant content to engage your audience.
- Online Listings: Register your business on online directories such as Google My Business, Yelp, Angi, and Thumbtack. These platforms can help local clients find you more easily.
- Online Advertising: Consider running targeted online ads on platforms like Google Ads or Facebook Ads. These platforms are a great way to reach a specific group based on demographics, location, and interests. Use retargeting ads to remind potential customers who have visited your website but didn’t hire your services.
- Local SEO: Optimize your social platforms to increase your presence for local search by including location-based keywords in your website content. Encourage customers to leave reviews on Google and other review sites, as positive reviews can improve your local search rankings.
Encourage your customers to spread the word about your services to friends, family, and neighbors. Offer referral discounts to incentivize existing clients to refer new customers to you.
Attend local business networking events, join community organizations, and connect with other professionals in related industries, like real estate agents and property managers. Building a solid network can lead to referrals and partnerships.
Periodically offer promotions or discounts to attract new clients. Promote these deals through your online channels and social media.
Build an email list of past and potential clients. Send newsletters with tips, updates, and exclusive offers to engage your audience.
Create a memorable logo and business cards that reflect your handyman’s business. Consistent branding across all platforms helps build trust and recognition.
Critical Considerations to Become a Handyman
If you want to become a handyman, be assured that it can be a rewarding and flexible career choice, but it comes with considerations and a few challenges. Here are some critical considerations:
Handyman work can be physically demanding, involving lifting heavy objects, working in various weather conditions, and performing repetitive tasks.
Maintain your physical health and consider proper ergonomics to prevent injuries.
Uncertainty of Income
Income as a handyman can be unpredictable, as it depends on factors such as the number of clients, job complexity, and economic conditions.
Establish a budget, save for slow periods, and consider offering additional services to diversify your income.
Customer Service and Communication
Great communication skills are vital when working with clients. Clear communication helps set expectations, resolve issues, and build trust. Therefore, offer excellent customer service to all your clients to have a positive reputation and generate repeat business and referrals.
Prioritize safety on the job by using appropriate safety gear and following safety protocols.
Regularly inspect job sites for potential hazards and take steps to mitigate them.
Be aware of environmental regulations and best practices in your area, especially when working on hazardous materials or waste disposal projects.
In conclusion, embarking on the journey to become a handyman can be a fulfilling and lucrative endeavor for those seeking to make extra money. As we’ve explored in this article, the path to becoming a handyman involves a combination of acquiring valuable skills, building a strong reputation, and effectively marketing your services. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast looking to turn your passion into profit or someone interested in learning a new trade, the potential for success in the handyman business is within reach.
So, take the first step, invest in your skills, and embrace the opportunities that await on your journey to becoming a handyman and making extra money.