what type of work can a handyman do legally? What is the difference between a handyman and a contractor?

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It’s a common question: what type of work can a handyman do legally? The answer is that a handyman can do most types of work, but there are some restrictions. In general, a handyman can do the same type of work as a contractor, but there are some exceptions. 

What is a handyman?

A handyman is a person who is skilled at a variety of repairs, typically around the home. Handymen are often called upon to fix things that are broken or to install new items. 

What is a contractor?

A contractor is a person or company that performs construction work. Contractors typically have more experience and skills than handymen. They also usually have a license from the state in which they operate. 

What type of work can a handyman do legally?

There are three main types of work that a handyman can do legally: 

  1. Maintenance and Repairs
  2. Installing New Items 
  3. Minor Renovations 

Let’s take a closer look at each of these three types of work: 

Maintenance and Repairs 

One of the most common tasks that handymen are asked to do is maintenance and repairs. This can include anything from fixing a leaky faucet to replacing a broken window. In general, if the repair does not require a permit, then a handyman can do it. 

Installing New Items 

Another common task for handymen is installing new items. This can include anything from hanging a new picture frame to assembling a piece of furniture. In general, if the item is not permanently attached to the home, then a handyman can install it. 

Minor Renovations 

Handymen can also do minor renovations, such as painting a room or installing new flooring. These types of projects typically do not require a permit, and they can usually be completed in a day or two. 

What type of work can’t a handyman do legally?

clothes iron, hammer, axe, flashlight and pitcher on brown wooden table

There are some types of work that handymen cannot do legally. This includes any type of work that requires a permit, such as electrical work or plumbing. Additionally, handymen cannot demolish walls or build new structures. 

If you’re not sure whether the task you need to be done is legal for a handyman, it’s always best to check with your local municipality. They will be able to tell you whether or not a permit is required. 

When should you hire a contractor instead of a handyman?

In general, you should hire a contractor instead of a handyman for any type of work that requires a permit. Additionally, you may want to hire a contractor for any major renovations or construction projects. Contractors typically have more experience and skills than handymen, and they will be able to get the job done quickly and efficiently. 

If you’re not sure whether you need to hire a contractor or a handyman, it’s always best to consult with multiple professionals. They will be able to assess the scope of the project and give you their professional opinion. 

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Hiring a Handyman: Qualifications, Pricing & More 

Now that you know what type of work can a handyman do legally, it’s time to learn how to hire one. Here’s everything you need to know about finding, hiring, and working with a qualified handyman: 


When you’re looking for a handyman, you’ll want to make sure that they are qualified for the job. The best way to do this is to ask for recommendations from friends, family, and neighbors. You can also check online review sites, such as Angie’s List or HomeAdvisor. 

Once you have a list of potential candidates, you’ll want to screen them carefully. The best way to do this is to schedule a consultation. During the consultation, be sure to ask about their experience, qualifications, and rates. 


Handymen typically charge by the hour, with rates ranging from $50 to $100 per hour. However, some handymen may charge a flat fee for certain projects. For example, they may charge a flat fee of $200 to install a new light fixture. 

It’s important to get an estimate from the handyman before starting the project. This will help you budget for the cost of the project and avoid any surprises down the road. 

Working with a Handyman 

Once you’ve found a qualified handyman, it’s time to start working with them. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your relationship: 

1. Communicate clearly 

It’s important that you communicate with your handyman clearly. This means telling them exactly what you want and giving them any instructions that they need. The more information they have, the better they’ll be able to do their job. 

2. Set expectations 

Before starting the project, be sure to set expectations with the handyman. This includes discussing the scope of the project, timeline, and budget. By setting clear expectations from the start, you can avoid any misunderstandings down the road. 

3. Stay involved 

As the project progresses, be sure to stay involved. This means checking in on the progress and offering feedback when necessary. If you’re not happy with something, be sure to let the handyman know so that they can make the necessary changes. 

4. Be available 

If the handyman has any questions or concerns, be sure to be available. This means giving them your phone number and making yourself available for consultations. By being available, you can help the handyman do their job more effectively. 

5. Leave a review 

Once the project is completed, be sure to leave a review for the handyman. This will help other homeowners find qualified professionals in their area. Additionally, it will give the handyman some well-deserved recognition for their hard work.

Tips for working with a handyman 

When looking for a handyman, it’s important to make sure they are qualified to do the work you need to be done. Most handymen are qualified to do a variety of tasks, but it’s important to make sure before hiring them. You can ask them what type of work they are qualified to do or check online reviews to see if others have been happy with their work.

Once you’ve hired a handyman, it’s important to make sure you are clear on what work needs to be done. It’s also important to set expectations about price and timeframe. If the handyman does not meet your expectations, you can always speak up and let them know. Most handymen want to do a good job and will work to make sure you are happy with their work.

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Should you tip a handyman? 

There is no definitive answer as to whether or not you should tip a handyman, as this will depend on the work that was done, the price negotiated, and your personal preferences. However, a good rule of thumb is to tip around 10-15% of the total cost of the job. This will ensure that the handyman feels appreciated for their hard work and will likely result in better service should you need their assistance in the future.

How much should you pay a handyman per hour? 

Most people agree that a reasonable rate for a handyman is between $25 and $50 per hour. It’s important to remember that not all handymen are created equal, so be sure to shop around and get quotes from a few different professionals before deciding on one.

How to negotiate the price with a handyman?

When you hire a handyman, it is important to negotiate the price so that both you and the handyman are happy with the agreement. The following are some tips for negotiating the price with a handyman:

  • – Know what the handyman’s hourly rate is. This will help you determine how much you should be paying for the job.
  • – Don’t be afraid to haggle. Many handymen are willing to lower their rates if they know they are competing against other bids.
  • – Ask for a written estimate before work begins. This will help ensure that there are no surprises when it comes time to pay the bill.
  • – If the handyman does not meet your expectations, don’t be afraid to renegotiate the price. Remember, you are the customer and you should be happy with the work that is being done.


If you’re in need of a qualified handyman, be sure to follow the tips outlined in this article. By taking the time to find a qualified professional and setting clear expectations, you can ensure that your project is completed to your satisfaction. Additionally, by being involved in the project and leaving a review, you can help other homeowners find reliable handymen in their area.


What type of work does a handyman do?

A handyman is a person who is skilled at doing a wide range of repairs and maintenance tasks. Handymen are often called upon to do odd jobs or to help out around the house when something needs to be fixed.

What type of work can a handyman do legally?

There are many different types of work that a handyman can do legally. Some of the most common include repairing electrical outlets, fixing plumbing fixtures, painting, and assembling furniture. Handymen can also install light fixtures, repair drywall, and perform other general home improvement tasks.

Is it legal for a handyman to do work without a license?

It depends on the type of work being performed. In most cases, a handyman does not need to be licensed in order to perform repairs and maintenance tasks. However, there are some instances where a license may be required, such as when performing electrical work or plumbing.

Do I need to get a permit for the work a handyman will be doing?

It depends on the type of work being performed and on your local laws. In some cases, a permit may be required in order to have the work done. However, in most cases, a handyman will not need a permit to perform repairs and maintenance tasks.

Can I hire a handyman if I am not home?

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Yes, you can hire a handyman to do work while you are not home. However, it is important to make sure that the handyman is reputable and that you trust him or her to do the job properly. You should also leave a detailed list of instructions for the handyman so that he or she knows exactly what needs to be done.

What type of payment does a handyman accept?

Handymen typically accept cash, check, or credit card payments. Be sure to ask about the payment methods accepted before hiring a handyman.

When should I call a handyman?

You should call a handyman when you need help with repairs or maintenance tasks around your home. Handymen can usually come to your home within a few hours or days, depending on their schedule.

Why trust Handyman.Guide?

s written by Itamar Ben-Dor, who has 25 years of experience in renovations, carpentry, locks, creation, landscaping, painting, furniture construction, and furniture renovation, works with concrete, plumbing, door repair, and more.

Itamar Ben-Dor has been in the home improvement business for over 25 years. Itamar Ben-Dor is a jack of all trades. He's worked in the renovation field for years, doing everything from locksmithing to carpentry. He's a small repairs specialist. But his true passion lies in furniture construction and renovation - he loves seeing old pieces come back to life with some new woodwork or a fresh coat of paint.

He has taken courses on many topics in these fields at professional colleges in Israel. Over the years, Itamar has also become quite skilled in gardening, carpentry, and renovations. He's worked on projects of all sizes, from massive renovations to small repairs. No job is too big or too small for him!

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Itamar Ben Dor
Itamar Ben Dor

My father is a practical engineer, and as a hobby he was also involved in construction, renovations, carpentry and woodwork at home; So there was always tools, saws, drills and more at home. Already I was a little kid Dad and I would renovate the house. Once we built a shed for garden tools, once we did flooring for the garden, once we renovated the bathroom and that’s the way it is. Long before there was an internet, directories and plans. We would build things, kitchen cabinets, install electrical appliances, do flooring, pour concrete and more ... I in this blog want to pass on to you the experience I have gained over the last 20 plus-minus years since I was a child to this day and give you information about the best tools, project plans, guides and more.