Cost for a Handyman
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Cost for a Handyman (by Richard Messimer [PA]) Apr 12, 2021 3:14 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by Rich [PA]) Apr 12, 2021 3:19 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by WMH [NC]) Apr 12, 2021 3:22 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by JB [OR]) Apr 12, 2021 3:30 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by GKARL [PA]) Apr 12, 2021 3:37 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by WMH [NC]) Apr 12, 2021 3:42 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by Allym [NJ]) Apr 12, 2021 4:16 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Apr 12, 2021 4:50 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by Hollis [MA]) Apr 12, 2021 6:03 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by plenty [MO]) Apr 12, 2021 6:15 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by Allym [NJ]) Apr 12, 2021 6:35 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by Robin [WI]) Apr 12, 2021 7:33 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by Richard [MI]) Apr 12, 2021 8:12 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by Nicole [PA]) Apr 12, 2021 8:37 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by JR [ME]) Apr 12, 2021 8:40 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by Hoosier [IN]) Apr 12, 2021 9:04 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by don [PA]) Apr 13, 2021 3:10 AM
       Cost for a Handyman (by WMH [NC]) Apr 13, 2021 8:49 AM
       Cost for a Handyman (by Robert,OntarioCanada [ON]) Apr 13, 2021 12:04 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by Hoosier [IN]) Apr 13, 2021 3:31 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by don [PA]) Apr 13, 2021 8:41 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by Rich [PA]) Apr 14, 2021 9:23 AM
       Cost for a Handyman (by WMH [NC]) Apr 14, 2021 10:43 AM
       Cost for a Handyman (by WMH [NC]) Apr 14, 2021 10:44 AM
       Cost for a Handyman (by Nicole [PA]) Apr 14, 2021 11:22 AM
       Cost for a Handyman (by Ken [NY]) Apr 14, 2021 12:46 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by Rich [PA]) Apr 14, 2021 1:06 PM
       Cost for a Handyman (by J [IN]) Apr 15, 2021 7:21 AM
       Cost for a Handyman (by Rich [PA]) Apr 15, 2021 7:46 AM
       Cost for a Handyman (by Ken [NY]) Apr 15, 2021 9:00 AM
       Cost for a Handyman (by WMH [NC]) Apr 15, 2021 9:54 AM

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Cost for a Handyman (by Richard Messimer [PA]) Posted on: Apr 12, 2021 3:14 PM

I've had 15 units - 3 multi-unit buildings - for the past 20 plus years. All three buildings and my personal home are within a mile of each other so I used the same handyman for all the buildings for nearly 20 years. I paid him by the hour - usually around $30 - 35 per hour - and always treated him well. We would often work together on projects. When I was out of town for work or fun, I trusted him with the apt master key and he handled any and all emergencies.

Unfortunately, he passed away about 3 years ago. Because of our friendship, seamless working relationship and me retiring from the 9 - 5 five years ago; I was reluctant to find his replacement.

Recently, I purchased a home near Anna Maria Island in Florida, which I rent during the winter months and use for two-week trips throughout the remainder of the year. Because of my frequent trips down south, I am finally in the process of finding a new handyman for my units in suburban Pittsburgh.

I have been looking for a couple months now - Google searches, asking my roofer, electrician and plumber if they know anyone, Angie's list, hardware store recommendations. I have talked to about a half dozen handyman businesses and sole proprietors. I have been taken back by the quoted hourly rate, which has consistently been around $75 per hour. To their credit; they are all insured, willing to provide receipts and have good references.

I was expecting to hear a number between $35 - 50 for a handyman. $75 is at or more than the rates I pay for the guys who have a true trade and went to trade school for their skills.

Doing the math in my head, these handyman, if working fulltime, would make about $150,000 per year. I guess this is a good example of a low supply and high demand curve. I'm just shocked that more kids (and adults) are not going into this field. Why go to college, take on tens (hundreds) of thousands in debt and end up in a semi-professional job paying $50 - 75K per year.....or $12 per hour at Starbucks, if you choice a non-marketable degree? Even makes me wonder why guys would go to a multi-year trade program and come out making less than a handyman.

I'm curious what landlords' experiences are in other areas of the country.

Cost for a Handyman (by Rich [PA]) Posted on: Apr 12, 2021 3:19 PM
Message: much for hiding one's identity. Hopefully, no ex-girlfriends are following this website. ;)

Cost for a Handyman (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Apr 12, 2021 3:22 PM

A lot of time and effort and learning goes into becoming a true "handyman" (jack of all trades.) It's not even a trade you can go to school FOR. So while I agree the prices quoted are horrific, if they can get it...I guess good for them.

It's a job that's hard on the body, doesn't lend itself to aging well and there's no retirement except for what one does for oneself.

Cost for a Handyman (by JB [OR]) Posted on: Apr 12, 2021 3:30 PM

These days, the main reason kids are going to college is that it mostly keeps them from having to get a job for an extra four to eight years.

Then they help elect politicians like Bernie, Warren, AOC and the Squad to help get their debt wiped clean putting it fully on the taxpayer so they can party (I mean go to school) for several years without having to think about actually getting a meaningful job.

The truth is it doesn't matter how much many of these jobs pay, the kids don't want jobs!

Cost for a Handyman (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: Apr 12, 2021 3:37 PM

I need a handyman about 5 to 10 hours a month. I suspect that's the case with many, so these people have to charge like that to make a full-time pay with short part-time hours. I'm looking for one myself and I'm thinking about getting together with some other landlords and hiring maybe one person that can work full-time for all of us while we split the cost. With consistent work and hours I'm thinking you could probably get that person down to about 50,000 to 60,000 a year.

Cost for a Handyman (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Apr 12, 2021 3:42 PM

Could you guarantee someone X amount per month? As long as he guaranteed you the hours as well?

Cost for a Handyman (by Allym [NJ]) Posted on: Apr 12, 2021 4:16 PM

My long term handyman/buddy has insurance and is college educated and he charges me $50 an hour and the work is not high level. He paints, can install a window and things like that. But he has to quit as his knees are bad. So now I have to look also. I would pay the $75 as you are working long distance with the FL guy so you are not nearby to either assist or question and that is a whole new level of responsibility for him. --108.24.xx.xx

Cost for a Handyman (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Apr 12, 2021 4:50 PM

I pay a cheap rate around here at about $40/hour but there is also a service call fee there of $99, but that includes the first hour.

Coming up with a annual salary assumes that there isn't any travel or bidding time involved in these jobs. Also running to the store would also be free.

I am happy with paying my jack of all trades a fair took them many years to become a true Jack of all trades. Since I don't have to babysit them, I don't mind it too much. That said, I am in a low cost area. --24.154.xx.x

Cost for a Handyman (by Hollis [MA]) Posted on: Apr 12, 2021 6:03 PM


Quit because of knees? Direct him to youtube orthopedic surgeons that explain that genicular artery embolism operation (1-2 hours, minimum invasive) we talked about a while ago, has (so far) a super 4 year track record,.. I see its being done at Harvard and an ortho at fishkill NY...

Even if he doesn't come back to you, might be good for his situation.

Cost for a Handyman (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Apr 12, 2021 6:15 PM

Well back in the day... worn out phase. Pay the $75 and move on. I give you permission to pay more cause that's the new motto.

Cost for a Handyman (by Allym [NJ]) Posted on: Apr 12, 2021 6:35 PM

Hollis, I told him about it and now it's up to him. He is so overweight that the tissue behind his knees has to be a huge problem and must be keeping the knee from functioning properly. He said he played every known sport in high school and wrestled and they are just shot. I will tell him about the youtube videos though. --108.24.xx.xx

Cost for a Handyman (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Apr 12, 2021 7:33 PM

I was paying my handyman $20/hr six years ago, then $25, then $35. Then he went and got a F/T job with an apartment complex. I found a young guy to replace him who I pay $20/hr, but I'm teaching him half the time and I think he's about to depart to greener pastures too.

I currently have two guys in OH who are awesome--older, experienced, and charge less than $30/hr. They are manna from heaven, and I got their contact info from other RE investors. I agree, though--it takes YEARS to learn to fix anything and everything. (How do you attach a transition strip to concrete? How do you sister a joist with eight wires and a pipe running through it? How do you create a level floor when the bathroom was built out over a sloped porch?) Yep, I'd pay the $75 and count it as the cost of doing business.

Cost for a Handyman (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Apr 12, 2021 8:12 PM

About the same here.

Here is a way I've tried to get and keep a helper that can do many things, is reliable and honest: I offered my last helper a deal---if he worked for 3 years at a beginners rate with reasonable raises along the way as he got more proficient, after the 3 years, I would GIVE him a house for free as a bonus. Now the house would be a small fixer upper,likely a 2 BR,1 BATH place on a city lot. At the time, I was getting these on tax sales or as bank repo's. They typically needed a lot of work. Also, this helper was 18 at the time and had NO experience as he was just out of high school. Also, he had no tools. So he started at about $9.00 per hour. Within 2 years he was at $15 per hour, plus he had a car for himself.

We did regular construction -- mostly remodels. Also, I bought these tax sale places and bank repos and either flipped them or turned them into rentals.

By the end of the second year, I had already bought the house I intended to give to him at the end of year 3.

Unfortunately, he did not make it to the end of year 3. He got mixed up with the party crowd, started missing work, his quality of work went down and he finally quit. I guess he thought partying was more important.

Today, several years later, he rents an apartment, is just over broke and works in a factory making about $15 per hour. The house was fixed by me and sold.

If he had stuck with it, by the time he was 22 he could have owned a house free and clear. And more. --24.180.xx.xx

Cost for a Handyman (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Apr 12, 2021 8:37 PM

That $150,000 is gross for a self employed individual. That's not what he "makes". Insurance, taxes, vehicle wear and tear and upkeep, tools, vacation time, sick time, running the business (bookkeeping, finding the insurance, etc) off the top of my head come .

Working a straight 40 hours when you are independent is difficult. He starts a job for you Monday at 7:30 a.m. and estimates that he's going to be finished Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. What if he starts, something comes up and you ask him for something extra (take down paneling and see the furring strips are no good so you need new ones before putting up the new paneling)? Not much but a few hours. Now, he can't start the Thursday at 7:30 a.m. job so that guy is mad and may not use him again because he planned his timeline according to Handyman Harry's schedule. In the alternative, what if he did a great job and finished Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. but the next job said nope, Thursday at 7:30 is what we agreed to. More than half a day down.

Cost for a Handyman (by JR [ME]) Posted on: Apr 12, 2021 8:40 PM

Channeling my inner JAC here. An experienced handyman, who is professional, trustworthy, punctual, a problem-solver, who brings his own tools, has insurance, and available, he is worth $75 an hour easily. Methinks you are being cheap.

“I treated him well” means what, you gave him a sandwich and a glass of sweet tea and he gave you 1/2 price for his labor?

Pay the $75 per hour and enjoy your place on millionaires island.

Spread the wealth around as Obama would say.

Cost for a Handyman (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Apr 12, 2021 9:04 PM

I am a part-time handyman. I would challenge you on the $150k/year are forgetting about "overhead" time. When I do a job, I have to spend time writing estimates, making phone calls, then going to the hardware stores to pick up materials, etc. Then, after the job I have to create invoices, and go to the bank (or do remotely) to deposit checks. I have to spend time ordering consumable supplies such as nails, tape, drywall mud, tools, etc. All of these things take time, so there's no way I can actually work 40 hours/week and still get this type of work done. Travel time is yet another consideration from job to job. Instead, I think most handymen "work" about 30 hours/week, then spend another 15 hours or so doing all the things I describe above.

So, if you assume 30 hours/week, and your "highest" rate of $75, and they take 2 weeks of vacation a year, they "could" make $112,000/year...but this assumes they are fully booked every week...highly unlikely. Even then, that's a GROSS number, and all their overhead expenses have to come out of that, such as mileage, insurance, office supplies, consumable supplies, tools, etc. That $112,000 turns into about $80,000 pretty quickly.

I don't charge anywhere near the $75 number...but then I'm part-time, live in a low-COL area, and tend to mostly do smaller and lower skilled jobs (no full kitchen remodels for me), so I'm happy with the rate I make.

Cost for a Handyman (by don [PA]) Posted on: Apr 13, 2021 3:10 AM

Hoosier---You also forgot to consider the fact that he has to spend time sending out invoices and following up, and furthermore, thee will always be some deadbeats that do not pay.

Cost for a Handyman (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Apr 13, 2021 8:49 AM

TOOLS! How could I forget about tools! It's taken us decades for DH to accumulate the tools...and I know that THEFT is a huge problem for these guys if they work on other jobs with other companies too.

Cost for a Handyman (by Robert,OntarioCanada [ON]) Posted on: Apr 13, 2021 12:04 PM

Thorough check up rental unit minimizes emergency calls by cleaning out all the traps under sinks and bathtub along with using washer less faucets which require less maintenance. All the electrical where receptacles are checked out then will need someone for emergency calls. It may a time to consider selling as rentals require hands on. Never understood that there was always problems with rental buildings when took a week off. Now the price of rental buildings is at a all time high where cashing out then investing looks like a better option. When went to some landlords meetings seen some who should have sold off as they were starting to have health problems. Once starting to receive pension then living modestly off pensions and investments is a lot easier.

Cost for a Handyman (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Apr 13, 2021 3:31 PM

Don, if you read my post carefully you’ll see I did mention invoicing.

Cost for a Handyman (by don [PA]) Posted on: Apr 13, 2021 8:41 PM

The best deal you are going to get per hour is from someone who is retired and trying to keep busy/get out of the house/supplement income or maybe someone with a job that wants to earn extra money. They already have tools and experience, have their health coverage, and look at any money as pure profit. They will not want to take on a lot of work, so you don't "share" them, and you can't pressure them to hurry to a job bc it is not their main gig. You may have to help them out on some jobs that need a second set of hands, and it helps if you deliver (or have delivered) the large materials to the sight.

Cost for a Handyman (by Rich [PA]) Posted on: Apr 14, 2021 9:23 AM

I want to thank everyone for their comments. Most of the comments have been food for thought; a few just made me shake my head....curious how politics comes up during a discussion about the "Cost of a Handyman."

Regarding the retired / retiring tradesman or handyman, I have done this twice before with great results. Unfortunately, these guys have also moved on once getting a bit older and could no longer do or choice to do the work.

The idea of getting together with other landlords is a good one. My experience locally is that landlords seem to run independently of each other and would be hard to coordinate this arrangement. I have been making an effort to track down similar landlords to myself (small to medium multi-unit guys/gals) to see if they have someone they would recommend. The big complexes can afford a fulltime guy and would have little or no interest in partnering up.

In the end, will I pay the $75 / hour....probably. My biggest concern is not the $75 per hour but can I trust the handyman with the master key, which also includes a trust level between the handyman and the tenants.

Regarding selling the buildings, I have an 18 year old who will be going to college next year (Un of Indiana). I would like to hold onto the buildings until he is of an age (24 - 26) when he might be interested in this business. If he choices to be a professional surfer in San Diego or wants to be a white collar guy here or else where, I can respect that. On the other hand, landlording has been a really good gig for me and he might see the benefits of it once he has a full taste of the real world.

Cost for a Handyman (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Apr 14, 2021 10:43 AM

Rich, to get him excited about RE Investing, get him to a Boot Camp in Orlando with Jeffrey. It's an intense two-day workshop on HOW to do this right. He will meet all sorts of people, from literally young kids to seniors. The excitement can be palpable: this CAN be done.

I took a couple of my sons and my DIL a few years ago.

Cost for a Handyman (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Apr 14, 2021 10:44 AM

Also, of course, The Convention. There he truly WILL meet all ages and walks of life.

Cost for a Handyman (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Apr 14, 2021 11:22 AM

I'd say he needs to do a significant amount of work for you before being handed a master key. Individual keys for units he is working on would come first. Not sure I'd ever give anyone my master.

Cost for a Handyman (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Apr 14, 2021 12:46 PM

Have him coordinate with the tenant to do the repairs,i dont like anyone in the unit without a tenant and it will cut down on the tenant accusing them of theft

Cost for a Handyman (by Rich [PA]) Posted on: Apr 14, 2021 1:06 PM

Love the Boot Camp idea. To date, my 18 year old son has not had much interest in landlording but 40 hours per week sitting at a desk or travelling for a living for a couple of years can change one's perspective.

Giving out the master key is always a long trial period. I do not take it lightly. Fortunately, since I gained "Freedom" about 5 years ago, I am available most days to be responsive to apartment needs. It is the 5 or 6 2-week trips a year to Florida that complicate things a bit.

Fortunately, I've been pretty aggressive for the past 25 years with preventative maintenance (new kitchens, new bathrooms incl plumbing, electrical and shutoff values) so I can go away for the two weeks with the expectation that things are running smoothly......but I do need a backup plan just in case.

Cost for a Handyman (by J [IN]) Posted on: Apr 15, 2021 7:21 AM

This is a great conversation. I started as a handyman and lawncare company for landlords until I bought the 8 unit I mowed for 7 years with owner financing.

After I bought it I realized I had the mentality of a lawn guy and handyman so I went to Vegas and met Jeffrey. Meeting Jeffrey (and all the other investors) was one of the best decisions of my life and I made a decision after that convention on what I wanted to be when I grow up. (not a handyman)

Now I have too much work and need to hire a handyman...Well like most people realize, they cant find someone to do it like them and, good is good enough is hard. For 3 years I had a partially retired guy that took care of the rehabs and life was good (of course I didn't realize it at the time). Then he left.

I spent the next 3 years burning thu handypeople, electrictions, painters, plumbers, ect. I had people leave work not completed, not show up, do 1/2 a job, I had to redo stuff I paid for, the good ones were too busy the next time I needed them, etc. I believe a full time contractor has to have at least $35 an hour to stay in business. The $15 ones seem to last a bit but quickly get overwelmed and raise their prices or go get a job.

I think there may be something to looking for a bigger crew with some type of teired pay system. In a close town there is a proffesional handyman service available that is a straight $70/man hour. I recently paid a contractor $50 per hour to get 2 abused apartments ready to rent and was happy with the work but it adds up quick. I am signing 2 contracts today 1 for roofing and 1 for siding both have a set price and now I don't care about hourly.I did a contract a couple weeks ago with an electriction converting an office to LED, in the contract price he was planning on 8 hours it took 3. He made ALOT of money per hour but I clinched my teeth and paid him because I knew the price going in, good for him on a win.

I continue to learn and adapt and change but the Handyman question...If you can come up with an answer for your business it is a gamechanger. I will keep trying until I figure it out or until cloning becomes a thing then I can hire myself :-)

Cost for a Handyman (by Rich [PA]) Posted on: Apr 15, 2021 7:46 AM


I like your prospective on the handyman topic. Similar to you, I am pretty handy - learned to be handy working with my 20 year handyman - and do not mind doing much / most of the M & R work. Fortunately, I'm still physically able to do most of the routine stuff around the rentals. In fact, I get a lot more satisfaction from completing a project at the rentals than the business side of the landlord biz.

I think you touch on an important issue. I'm fine paying $75 per hour for the more challenging tasks (kitchen updates, plumbing and electric work, emergency services) but cringe at the thought of paying someone $75 per hour to empty garage cans, sweep stairs, pull weeds. It would be nice to find someone with a sliding scale or, more likely, one guy who does $75 / hour type work and a second guy - maybe retired or semi-skilled - who will work for $35 - 50 per hour.

Cost for a Handyman (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Apr 15, 2021 9:00 AM

Rich,cleaning out garages and yards i get younger guys who will do it for $15 an hour,friends kids,facebook,craigslist.

Cost for a Handyman (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Apr 15, 2021 9:54 AM

Another cost. Injuries...not to laugh about it, but DH just put a drill bit through his finger yesterday. Urgent Care, Stitches, Tetanus Shot and Antibiotics...

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