A good handyman is very practical and good with his hands, capable of helping with a wide range of those jobs that require a practical skill set, but are outside of the traditional remit of the tradesman. The handyman can take care of odd jobs including minor carpentry, plumbing and electrical work at a significantly lower cost than those charged by tradesmen. In terms of plumbing jobs a handyman can undertake tasks such as adding an outdoor tap, change a toilet pan, replace taps/washers, plumb in or replace dishwashers or washing machines, vent tumble driers and so on. However they cannot make any changes or modifications to a gas supply or even replace a gas cooker or heater unless a member of the Gas Safe Register.
For electrical jobs a knowledgeable handyman can replace damaged cable in a circuit, replace a socket box and replace sockets, switches or ceiling roses. In addition they can add light fittings, switches, sockets or fused spurs to existing ring or radial circuits, as long as they are not in kitchens, bathrooms, utility rooms or other "special locations". All electrical work must be carried out to comply with the IEE Wiring Regulations. Other tasks often carried out by handymen include garden or house clearance, digging, door trimming/easing, fencing, floating shelves, general repairs, grass cutting & strimming, gutter cleaning, hanging pictures/mirrors, hedge trimming, laying laminate floors, lawn mowing, leaf clearance, loft insulation, planting, pruning, shed erection and tree pruning.
Typical handyman prices including labour and materials (but excluding VAT) vary considerably around the UK, but for guidance only please find a list of typical jobs and prices charged. Changing Yale front door lock lock £75, assembly of flat pack furniture such as a double wardrobe and chest of drawers £70, replace a light fitting £30, hanging pictures and mirrors on plasterboard walls around £40, replacing a single socket with double socket including cost of labour and materials £60, fix curtain pole and hang curtains for an average patio door £45, building MDF bookshelves into alcove around £200. The best bet however is to use the free "post a job" service on this site to get accurate prices from local handymen as these prices are just general guides.
Hiring a handyman to fix the odd jobs around your home can be a great idea, especially if you have lots of smaller problems that require an assortment of skills to fix and you simply don't have the skills, the time or the tools necessary. Handymen are essentially the jack of all trades, so you can hire one person to do lots of jobs, rather than hiring several specialist trades. But before you hire a handyman, you need to be careful who you let into your home and check that they have all the necessary skills, you also need to check that the handyman is insured in case anything breaks or goes wrong. It is best to hire a handyman by personal recommendations or word of mouth if possible.
You can also check online review sites and see what previous customers have to say about them. Perhaps the easiest option is simply to click the "post a job" button on this page to provide brief details about your requirements and have local companies that offer handyman services get in touch with you to provide prices. Always ask for a detailed quote before they do any jobs and don't trust any handyman that insists on cash up front.