Earn an Extra Income as a Handyman

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Want to earn money and help people at the same time? Want to be the hero for housewives all around your town? Then you can be the one-hour husband.

You will market yourself as the man that can do the things around the house the local wives keep nagging their husbands to do. Hanging that picture, she has been asking him for over 2 months now. Fixing that leaky tap, taking care of that squeaky door. Anything you can turn your hands to that the people needs sorting out.

There is always a market for a general DIY guy willing to do small jobs. Contractors are not willing to come out to do small jobs such as hanging a picture or fixing a leaking tap or toilet pan. Their overheads are too high for them to take on these small jobs, or they consider it not worth their time. This is where you can make a decent amount of money for yourself. You might already have a full-time job. This means you do not have the overhead associated with running a full-time business, so it will be profitable for you to pursue a small side business like this in your spare time.

I have 2 friends who have built full-time businesses from this. They both started to provide handyman services to people on weekends and some evenings, and as their customer base grew and grew, they managed to do their business full-time. There is money to be made, and if you want to grow your business full-time, it will be possible.

How to Become a Professional Handyman

You should be able to work with your hands one way or the other. If you are not able to handle a drill, screwdriver, hammer, etc., properly, then it is probably best to look for another way to make money.

You will need some tools. The essentials should be fine such as a set of screwdrivers, claw and ballpen hammers, Allen keys, wood and metal saws, a cordless drill, a selection of pliers, an adjustable spanner, and a small spanner set. There are a few more things that you can get, but they should all be basic hand tools. The most expensive thing you will have to buy in the beginning is a cordless drill.

If you have a van, that will be a positive, but it is not essential. You should, however, have a vehicle. It will not be very practical to carry a bunch of tools with you on the bus. If you can fit a roof rack to your car, then it will help with the transportation of your steps. If you do not want to do that, then you are in luck because there are a few ladders out there that can easily form into a car’s boot, such as this telescopic ladder or collapsible ladder.

You will need to register with HMRC, and you might have to pay class 2 National Insurance. Registering as a sole trader is free and quick and can be done online, and your extra NI payment could be as little as £2.75 a week.

You can also get business insurance. This should not be that expensive, and you could get away with paying less than £100 per year. You never know when something can go wrong, and it is better to be covered for such eventualities than to find yourself bankrupt after being sued.

I will also be inclined to join some sort of professional board of handymen later on, like the Association of Certified Handyman Professionals. This will create credibility with your clients, as people are always scared of cowboys coming in and ruining their homes. I do not really like websites such as angi.com because I feel that they exploit contractors and force people to undercut each other, and then you still have to pay them a fee. Yes, it is good for a customer to get a good deal, but if you compete against someone who cuts corners and does not pay his taxes to make up for the low prices he charges, then it is not worth it, in my opinion.

How Much Can I Charge?

There are a lot of factors at work that can influence how much you are able to charge people. If you live in London, you will need to ask more because the cost of living is much higher than in the rest of the UK. If you live in a remote village where there are not any people providing this type of service, then you can also charge a bit more as there will not be any competition. By that, I do not mean to exploit people for profit, but you need to price your service according to your market.

First of all, you will provide this service mainly on weekends and evenings for customers. 99% of tradespeople will charge extra for out-of-hours work because they will need to pay their people over time. I would then say that it could be reasonable to charge anywhere from £15 to £20 per hour. It might be possible to ask more, but if you are not making a specialized trade, it might be difficult to justify charging much more for maybe tiling a splashback for a basin.

Where you can usually make more money is to go and quote on the work for the customer. They might have quite a few things they want to be done, and you can work out your price accordingly. This approach works well most of the time as the customer feels that you will not take your time to complete tasks to make more money, and you win because if you can complete the work faster, you get more money.

Ultimately I am unable to tell you how much to charge. Because it is a handyman service, there are so many different jobs that can be done, and all of them take a different amount of time and will be of different value to people. Experience will be your best friend when it comes to this, and you will quickly learn how much to charge your customers for your handyman services.

What Services Should I Provide as a Handyman?

Any type of handyman service, basically. Tiling a bathroom, painting the fence, pressure washing the driveway, as I said earlier, or cleaning a portable air conditioner. That is the good thing about being a handyman is that there are almost unlimited things people need to do around the house.

I would say that unless you are qualified, I would say to stay away from electrics. You could do a Part P that can give you the basic knowledge of small electrical work. This should be fine for a handyman, and then you should be able and confident to do electrical work.

You should be fine with basic plumbing. Changing a tap washer or replacing a toilet cistern does not require a deep amount of knowledge as long as you know where to shut the water supply off. I would say that it will be best to stay away from anything to do with gas as it is against the law to touch it if you are not gas certified.

If a customer asks you if you are able to do something, say yes. Even if you do not know how to do it, I do not mean that you should say that you can build a house when you can’t, but generally, small things. Both my friends said that this has helped them when they started their businesses, even though they did know to have the full knowledge. This was how they managed to grow it from a part-time business to a full-time venture. Here is the secret: no one knows how to do everything. But you can phone and ask someone how to do it, or you can ask them to show you how to do it, or you could subcontract the job out to someone who knows how to do it. This is how you will grow your skill set and provide more services to your potential and current clients.

Conclusion

There you have it. This is by no means a comprehensive guide, but it should be enough to get you started on your way to becoming a handyman. There are loads of resources on the web if you need to know more such as forums where you can also ask questions. Hope this has helped you, and I hope you succeed in making a part-time income from your handyman side business.

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About Lindsey Bell

I like cooking and baking but often loose my recipes or they get covered in stuff meaning they are unreadable. This way I can keep track of them without constantly loosing them and can be quick and easy to find when I am at work too. Feel free to pinch and share any recipes you wish.