What Is a Handyman and What Are Handyman Services?

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If you haven’t used a handyman before, you may be wondering what handymen do and what kinds of services they offer. 

Let’s look at some of the most common questions about the handyman business.

Why do people hire a handyman?

There are a variety of reasons why people may choose to hire a professional handyman. Some busy adults might be able to handle these home repair jobs but just don’t have the time.

Other people might not have the experience or tools needed to take care of their honey-do list. And for others, mobility, illness, or other health issues may make it impossible for them to handle their home maintenance list.

What is a handyman?

A professional handyman is a person who has expertise in a wide variety of small home repair jobs around the house.

Google defines the term this way: A person able or employed to do occasional domestic repairs and minor renovations.

Essentially, someone who provides this type of service can take care of your honey-do list around the house, like repairing or installing doors and windows. They can also handle small jobs like painting touchups, carpentry repair, and drywall repair. They can do light plumbing and electrical work, as well.

You can think of a handyman as similar to a family doctor. They can help you with a wide variety of things. But if there are very complicated situations, they will give you a referral to a general contractor or a specialized, licensed professional like a plumber, electrician, or roofer.

handyman's tool belt
Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

What kinds of jobs would a handyman typically do?

This can vary from one handyman service to another, depending on experience and training. Services often include things like:

Minor electrical work

  • Ceiling fan and light fixture installation
  • Repair or installation of an electrical outlet or light switch
  • Thermostat installation

Minor carpentry work

  • Trim & molding repair
  • Porch, deck and patio repair
  • Disability ramp repair
  • Mounting bracket installation for a TV
  • Door repair & installation
  • Blinds, shades, and curtain rods installation
  • Shelving installation
  • Replace cabinet hardware or hinges & doorknobs

Minor home repairs

  • Drywall repair
  • Paint or stain for small projects
  • Window & weatherstripping installation & repair

Small plumbing jobs

  • Bathroom or kitchen fixture & appliance installation
  • Fix a leaking toilet or faucet
  • Garbage disposal replacement and installation

Home maintenance

  • Air filter replacements
  • Pressure washing services
  • Insulation installation
  • Dryer vent cleaning

What types of work does a handyman NOT do?

A handyman is not usually a licensed plumber, licensed electrician, or roofer. They are also not generally professional painters for large scale painting projects.

For larger projects or very specialized projects, you may need to involve a licensed professional who is skilled in that specific area.

Some jobs handymen probably wouldn’t do:

Major plumbing jobs

  • Moving or replacing a water or sewer line.
  • Tearing out a shower floor, fixing the joists and subfloor, redoing the plumbing, and re-tiling the shower. 

Major electrical work

  • Moving or replacing an electric line.
  • Replacing an electric panel

Major carpentry work

  • Building a new deck.
  • Building new custom cabinets for the entire kitchen.
  • Repairing major termite damage under the house.
  • Replacing 16 foot columns on the front porch.

Large-scale painting or drywall jobs

  • Painting the entire inside or outside of the house.
  • Putting up sheets of drywall.

Major renovation projects

  • Adding a new room to a house.
  • Adding a second story to a ranch-style home.
  • Transforming the den and living room into a new master suite.
  • Tearing out walls.
  • Raising ceilings up a foot.

HVAC repair and installation

Building a new home

For these kinds of significant jobs, a handyman can usually refer you to a trusted professional who is licensed and qualified to handle the particular speciality.

A good handyman is a life saver

Calling a handyman near you is a wonderful option for minor repairs like small plumbing jobs, carpentry repairs, and electrical services. 

Hiring a handyman frees up your time so that you can focus on more important things in life, and, at the same time, your honey-do list of home repairs gets taken care of so that your family can enjoy having a beautiful, well-maintained home where everything is working properly.

But at the same time, you don’t have to involve a more expensive contractor who usually only handles bigger jobs.

The best handyman fits in a perfect niche between things you can and want to do yourself vs. a contractor or other professional who is better suited for larger jobs around the home.

What are the most common handyman requests?

Some of the most common repairs needed include things like:


  • Patching and painting drywall where a doorknob went through
  • Unclogging a toilet or drain
  • Painting touch-ups
  • Fixing rotten boards on wooden stairs or decks


  • Installing a door
  • Installing light fixtures, bathroom fans, or ceiling fans
  • Changing out hardware on doors or cabinets
  • Mounting a TV on a wall
  • Lightbulb replacement
  • Hanging pictures or mirrors


A Home Maintenance Checklist – by Season

Creative Handyman Clutter Solutions for Each Room

4 Ways to Get a House Ready to Sell

What Is a Honey-Do List?

What Is a Punch List?

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