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Thread: Handyman Rates

  1. #1
    Aaron Skoczen Guest

    Default Handyman Rates

    I have a question for those of you that do handyman services. I get quite a few of my past customers that call me to fix a hole, or rework some plumbing, etc. I usally frown at these because it costs us too much money to to small jobs. I have decided that we can't loose these people, so we are going to do a bit a handman services for them. I have some questiosn as to how you bill the customer. First, I have to bill for getting to the job and I have to bill to get parts. But I don't want to hear complaining that we wasted our time getting parts. So I have determined our hourly rate and figured that we will charge one hour at the normal rate for all travel time. Do you guys run into problems with this type of stuff? Secondly, do you markup your materials and tell the customer, markup them up and just bill them, or include the markup in your hourly figure and charge them exact costs for materials?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Handyman Rates

    I know of a franchise here in MA, that charges
    $ 2 hr min! They have a few vans a small trailer & signs looking for help on the vans!
    Personaly I try to get the customer to put together a small punch list. That way a I can charge them for a block of time ( 4-8 hrs )
    As for materials I list them together with a markup included.I don't list materials as
    seperate items.The customers don't seem to mind because it is still resonable and they accually
    got someone to do it!

  3. #3
    Mark G Guest

    Default Re: Handyman Rates

    I charge $55/hr, 2 hr. minimum. for jobs too small to quote. That may be a bit low 'cause I've had no complaints, but I'm happy with it. There's no risk. That time includes chasing materials and that rate covers my overhead so materials aren't marked up.
    Note: I work alone. Sending employees to do this stuff is a different story.

  4. #4
    DanT Guest

    Default Re: Handyman Rates

    I charge $45 an hour one hour minimum and 40% mark up on material with a $25 minimum. My area is rural and cost are low so your numbers may vary. DanT

  5. #5
    Joe Brennan Guest

    Default Re: Handyman Rates


    With handyman type repairs it is best to figure out while you're walking the job approximately how long you think each task will take. For example, when I'm looking at a repair job I may write down things such as:

    * Re-trim around front door - 30 min.
    * Scrape and re-grout shower - 4 hours
    * Install storm door - 1 1/2 hours

    Total Repair Hours = 6 hrs.

    This is for my notes only, they never see how many hours I'm estimating for. I bill $65 per man hour on repairs. 6 X $65 = $390

    Material Cost: $280

    I then figure how long it will take me to pick up these items from the store along with travel time.
    (1 1/2 hrs.) 1.5 X $65 (per man hour) = $97.50

    I write up my bid, total up my figures: $390 + $280 + $97.50 = $767.50. I then add in my 50% mark up: $767.50 X 1.50 = $1150.50.

    In cases where I'm not sure how much a certain item (door, light fixture, window) may cost, I present my bid and disclose that the price does not include the cost of "the window." I then explain that it is best for them to choose the window style/model they want and reimburse me for the cost. I also explain that there is a $50 fee for us to pick up the window for them. It's not the full mark-up we'd like to get on the item but at least your making something for pick-up and delivery.

    It works quite well for me and I've never lost money doing it this way. However, you really do need to know how long things should take you or your men when generating your bids from a time stand point. I've read other posts of yours and don't believe that is a problem for you personally. Just a quick point for other readers.


    Joe B.
    Full House Remodeling &
    JPB Systems, Inc. - Remodeling Marketing Tactics

  6. #6
    Aaron Telian Guest

    Default Re: Handyman Rates

    Most all the work I do is along handyman lines, (although my jobs are getting bigger and bigger,) and I charge per hour with no drive time and no markup on materials. (I'm thinking about markup, but I have not justified it yet.) Right now I also charge a variable "stock fee" in addition to the cost of the materials. This accounts for the value of any material that I may have on hand. (Otherwise, why bother storing all that stuff?) I only charge drive time if I have to make a trip for materials.

    If someone has a really small job and I am in the area and have time to do it, I don't hassle them with any minimums. People are usually thrilled that someone doesn't mind just taking care of it. Of course, you can't do that all the time and be successful, but it doesn't hurt every once in awhile. My rates are low ($16/hr, thinking about $18 soon) because I am rural and getting established. But it is a lot of fun, I'm learning every day, and there is more work showing up all the time.

    If it is not convenient to deliver the bill to the customer in person, (i.e., finishing a job and needing to go home and figure it up,) I will print it out and mail it to them. I try to make my bills as professional as possible. I don't round numbers off or scrawl figures on post-its.

  7. #7
    Jim Kastenholz Guest

    Default Re: Handyman Rates

    we charge 90 first hour and 60 each additional. All time from arrival to departure, including material pick up. We have a delivery driver who makes rounds and picks up materials. he is 30/ hour.

    Materials are marked up 20%

    We keep 5 to 7 mechanics working at these rates in Chicago

  8. #8
    John Guest

    Default Re: Handyman Rates

    I charge $55.00 for first 2 hrs minimum ($110.00) then $45.00 thereafter. If materials are $100.00 or less I double it....if it's more I'll mark it up 40% (divide cost by .60).

  9. #9
    Rob Post Guest

    Default Re: Handyman Rates

    For projects under $3500, We charge $50/hr and markup materials and labor 100%. Over $3500, 67%.

    Rob Post
    Post Handyman Services

  10. #10
    Thor Guest

    Default Re: Handyman Rates

    Did some jobs for Handyman Connection. They did labor only. Labor was $50.00/hr then went to $60.00/hr. Craftsmen drove to job, prepped time estimate then called the office for a "price". You really controlled the price and the call was a sales gimmick. Most homeowners think they can dicker with the worker over the price, but if it comes from the "office" there are few questions. Usually there is the actual price and a not to exceed price. Sometimes a Geo Metro wouldn't carry that 4X8 piece of gyp board from HD. You could suggest to the customer that HD delivers or rents trucks. I just worked out a side deal to pick up the big items. Half the time I was already at HD (not many choices left) or Lowes. Amazing how much time you can spend waiting in a line with the clock ticking. When money was collected it was always payable to Handyman Connection. They would take half and cut you a check for half. Kind of filled in those gaps between additions, etc. Now one time I couldn't get anyone in the Handyman office on the phone so I just made up both sides of the conversation to Ma Bell's recording, "If you would like to make a call....." I made the sale. You could too. Just call YOUR office or home. Never added more to the job as markup because if I thought a job would take 4 hours I could just call it in as 6 hours. Customer never heard anything about "hours" only how many dollars. Most of the time the difference between the base price and the not to exceed price would be paid without the blink of an eye. Base=50.00 Not to exceed=100.00 so 75.00 was the old "split the difference" and paid with an "OK". Thor

  11. #11
    Mark Parlee Guest

    Default Re: Handyman Rates

    40% markup and divide by .60 are two different numbers
    One gives you a 40% markup the other gives you 40% profit
    If your job cost are 100 dollars and you mark it up 40% you would sell that job for 140 dollars. 40 is 28.6% of 140
    Divide by .60 is the same as a markup of 1.667
    If your job cost are 100 dollars and you divide by .60 you would sell that job for 166.67 dollars
    If your business is structured to run on a 40% profit a job that cost you 100 dollars has to go for 166.67 in order to achieve that profit margin
    If you take the 100 dollar job and mark it up 40% you only charge 140 dollars 40 is only 28.6% of 140 so you did not make a 40% margin that your business needs to stay solvent
    If you need 40% profit then use the divide by method instead of markup, it is less confusing


  12. #12
    Thor Guest

    Default Re: Handyman Rates

    Remember that handyman (or Specialist in the Completion of Small Jobs) type jobs don't have the efficiency of larger jobs and often times the handyman knows about alot of trades but can't develop the speed repetition doing one thing gives. Most jobs are in occupied structures so you have to take the time to roll out drop cloths and clean up. Percentages like Mark explains are good but regardless of the method few guys are economists or great planners. Competition is one price limiter, but the old, "you get what you pay for" seems to be very powerful too. Thor

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Olympia, Washington

    Default Re: Handyman Rates

    I was reading through this thread and have similar questions. These posts were from a few years ago so I'm wondering what rates are looking like nowadays. I have always worked for other various companies up to this point. But with how cruddy the real estate market is and with how many side jobs I had been getting requests for I decided to seize opportunity and strike out on my own. I’ve gone through the process of getting licensed, insured, and bonded in Washington State. However, the fact of the matter is that although I’ve been doing the actual work, I've never owned my own business before. Especially a handyman service and am uncertain how much to charge. I would like to provide excellent service at a fair price, but I would like to be adequately compensated for my time as well. I’m just looking for some guidance or a reasonable basis for comparison. Thank you for your time in advance, Erik.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Southwestern Vermont

    Default Re: Handyman Rates

    Here's a link to a very recent thread on the topic.

    Use the Search function and you'll find a bunch more.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Bowmanville, ON

    Default Re: Handyman Rates

    I've recently started doing a few handyman calls. My rate is $125 the first hour and $85 after that. 1 hour minimum. %100 percent markup on material under $500

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