Handyman Rates – How Much Should You Charge?

This question seems to be one of the biggest obstacles for new handymen. They have no idea how much to charge for their services. I can understand the frustration because I went through the same thing when I was first starting out so trust me when I say you’re not alone.

The problem

Here’s the thing. You can search the internet all day and all night for handyman rates for your area but you will never truly find the right answer. The problem is, a handyman in one area may get very different rates than a handyman in another area. Handyman rates across the United States and even in other countries are going to vary wildly.

Handyman rates vary

A handyman that services a more affluent neighborhood will be able to charge much higher rates than a handyman that services a lower class neighborhood. There will never be one price for any service or one hourly rate so let me be very clear; handyman rates vary.

When I realized how big of a problem this was and how many handymen were struggling with coming up with pricing for their area I decided to do something about it. I’ve been running a handyman business for quite a few years now so I know how much to charge for my services. I made plenty of mistakes along the way by overcharging and undercharging for various handyman projects.

I knew that handyman rates vary from one location to the next but I wanted to help all the handymen that were having problems with this. After all, I run handymanedge.com to help handymen with their businesses. I like doing it. I took the price list I had for my business (the one that took me years to get right), and modified it in a way that anyone can use it for the area they service. In fact, I completely rebuilt it as a web app. All you have to do is set the hourly rate that you want to make and you’ll have pricing for tons of handyman projects for your area.

Now you just need to know the hourly rate that you want to make.

Target hourly rate

I highly encourage all handymen to charge flat rate for their services. You can make more money per hour that way and you can increase your pricing if you ever need to without having to let your customers know that you raised your hourly rate.

In order to price jobs flat rate you still need a target hourly rate. This is the hourly rate that you would like to make every time you work on a job. To come up with this you’ll need to really think about the goals of your business as well as your personal goals and figure out what hourly rate will get you there.

Too many handymen try to look to the competition to determine their hourly rate but that’s a mistake. Your business is different than theirs and you need to come up with your own target hourly rate. I’d suggest starting somewhere between $25-$35 per hour no matter where you are in the country.

Once you come up with a target hourly rate, you can start pricing jobs based on the time it takes to complete the job. You’ve got a couple options for knowing the time it takes to complete jobs. You can use your own experience and estimate the time it would take to complete a job or you can use something like the handyman price list.

If you know that it takes on average an hour to install a garbage disposal, simply multiply that by your target hourly rate and you’ll have your estimate for the customer. Let’s say your target hourly rate is $60. That means you’d charge $60 to install that garbage disposal. But wait, there’s more.

Trip charge

For me and my business, it’s not worth it to go out and install a garbage disposal for $60 even though $60 per hour is not bad at all. You might want to have a minimum charge or even a trip charge to make this work. If you had a minimum charge of $100 for example, or a $40 trip charge, that means that any time you went out and did a job that took an hour, you’d make $100. Now that’s better.

Once you have this in place, you’ll start to prefer the smaller jobs even more.

Remember, this assumes you know how long certain jobs take. If you have the experience to know the average time it takes to complete hundreds of projects that’s great. Use it. If you’re just starting out and you don’t know how long jobs take to complete or you don’t want to spend the time overestimating or underestimating jobs, then the handyman price list is a great option. In fact, it’s the exact reason I created it.

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