Throughout the course of a typical day I usually do a number of projects at a few different customer’s houses. This is what makes up the bulk of my handyman business. I prefer small jobs. In this post I’m going to detail this weathervane project so you can get an idea of what one of my jobs looks like throughout the day. If you enjoy seeing this type of post and would like to see more, let me know in the comments and I’ll create more like this.
Job description: Install weathervane on rooftop
I got a call to install a weathervane on the roof of a house. This is the second job I’ve done for this customer. Any good handyman will notice right away that there is a lot of value in repeat customers. This is now a customer that I don’t have to spend any marketing dollars on because I’ve already earned their trust and their business. Keep that in mind when doing work for any customer. Make sure you’re doing a great job for each and every customer.
I’ve never had the chance to install a weathervane before but that’s no big deal. The handyman business is a trade filled with hundreds of potential projects and you’ll probably come across lots of projects that you’ve never done before. If you are a good learner and you are good at figuring things out, you’ll have no problem tackling jobs that you’ve never done before.
Getting the call
When this customer first called me and asked me if I could install the weathervane for them I happily said yes. I knew this customer lived about 25 minutes from me (since I did work at their house before) so I wanted to make sure that I gave them a price over the phone to avoid an unnecessary trip to their house just to quote it. I often give prices over the phone to prequalify customers because I don’t want to make a trip out to their house if they aren’t willing to pay my asking price.
I asked them if they could send me a picture of the weathervane so I could see if there was anything else I needed to install it so everything could be ready for the installation day. They text me a few different pictures and it was clear that it didn’t come with a mounting bracket. I did a quick search on Amazon and found this bracket here.
Quoting the job
After seeing the pictures of the dragon weathervane that they sent me I figured the job would take me about an hour to an hour and a half to install it from setup to cleanup. I quoted the labor at $125 and the part at $40 for a total of $165. The part cost me $30 from amazon (with free 2 day shipping because I’m a Prime member) so I made $10 profit there.
I waited till the part came in and called them and scheduled the job.
Completing the work
When I arrived at the job I made sure everything was as we discussed over the phone. I always do this because I don’t want any surprises that could change the job and cost me more time than I originally anticipated. I took a look at the weathervane and the customer showed me where on the roof they wanted it mounted. Everything looked good.
Before starting the work I pulled out my iPad and had the customer sign the quote with the labor at $125 and the materials at $40 for a total of $165. I always have my customers sign off on the quote before starting the work. I don’t want any surprises later. This way they know the exact price they are going to pay and I have their signature stating that they accepted this. I do this all through the ServiceM8 app on my iPad. I didn’t always do things like this but since I have been everything has been so much better and there are no surprises at the end when I go to collect payment.
Time to do the actual work. The job went very smoothly and came out great. The customer was very pleased. Take a look for yourself.
Some notes about the job: Just in case you have to install a weathervane at some point make sure that you install the bracket in a location that you know will be very sturdy. You can see that I didn’t go all the way to the edge of the roof because I know this part of the plywood could potentially get the most wear and tear from the weather and I didn’t want the plywood to be too weak to hold the weight of the weathervane for years to come. I could feel when screwing the bracket in that this was a solid location. I also put silicone in the screw holes to make sure that no water could ever leak through. I made sure the bracket was perfectly plumb and that the weathervane pole was also perfectly plumb after installing. I used my iPhone’s compass app to perfectly align North on the weathervane with North on my compass. Lastly, to ensure that the dragon moved freely and would continue to do so in the future, I used grease on the rod where the weathervane sits.
After finishing up and putting all my tools away, I had the customer sign off on the job (again using the ServiceM8 app on the iPad). I always have the customer sign off on the job when it’s complete because this is stating that the job has been completed to their satisfaction. Again, it mitigates any problems later. The customer paid by check and I was out of there and on to the next job.
Time on job
This job took about an hour and fifteen minutes to complete. That’s the time from setup to cleanup not including drive time. So for $165 total – $30 for materials = $135 / 1.25 = $108/hr. My target hourly rate is $100 so this job was a success in every way.
Did you like this post? Do you want to see more real world job examples like this? If so, let me know in the comments below. I have no idea unless you tell me.