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Old 08-07-2012, 11:50 AM   #1
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


I am in between jobs right now. I never did like sitting at a desk in an office, which i did for many years.

I'm thinking of being a handyman for hire to fix thing for people that don't have the time or knowledge to do so.

So is there a living to made in doing so?

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Old 08-07-2012, 11:54 AM   #2
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


Yes, if you're good enough to get mostly good word of mouth recommendations.
(of course, you'll never please EVERYone...there will always be some whiny baby who thinks you did not do it right, (THEIR way, which is, of course, wrong but they heard it would save them a bundle!) or you maybe looked at them cross-eyed, or they think you're a bully or pushy or whatever. They will then try to get out of paying you, or apologizing for bad-mouthing your efforts, etc. That's just life, but if you just keep pushing on and doing your job, you'll be fine.

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Old 08-07-2012, 11:57 AM   #3
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


There can be big money in it if you know what you’re doing. Especially if you can get dialed in with a few property management companies dealing with vacation rentals and such.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:35 PM   #4
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


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Originally Posted by NWFixer View Post
can one really make a living being a handyman???
If your wife has a real job with HI and other benefits? Sure.
If your mortgage is paid off even better.
Quote:
So is there a living to made in doing so?
The biggest issue is how strict your county is about licensing and permits
for certain types of (trade) work and your own competence doing X.
The insurance, licensing and tax reporting stuff is the real headache.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:46 PM   #5
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


I do it part time to augment my income. I have been at it long enough to have developed a great list of clients. With this list of people I have I can pretty much keep busy 4-5 days a week.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:09 PM   #6
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


Sure not going to happen over night.
What do you have for tools?
Got a truck with a ladder rack?

Around here there getting nut about licencing, even a painter has to have one.
Just to get a class A which is the lowest one you have to buy over $100.00 in books, take a class which you of cource also have to pay for, then you can take the test. No class, then no test.
Order some cards on Vista, there only about $10.00.
I found the signs you put up on the street and signs on my truck to advertise worked better for me then an ad in the local paper.
I had an ad in the paper for 2 months and only got two calls, one to seal a driveway and one to clean a gutter.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:41 PM   #7
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


Thanks for the input. So how do you figure out how much to charge for work??? is there reference book that spells out book hours and such? Or is it in the beginning a learning process and guesstimating?
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:47 PM   #8
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


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Thanks for the input. So how do you figure out how much to charge for work??? is there reference book that spells out book hours and such? Or is it in the beginning a learning process and guesstimating?
Give THIS a read.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:51 PM   #9
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


Whatever the traffic will bare.
There's no book I've eve seen for simple handi man type jobs, there are a few for things like building dormers, additions, sheds ect.

No one here is going to know what the labor rates are in your area.

There's far more money invloved then you may think just to be and stay in business.
You will never have enough tools to do every job so your going to have to set money a side, gas, blades, materials your going to have on hand (nuts bolts, screws sandpaper, drill bit, screw driver bits.
Paper for quotes, invoice pads, cards, licence, insurance ECT.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:40 PM   #10
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Whatever the traffic will bare.
There's no book I've eve seen for simple handi man type jobs, there are a few for things like building dormers, additions, sheds ect.

No one here is going to know what the labor rates are in your area.

There's far more money invloved then you may think just to be and stay in business.
You will never have enough tools to do every job so your going to have to set money a side, gas, blades, materials your going to have on hand (nuts bolts, screws sandpaper, drill bit, screw driver bits.
Paper for quotes, invoice pads, cards, licence, insurance ECT.

^^^^good advice there.

I'm just a home DIY'er....and every time I estimate a project...it always takes longer and costs more than I estimate....I know why they take longer...I'm always interacting with my kids and my wife....and taking the break to have a beer (and pat myself on the back for a fantastic job...or kick myself in the nuts for the fu)

With that said....any work is better than no work.

Figure out what a 'reasonable' hourly rate is.....as a gauge...find out what the hourly rate is at the car dealership...it doesn't mean you have to charge that much...but it will give you an idea....remember, that rate as to cover the techs time...his tools and the dealerships overhead.

Good luck...
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:17 PM   #11
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Sure not going to happen over night.
What do you have for tools?
Got a truck with a ladder rack?

Around here there getting nut about licencing, even a painter has to have one.
Just to get a class A which is the lowest one you have to buy over $100.00 in books, take a class which you of cource also have to pay for, then you can take the test. No class, then no test.
Order some cards on Vista, there only about $10.00.
I found the signs you put up on the street and signs on my truck to advertise worked better for me then an ad in the local paper.
I had an ad in the paper for 2 months and only got two calls, one to seal a driveway and one to clean a gutter.

Tools i have lots of that I have accumulated throughout the years. I do need to look at the licensing requirements in my area( Seattle).

I understand that its going to be hard in the beginning. Just like any startup buisness is. Do need to pick up a pickup style truck also.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:30 PM   #12
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


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Originally Posted by NWFixer View Post
I do need to look at the licensing requirements in my area( Seattle). .
Here ya go...http://www.lni.wa.gov/TradesLicensin...eg/default.asp
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:57 PM   #13
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Whatever the traffic will bare.
There's no book I've eve seen for simple handi man type jobs, there are a few for things like building dormers, additions, sheds ect.

No one here is going to know what the labor rates are in your area.

There's far more money invloved then you may think just to be and stay in business.
You will never have enough tools to do every job so your going to have to set money a side, gas, blades, materials your going to have on hand (nuts bolts, screws sandpaper, drill bit, screw driver bits.
Paper for quotes, invoice pads, cards, licence, insurance ECT.



and THAT list goes on and on and on
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:01 PM   #14
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


Believe it or not for me to make $20/hr I had to charge about $45.
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:32 PM   #15
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can one really make a living being a handyman???


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Originally Posted by mae-ling View Post
Believe it or not for me to make $20/hr I had to charge about $45.
That does not sound out of line......in just about any business...the real overhead is about 100% more than the salary...

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