A handyman can be considered somewhat of a Jack of all Trades and is often the master of a few as well. Usually skilled at a variety of projects, from basic demolition and clean up to larger scale construction and building projects. For small jobs, odd jobs, or DIY projects that are just outside the skill set of the homeowner, a handyman can help get the job done quickly and economically.
A skilled handyman can assist in painting and trim work, drywall repair, remodeling jobs, minor plumbing and electrical work, general carpentry, project clean up, furniture assembly and landscaping hardscape such as gazebos and greenhouses, patio installation; the possibilities are endless. Supplying building materials and some tools yourself, and having them on-site when the handyman arrives to start the job, saves money. Contractors take care of entire projects from start to finish but often charge higher prices that include supplies, labor, permitting and final inspections.
DIY projects around the home are appealing because of their low cost. Labor can be expensive, sometimes costing as much as the supplies. Instead of going-it-alone on a large job that may be beyond the scope of a homeowner's expertise, involving a handyman in the project for advice, an extra hand and to assist in the parts of the job that may require an extra set of hands offers security at a low cost. Hanging sheet rock, laying deck joists, and installing scaffolding for a large paint job may be easier with the help of a paid assistant, someone who knows a thing or two about DIY projects.
A handyman is a lower status job than a remodeling specialist such as a general contractor, a licensed plumber or electrician. However, the broad knowledge base for basic repairs makes a handyman an economical choice. If a licensed contractor is not hired for a job, it may be necessary to apply for a building permit yourself, as the homeowner. Only a licensed contractor, plumber or electrician may apply for a permit on your behalf. However, some handymen are licensed.
An experienced handyman can be a lifesaver on small jobs or large DIY projects that require specialized skills. Instead of giving up control of the job to a general contractor who might have high overhead, require a minimum amount to be spent on the project to make his visit worthwhile, or may have a long waiting list for an open appointment, a handyman can get small jobs done quickly and economically allowing the homeowner to play a larger role in completing projects.