When looking for a handyman, there are some important factors that you need to consider in order to make sure that your project is done correctly. Probably the most important thing to know is how much your project will cost. This will determine whether you can use a “handyman” or whether you will need to hire a licensed contractor. If a project will cost more than $1000 and/or permits of any kind will be required, state law says that you must use a licensed contractor. A “handyman” is not permitted to take any job or project where the total cost is more than $1,000 or if a permit is needed.

A handy man is generally someone that is not an expert in one area but has knowledge in many other areas. A good handyman knows his limits and will be upfront and honest with you if something is beyond his technical skill.

Here is a link to the registrar of contractors website on this topic: Contracting in Arizona? Here’s What You Need to Know!

When looking for a handyman here are some things he or she may be familiar with and could do:

  • Changing out light fixtures
  • Changing a ceiling fan
  • Changing a faucet in kitchen or bathroom
  • Changing out a toilet or the toilet guts
  • Changing outlets and light switches
  • Installing baseboard and door trim
  • Hanging pictures, towel bars, TV’s, etc.…
  • Installing a garbage disposal
  • Minor tile repairs
  • Minor drywall repairs
  • Minor stucco repairs
  • Familiar with putting together furniture
  • Minor paint touch ups
  • Knowledge of adjusting cabinet doors and drawers
  • Knowledge about draining water heaters for yearly service
  • Knowledge about basic water heater repairs
  • How to install a bathroom vanity
  • Knowledge of minor carpet repairs

There are quite a few different kinds of contractors and each kind will have earned some type of licensure. Projects are managed by a general contractor. The general contractor has the responsibility of organizing the project and making sure that deadlines are met. In most states, a specific license is required for a general contractor. A general contractor is not the same thing as a contractor. A contractor is a specialty trade person like an electrical contractor or an HVAC contractor. A specialty trade contractor will have a license for that specific skill. This means that they perform certain kinds of jobs and that they have an in-depth knowledge of their particular trade.

It is not unusual to seek out a local handyman to help with home repairs and renovations. You are employing someone local who often has the drive and dedication to start their own business and can provide services at a lower cost than a specialist or general contractor. Hiring a handyman has advantages but also comes with limitations. Not knowing those limitations can result in hiring someone unqualified or lacking essential licensing to legally perform the work needed. Correcting the work after it has been completed incorrectly or is stopped by lack of licensing can cost more in time and money than if the right person had originally been hired. So, what are the limitations of a handyman and when should you seek out a specialist or licensed contractor instead?

Cost Restrictions

A handyman cannot complete any work that exceeds a set dollar amount. In Arizona, state law says that the job cannot exceed $1,000. The amount in other states may vary. This amount includes the cost of the labor and the materials to complete the work. You can expect that replacing the cabinets in your kitchen, tiling large areas of your house, replacing a shower or building a pergola will easily exceed $1000. Sometimes a handyman will work around this restriction by having you purchase the materials and they will price their labor below that threshold. However, this can often mean extra work for you as the customer.

Licensing and Permit Restrictions

Some work requires specific licensing in order to perform the job. For example, specific licensing is required in order to handle refrigerants when working on an air conditioner. Any unlicensed individual working on an air conditioning system is subject to fines under local and, sometimes, federal regulations. Some electrical and plumbing repairs will require a special license, especially if there are extensive modifications being made.

When there are modifications or additions being made to the existing structure of a house you can expect the need for permits in order for the work to proceed. Moving walls, adding patio covers to the side of the house, or adding a sun-room are examples of projects that will require permits in order to proceed with that project.

Some handymen may have a personal license of their own. It would require extra searching but, you may find a handyman that has an electrical or plumbing license. With the appropriate license they may be able to pull a permit for the job, however, due to it exceeding the cost restrictions, it would not be worth it for that handyman to pursue a job they could not complete.

Skill Level and Experience

What each handyman can do will depend on their individual skill level and experience. What they are confident or comfortable in completing will depend on their past training and experience in doing that work. Since the work that a handyman may do is vast and varied, their ability to handle the jobs requested of them can range from having no knowledge on the subject to being an expert. As long as they are up front with their skill limitations you should have nothing to worry about. It may be necessary to hire someone else for some of the jobs they cannot undertake.


Typically, a handyman works alone or has a helper. They don’t usually have a large work crew or office staff. This can limit the range of work they are able to perform but it also keeps their overhead low so they can pass on low prices for the work they do.

What a Handyman Typically Does

For the most part a handyman will stick to smaller home repairs and renovations. Much of the work they do may be considered “Do It Yourself” type of work. These jobs include replacing faucets, light switches, light fixtures, or outlets. Additionally, when looking for a handyman keep in mind that many handymen perform jobs like hanging window dressing and pictures, or painting small areas. You could even hire a handyman to move furniture, replace air filters, and install smoke detector batteries. These are all things that some homeowners do themselves but not everyone has the knowledge, has the tools, has the time, has the patience or even the desire to do these kinds of jobs themselves. Perhaps you just lack the “handyman-gene”. This is when hiring a handyman works to your advantage.

They can likely repair a toilet that keeps running, a sink that is clogged, or garbage disposal that stops working. You might have them replace your doorknobs and deadbolts, add a pet door, or fix some broken tiles. They may repair gates and do some landscaping as well. A handyman can handle a job as big as replacing a bathroom vanity or as small as changing some light bulbs.

Use My Guy Services is a Handyman and More

We began as a handyman company serving local residents in the Maricopa County East Valley over 10 years ago. Since then, we have obtained our KB-2 contractors license and have been expanding our team and services. This gives us the ability to provide handyman services at a low price while eliminating some of the handyman limitations so that we can tackle larger projects too. When looking for a handyman we can take on a list of small home repairs at a low hourly rate so you can turn your Honey Do! List into a Honey Done! List. If that list includes a bathroom remodel we have you covered. It’s lot to remember when looking for a handyman it’s better to be informed!