What Do You Need to Become a Handyman? We Explore…

Do you want to become a handyman?
Have you ever considered a career as a handyman?

Have you ever considered a career as a handyman? If you are good at DIY and handy with a tool kit, then creating a business doing what you enjoy is a fantastic way to make a living.

Whether you want to quit your day job and become a handyman full-time or earn some extra money on the weekends, below we explore everything you need.

Skills Needed

If you want to become a professional handyman, there are some skills you will need if you don’t already have them. These include things like:

  • tiling
  • plumbing
  • plastering
  • electrical works
  • carpentry
  • painting
  • decorating

Of course, you can pick and choose from this list if you are specially trained or good at one thing in particular, such as painting and decorating. The more skills you have, the more services you can offer and the more money you can make.

In addition to traditional handyman skills, you will require people skills, as you will be going in and out of people’s homes. It is your job to make them feel comfortable when inviting strangers into their homes.

When running your own business, time management is also crucial. This will help you with clients that you’re working with, as well as help you with your employees if you decide to hire any.

You can’t expect to be able to do the best quality work that you want to do without the tools that you need.
You can’t expect to be able to do the best quality work that you want to do without the tools that you need.

Tools For the Job

A handyman needs good tools, which means you will need some money set aside. Create a business budget, to see what tools you can afford or if you need to take out a loan to start your business. You will need things like PPE, an extensive toolbox, a set of ladders, and a van.

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If you already own a toolbox, you need to consider if the equipment is business standard or at-home standard. As your customers will be reviewing your work, you need to make sure it’s to the best standard with the best tools. You can’t expect to be able to do the best quality work that you want to do without the tools that you need. If you’re not sure what modern tools you can incorporate, then consider looking at more established handymen in your area, as well as other businesses, so that you can find inspiration.


To become a handyman, you may need to do an apprenticeship with a skilled handyman company that can train you on the job. You can also take trade exams. To work in some states, you may also need a handyman license. You can check what requirements your state has online.

There are specialist handyman training courses that can teach you the basics or go into detail about certain skills, such as plumbing or electrics. Some states are also happy for you to just have some experience in the field, especially if you are completing smaller jobs that cost less than $1000.

When you have these qualifications, it will also help you to get more jobs and contracts. That is because you will have shown that you are a professional who knows what they are doing and that you’ve put time and money into your career.

Setting Up Your Business

As a handyman, it is important you know how to trade, not just how to fix. Setting up a business takes time, and you will need to have some skills in marketing, accounting, finances, and much more.

Liability insurance is designed to protect you and your handyman business.
Liability insurance is designed to protect you and your handyman business.

Handyman Insurance

Insurance is one of the first things you need to consider when starting a handyman business. This is especially important in a job role where you are going into people’s homes and fixing issues. Sometimes, accidents happen and if you cause any kind of damage to a property, you need to be covered for any claims after you make it right.

This helps cover you and ensure that your reputation remains secure. Liability insurance is designed to protect you and your handyman business.

There will be different costs for different policies designed to offer you more personalized coverage. It’s important to do your research to know what handyman insurance works for you, as everyone is unique.

Marketing and advertising

You’ll need business cards and, quite possibly, leaflets or a brochure. You can put them in places such as local stores and office blocks where your target market visits. If the design isn’t one of your strengths, you will find printers online who offer a large range of easily modified templates. There is sure to be something that catches your eye.

Consider creating a simple website that will allow you to showcase your work while also giving you a memorable email address such as [email protected].

Record keeping, finance, and taxes

Other than marketing, you will need to know how to deal with accounts and the importance of keeping invoices and other items to do your taxes. If you have no idea where to start with this, it might be best to hire an accountant, at least until you become more familiar with the process.

Setting Your Rates

Your business rates will depend on many things, including the job at hand, your reputation, and competitor prices. You do not want your hourly prices to be as high as a competitor with years of experience and hundreds of 5-star reviews, as you simply will not get the work.

Scope out the competition and see where you can set your prices. Be sure to ask customers to leave reviews for your work online, as this can boost your status. This will eventually lead to word-of-mouth marketing, which sees your customers recommend you to people they know, as you did such a great service. You could even offer a referral system, that sees discounts offered to those who are referred by someone you worked for before.

Wrapping it all up…

Becoming a handyman requires a lot more than a toolbox. You will need insurance, business acumen, the best tools, and formal training if your state requires it. Do the required research and put in the required work so that you can become a success. Ensure you are looking into liability insurance, as well as other handymen policies so that you are covered for your work.

It won’t be easy, to begin with, but you will be successful with dedication and quality workmanship.



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