How much to charge for handyman work is often difficult to calculate. There is a balance to consider but the first step is to determine the hourly amount to charge for your time. If you are a one-person business then there are several things to consider. The first is how much you want to make for yourself. This amount would be similar to what some company would pay you to do the work for them. That means it has to include any perks the company might pay such as health insurance, sick leave, and vacation time. You may be thinking, “I can’t figure those things as a one person business, I can’t charge enough to cover those things.” Actually, you can and you should. Chances are over time you will get sick. If you are fortunate it won’t be serious but even if it isn’t, you may still miss a day or two of work. Unless you get paid for those days they are lost to you. If the illness is serious it may require doctor’s visits or even hospitalization. For this it’s good to have health insurance or it could easily ruin you. And, you can’t work all the time. It would be good to have a week or two off each year and that time needs to be paid or it becomes a hardship. Where is the money coming from for all those things. It has to come from what you get paid for each hour of work. In most cases this would cost somewhere between $15.00 to $30.00 per hour in addition to what you pay yourself for the work you do.
Using these figures you can determine how much to charge per hour. Let’s assume you want to make $25.00 per hour for your work. If you add to that at least $15.00 per hour for the perks, that means you have to charge at least $40 per hour. The actual amount will depend on where you live. In some communities the $40.00 per hour will work fine but in others it could take $80.00 per hour to pay you enough and have enough for the perks. This is the difficult decision you will have to make.
Pricing jobs correctly is critical to the financial success of a handyman business. Let’s start with materials which can be the simplest part of many handyman jobs. There may be many jobs that simply require the use of tools but no additional materials. For those jobs that do require materials it’s important that you created a complete and accurate list of everything needed and then price it carefully to make certain that the price of the job covers the cost of the materials.
Supply and demand should also be considered. What if you always have more work than you can do and it causes a long backlog of jobs waiting for you. That means, even if you are charging $80.00 per hour or more, it’s not enough. The market will bear more and you are leaving money on the table if you don’t adjust your pricing upwards to meet the demands of the market.
As an independent business owner the price of your services is entirely up to you and I encourage you to always charge as much as your market is willing to pay. The price for anything or any service is always the amount a willing buyer is prepared to pay a willing seller. That doesn’t mean that you take advantage of the misfortune of others during a disaster but it does mean that under normal business conditions you charge as much as you can for your work.