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Handyman or Professional? You Get the Painting & Electrical Work You Pay For

17 November 2016

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When hiring for any kind of home painting, commercial painting, or electrical contracting job there is much more to cost than just what you pay for the actual job service. As that old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Minor jobs that look simple enough may not seem to require the hiring of professional painters and decorators, for instance. This may be true in some cases, but ensuring the quality of any job, however big or small, will always mean engaging a professional painting contractor.

Basic Rates

The services that a handyman can provide vary widely, and so do the rates for such services. The current market and the personal preferences of the handyman affect both of these greatly. Basically, a handyman is a jack-of-all-trades, an individual who is skilled at performing various tasks. Handymen usually take on jobs like minor home repairs and other construction tasks. How big or small these tasks are, along with how experienced the handyman is will be what determines the rate that you will be paying. Some handymen will estimate how long a job will take and base their rate off that, or will offer a flat rate for the whole job. Paying a flat rate can be advantageous for you if your handyman gives you an honest estimate of how long the job takes. The flat rate also protects you from complications that may arise that make the job take longer than expected. If you get a quote for a six-hour job and it is done in two, you will have paid three times what you should have.

An electrical job such as changing out electrical outlets or replacing a faulty thermostat does not require specialised tools and should take only 1-2 hours. This is considered a small job that should not cost much. For jobs that require more skill and experience and double the time, like installing and painting shelves, the costs will be higher. The same goes for big electrical jobs such as installing heating and cooling systems or home theatre system rewiring. The average rate for handyman services is around $60 per hour with the rate of a professional being not much more than that.

For small to medium jobs, they are most often considered simple enough for a handyman to handle. Bigger, more complex jobs should definitely be entrusted to a professional painting contractor, electrical contractors or builder, as the case requires. If you are at all uncomfortable with the idea of leaving a job to a handyman, this is a sure sign that you should probably consult the pros, such as the SwitchedOn team. Trusting your instincts will relieve you of the worry of making the right choice and the hassle of trying to find the right handyman for the job. Leaving the job to the professionals will give you the peace of mind that your project is in good hands. Many times big jobs will require at least a day’s work and the use of specialised tools and equipment, maybe even heavy machinery. In these cases, it is sometimes more cost-efficient to hire a contractor. Contractors have access to a variety of special tools and equipment, and this can bring down your costs since you will not have to pay your handyman to go find what he needs and then pay for renting it all out.

To give you more of an idea what different kinds of handyman jobs will cost you, here are a few examples of small to medium-sized jobs and the rates that you should expect to be charged (costs do vary on a number of factors):

  • Hall light installation: $120
  • Ceiling fan installation: $140-350, depending on how high
  • Garbage disposal installation: $280

Remember, big jobs are bound to cost you a lot more if you hire a handyman and pay by the hour. Contact SwitchedOn to compare rates for these jobs and see what you can save in additional to the peace of mind you will have that all work is guaranteed.

Quality Guarantee

When you hire a handyman to do painting and decorating or electrical work, the guarantee you get depends on the handyman’s reputation and credentials. A good reputation is a good start, but this can change without a moment’s notice. If you find that your handyman is not living up to his or her reputation, where does this leave you? If your handyman has credentials, you are in a safer position. Credentials show that this person has proven ability in certain areas of service. Credentials can help you select a good candidate for the job, but they will not save you from a job gone wrong. Only a quality guarantee that is backed by a professional organisation can protect you and the investment that you have made in your home painting, commercial painting, or electrical contracting project.

Handymen are the freelancers of the painting and electrical contracting world. They usually work alone, and are not always affiliated with any industry organisations, though some may go for independent memberships. In some places, handymen may be required to hold licenses before they can offer their services - whatever these may be. There are also some professional handyman services that act as managers to find good matches for handymen and various home and office repair jobs. Just about anyone with a few skills, however, can market himself or herself as a handyman.

With a company that provides professional contracting services, you are in a better position since the company will be monitored by industry watchdogs. This provides you with recourse in case something goes awry. The company may also give you their own guarantee which can be stipulated in a work contract that you can use to hold your painters or electrical contractors to their word. Handymen will not be likely to provide you with such a document.


Experience is always a valuable commodity, and you will likely pay higher rates for more experienced workers, whether they are handymen or professional painters and electrical contractors. Experienced workers will, however, most often get the job done faster. There is also less room for error with experienced workers. Some people weigh the risk factors involved here and choose to hire cheaper handymen rather than spending for true professionals if they do not consider the job to involve a high level of risk. This could be a wise choice, but you must remember that there is risk involved in any job. For instance, a simple room painting job should not require a skilled professional. Many people even chose to do this type of job themselves.

A cheaper rate seems fair under the circumstances. But if your handyman should have an accident, there could be serious and costly consequences. A similar example is simple electrical work. Why pay a premium for changing a few sockets and wires? Electrical work should never be taken lightly because of the dangers involved in handling currents. Accidents can happen at any time, and electrical mishaps can cause severe injury and extensive property damage. Your safest bet will always be to go with experienced, professional electrical contractors who are licensed and have all the proper permits, insurance, and liability coverage.

If you are looking for experienced professional painting contractors and electrical contractors who you can trust, contact SwitchedOn today to talk to one of the friendly team members.