• Posted by Louise Cook Tuesday Jul 04, 2017

How handy is a handyman?

Lots of us have different interpretations of the word ‘handyman’ – fixing a light bulb, stopping a leak or doing some simple garden maintenance are all typical jobs associated with a handyman. But when it all gets a bit complex, how do you know if you’re hiring the right person for the job?

It’s one of the most requested jobs from consumers, but its rather subjective definition leaves many of them being thrown from pillar to post until they find the right trader for their job. The Oxford dictionary defines a handyman as “A person able or employed to do occasional domestic repairs and minor renovations”. Accurate as it might be, in practice the trouble with definition is still ambiguous as to what you can and can’t ask them to do for you.


So what exactly is a handyperson and which jobs are and are not within their remit?

What IS covered by a handyman? 

Painting rather than decorating, a few licks of paint to freshen up a tired room is more than possible by enlisting the help of a handyman. For something more elaborate, you may wish to call in a decorator

Basic garden maintenance Not all, but some handymen services will do basic gardening so it is worth ringing to find out whether yours will!

Fixture and fittings installation depending on the type of fixture, your handyman may be able to help.  For example, constructing a shed or changing a light bulb, rather than a more technical job

And what IS NOT covered by a handyman?

Gas work all gas work should be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer, rather than a handyman. Make sure you ask to see their ID card before they carry out any work in your home

Electrics changing switches or power points must not be done without a license, and most other electrical works are also a job only for the professionals

Plumbing Most plumbing related jobs must be completed by a fully qualified plumber. Toilet installations may be possible but changing lines will certainly require a licensed plumber – but take care to check the traders credentials before letting them begin work in your home.

Ultimately, some types of odd jobs outside of these guidelines will be covered by some firms and not others. It may be worth ringing an advisory team such as TrustMark or Age UK if you are unsure whether your job is suitable for a handyman or whether you need a more qualified contractor.

If you would like to find your local, quality, competent handyperson, visit www.trustmark.org.uk.