Looking for a trader that has passed a Which? assessment?

Visit Which? Trusted Traders to find local traders who have been checked and assessed by our trading standards professionals.

How much does it cost?

We contacted Which? Local-recommended traders to find out how much standard jobs should cost and how quickly they should be completed. Armed with this information, you’ll feel confident about hiring traders and be better equipped to spot when things aren't right.

Issue 9 - Home maintenance and handyman jobs: how much should you pay?


We surveyed recommended handymen to find out how much you should spend on 12 common jobs and how long they should take to complete.

Drill bits

We asked Which? Local-recommended plumbers to complete a survey about the cost and completion time for 12 standard home maintenance jobs.

Armed with this information, you'll know what questions to ask, roughly what price you can expect to pay and how long jobs should take when hiring a handyman.

Handyman prices and completion times

All of our prices include labour and materials but exclude VAT.

JobDetailsTypical price quotedPrice rangeTypical time to complete job
Survey conducted in July 2012
Change front door lockRemove old lock, supply and fit new 60mm Yale lock. Replace whole mechanism.£70£60-£1201–2 hours
Assemble flat pack furnitureAssemble a typical flat pack double wardrobe and five-drawer chest of drawers.£70£50-£1002–4 hours
Gloss woodwork - medium sized lounge Gloss skirting boards and one door frame in a room approx 14'10” x 13' 4” (4.52m x 4.06m). Assuming woodwork is in a reasonable condition. Rub down, prepare wood and gloss. Assuming window frames are PVC and do not need painting. n/a£63-£1283–5 hours
Replace a light fittingReplace a standard rose with a light fitting bought by customer.£30£25-451 hour
Replace a single socket with standard white double socketIncluding cost of labour and materials.£58£41-£781–2 hours
Replace a standard single light switch with single white dimmer switchIncluding cost of labour and materials.£45£34-601 hour
Hanging pictures and mirrorsHang two large pictures and one large mirror. Assuming house is modern and walls are plasterboard.£45£30-£551-2 hours
Affix curtain pole and hang curtainsCustomer providing own curtains and pole. Trader to fix curtain pole to wall and hang curtains for an average patio door (width 240cm, height 202cm).£45£30-£551–2 hours
Paint room - smallRepaint room approx 7' x 7' 1” (2.13m x 2.16m). Walls only – existing plaster walls in good condition with light coloured emulsion.£95£80-£1304-5 hours
Paint room - mediumRepaint room approx 10'10 x 9'10” (3.3m x 3m). Walls only – existing plaster walls in good condition with light coloured emulsion.£120£100-£1554–8 hours
Paint room - largeRepaint room approx 20' x 16' 6” (6.1m x 5.03m). Walls only – existing plaster walls in good condition with light coloured emulsion.£150£125-£1906-10 hours
Build bookshelves in sitting roomBuild shelves in alcove between chimney breast and side wall. Width 2m. Eight MDF shelves floor to ceiling. No painting required. Includes price of labour plus all materials.£200£150-£2204–8 hours

Home maintenance jobs: trader tips

In addition to the pricing and completion time information, our recommended handymen also shared some helpful advice.

Job: change front door lock
The price of the lock can range from £20 to £60 or higher depending on the security level.

Job: gloss woodwork
Most traders told us that they would apply an undercoat before glossing. This would give a better finish, but would take extra time.

Small electrical jobs

  • Most electrical jobs need to be carried out by a Part P-registered electrician, or inspected by your local building control department to ensure that they meet the regulations.
  • But, some minor jobs, such as replacing light fittings, sockets or switches or adding new ones on an existing circuit (provided they aren't outdoors or in rooms where water is present, such as a kitchen or bathroom) can be done by anyone with the necessary skills and don’t need certification. 
  • For small, simple jobs like these it might be cheaper to employ a skilled handyman than a qualified electrician, who might have a call-out charge and a higher hourly rate.

 

Research methodology

In July 2012, we sent a survey to all Which? Local traders in the Home maintenance and handyman category with a rating of three stars or more and an email address.

25 traders responded to the survey. Using their experience and expertise, they answered questions about the cost of handyman jobs, and how long they should take to complete.

Read more about the methodology

Job: replace a single socket with standard white double socket
If the socket is flush to the wall then the trader might need to spend extra time ‘making good’ any damage to the wall. A surface mounted socket is quicker and easier to do.

Job: affix curtain pole and hang curtains
Unfortunately things don’t always go to plan. Occasionally plaster can crumble or fall off and will need repairing, which could take longer.

Job: paint room
Most traders told us that they would apply two coats, so hours may be spread across two visits to allow time for the first coat to dry.

Job: build bookshelves in sitting room

  • If you can find a good handyman with the skills to do this job it will probably be cheaper than getting a qualified carpenter. When we asked carpenters to quote for the same job they were considerably more expensive.
  • If shelves are very wide they will probably need supports in the middle to stop them from sagging.


Found 14 How much does it cost? items in: Home maintenance & handy man

A green home, wrapped in a scarf

How much does it cost?, Issue 14 - Boilers and heating: how much should you pay?

We surveyed recommended boiler and central heating engineers to find out how much you should spend on repairs and maintenance. Read more »

In Central heating, boilers & gas | Plumbers | House & home

Woman making a roof shape using her hands

How much does it cost?, Issue 13 - Roofers: how much should you pay?

We surveyed recommended roofers to find out how much you should spend on 12 common jobs and how long they should take to complete. Read more »

In Roofers

Shower head with water

How much does it cost?, Issue 12 - Plumbers: how much should you pay?

We surveyed recommended plumbers to find out how much you should spend on 12 common jobs and how long they should take to complete. Read more »

In Plumbers | House & home

Cutlery

How much does it cost?, Issue 11 - Domestic appliance repairs: how much should you pay?

We surveyed appliance repair engineers to find out how much you should spend on 12 common jobs and how long they should take. Read more »

In Domestic appliances | House & home

Computer keyboard showing currency symbols

This article is archived

How much does it cost?, Issue 10 - Computer repairs: how much should you pay?

We surveyed recommended computer repair professionals to find out how much you should spend on PC repairs. Read more »

In Computer shops | Technology

Orange flowers

How much does it cost?, Issue 8 - Gardeners and landscape designers: how much should you pay?

We surveyed recommended gardeners and landscape designers to find out how much you should spend on 12 common jobs. Read more »

In Gardeners & landscaping | Garden centres | Garden

Plugs in socket

How much does it cost?, Issue 7 - Electricians: how much should you pay?

We surveyed recommended electricians to find out how much you should spend on 15 common jobs and how long they should take to complete. Read more »

In Electricians | House & home

Plaster being applied by a plasterer

How much does it cost?, Issue 6 - Plasterers: how much should you pay?

We surveyed recommended plasterers to find out how much you should spend on 12 common jobs and how long they should take to complete. Read more »

In Plasterers | House & home

Painter and decorator working in a home

How much does it cost?, Issue 5 - Painters and decorators: how much should you pay?

We surveyed recommended painters and decorators to find out how much you should spend on 10 common jobs and how long they should take to complete. Read more »

In Painters & decorators | Maintenance & handy man | House & home