We surveyed recommended handymen to find out how much you should spend on 12 common jobs and how long they should take to complete.
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.
|Job||Details||Typical price quoted||Price range||Typical time to complete job|
|Survey conducted in July 2012|
|Change front door lock||Remove old lock, supply and fit new 60mm Yale lock. Replace whole mechanism.||£70||£60-£120||1–2 hours|
|Assemble flat pack furniture||Assemble a typical flat pack double wardrobe and five-drawer chest of drawers.||£70||£50-£100||2–4 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-£128||3–5 hours|
|Replace a light fitting||Replace a standard rose with a light fitting bought by customer.||£30||£25-45||1 hour|
|Replace a single socket with standard white double socket||Including cost of labour and materials.||£58||£41-£78||1–2 hours|
|Replace a standard single light switch with single white dimmer switch||Including cost of labour and materials.||£45||£34-60||1 hour|
|Hanging pictures and mirrors||Hang two large pictures and one large mirror. Assuming house is modern and walls are plasterboard.||£45||£30-£55||1-2 hours|
|Affix curtain pole and hang curtains||Customer 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-£55||1–2 hours|
|Paint room - small||Repaint 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-£130||4-5 hours|
|Paint room - medium||Repaint 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-£155||4–8 hours|
|Paint room - large||Repaint 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-£190||6-10 hours|
|Build bookshelves in sitting room||Build 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-£220||4–8 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.
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.