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Tips for Starting a Handyman Business

Tips for Starting a Handyman Business

If you enjoy working with your hands and prefer to be self-employed, becoming a professional handyman might be the right move. With that said, there are a number of specific areas of expertise that a handyman needs to master, most of which are distinct disciplines. This means those who wish to make a career out of helping others with home improvement projects need to be sure they understand the principles behind the work they plan to perform, and gain the proper experience to get the job done right.

With this in mind, let’s go over the core disciplines a handyman will need to know:


One of the more lucrative sectors of the home improvement industry is heating and cooling. Becoming an HVAC professional requires proper licensing, since it involves handling especially hazardous chemicals. Being able to answer the question of how does home air conditioning work is only part of the qualifications needed for licensing. In most places, a certain number of hours spent in an apprenticeship or trade training program will be required, in addition to rudimentary knowledge of HVAC systems and repair. You should get to know the major brands of HVAC equipment, such as trusted brands like York, and how to work on their products.


Another element of home improvement which sees steady demand and the potential for good pay is electrical work. However, similar to heating and cooling, most states require working electricians to attain proper licensing. In light of established electricians having an edge on the market, it pays to specialize in a specific area of home electrical work. For example, you could become the local expert for getting antique chandeliers installed and operating, which would require a knack for joining older styles of hardware and wiring with new home electrical systems.


Due to the oftentimes dirty nature of the work involved, there always seems to be steady demand for plumbers. Of course, as you may have guessed by now, being a plumber will likely mean getting licensed, which means fulfilling an apprenticeship. But once you’ve got your credentials and invest in a little bit of marketing, finding work as a plumber will be as easy as picking up the phone when it rings. Simply put, nobody wants their toilet malfunctioning or floors ruined by overflow, and they are willing to pay a premium for immediate service.


Believe it or not, not all handyman opportunities for entrepreneurs involve years of certification. Painting is a good example of a contracting job in this category. However, given the lower bar for those to become painters, finding steady work is much more difficult. It pays to be an efficient and precise painter, which is a talent not everyone is able to fully develop. Those who can get into a groove with painting projects are the ones who can work at a pace necessary to make a good living.


Another handyman opportunity which doesn’t call for licensing is landscaping. For those in regions that see changing seasons, it’ll be important to make yourself useful in the autumn and winter. Another thing to consider with landscaping is the amount of equipment needed for various tasks and the storage requirements for this amount of gear. But in terms of reliable sources of income, landscape work is a great one, since you can always count on the shrubs and grass to grow again.

If you want to become a self-employed handyman running your own small business, there are a variety of specialties you can focus on. While most will require many hours of training to successfully earn a living doing, some can be started almost immediately. Choose one (or several) and get started today.

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by Brian Perry // Brian Perry is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.