In Singapore, most homeowners need to engage a handyman at least once every year for maintenance work of their home.
A handyman (or handywoman) is a skilled generalist, a jack-of-all-trades having the knowledge and experience to perform minor repairs or maintenance tasks on residential or commercial sites.
Handyman Services and Cost Factors
The rates and services of a handyman may differ a lot depending on factors such as their availability, skills, urgency of the projects. How much you pay your handyman will depend on several factors:
Scale of repair or maintenance work
This is of no surprise, that the larger the project, the more time and effort spent, the higher the cost. How big of a project can be determined by several factors – time and effort to get the materials, specific brand of products, special tools or equipment or knowledge needed for the project.
More experienced handymen can estimate how long or how much resources a job will take before they start. Some handymen have certain jobs they charge a flat fee for as well. Discuss your project in detail with your handyman ahead of time to establish the price.
Small projects are simple tasks such as replacing a light switch and outlet. Other activities that are considered small includes repairing a leaky faucet, hanging a picture frame to TV mounting.
As a rule of thumb, if it requires simple hand tools and takes no more than 1 to 2 hours, it’s a small job.
Medium projects take more time and resources, activities include repairing drywall involves spackle, a putty knife and attaching support material if the damage is large enough. Hanging shelves can also be a medium job as shelves must be properly anchored into studs.
Medium projects typically take between 2 and 4 hours to finish.
Larger projects certainly the most time, from half a day to even a few days to complete. These are the most involved of handyman jobs and include wiring for a home theater, installing heating and cooling registers, wall repair or installing a kitchen sink with all of the elements.
As a rule of thumb, if you are stuck between hiring a contractor or a handyman for a particular project, it is probably considered a large job.
Example: Add locks to certain interior doors, install gate on stairway for kids and pets, and turn a cubby into a linen closet all in one visit.
Typical Cost for Handyman Projects
- Small Jobs
- 1-2 hours, $77-$154 average
- Medium Jobs
- 2-4 hours, $154-$308 average
- Large Jobs
- 4+ hours, $308 on up.
Keep in mind, that if the job is big, requiring $500 a day or more, or includes the use of heavy machinery (bobcats, front-end loaders, etc.) you may want to hire a contractor instead.
You can find out more by calling up a few local handyman services in Singapore.
Experience is very valuable for a handyman, and their rates can be based on their level of expertise.
Experienced handymen may charge a higher rate, but take half the time to do a job than a less experienced pro and in effect you are probably going to save more by hiring costlier but more experienced handyman for a middle to large sized project.
Complexity of the Job
The more complicated the job, the longer it will probably take and the more you’ll pay for labor.
A good handyman will be able to tell you from the start if there are aspects of the job they can’t handle well.
In those cases, you’ll need a contractor or licensed specialist.
Simple jobs are often small jobs, but even some larger jobs can be fairly simple. Changing an interior door knob is easy and a “small” job while sanding and re-hanging an interior door is a “medium” job, yet neither is particularly complex.
Removing and replacing an old toilet, on the other hand, involves heavy lifting, plumbing knowledge and cleanup. If you aren’t sure about the complexity of the job, ask the handyman you are interviewing about what’s involved.
Emergency Handyman Services
Should you require emergency handyman services, you can reach out to local handyman directory on SGHomeNeeds directory and instantly contact them.
How Do Handymen Charge?
Handymen in Singapore can charge by the hour or a flat rate by the job.
Some may charge for travel time, and some may charge a markup on parts they buy for your job.
When gathering estimates, this is something you want to know early on.
By the Hour
The average hourly rate of a handyman in Singapore varies depending on their experience, whether there are any additional materials that is needed to be purchased in order to get the job done. An inexperienced handyman may be cheaper but require more time to complete the job.
Singapore handyman prices may vary from $50 to $100 per hour, but this is only a ballpark figure. It all really depends on the project and what is agreed by the handyman.
By the Job
Some handymen charge at a rate flat, and this is good because the price and results have already been determined at the start. These are usually larger jobs such as hanging chandeliers, mounting wall TVs, installing a toilet or a ceiling fan, or other such involved work.
Handyman Cost Differences
The more complex a job is, the more likely it is to have complications. Also, some jobs can take a couple of days if preparation hasn’t been done. If you break it down, billing by the job can sometimes mean you are paying higher per hour if a handyman works quickly. However, some jobs take longer and you wind up paying less by the hour.
So for example:
If a flat rate job is $150 and the handyman gets the job done in an hour, you’ve paid him $150 an hour.
However, if the flat rate job is $150 and complications cause the job to take four hours, you’re paying $37.50 an hour.
In general, an experienced handyman knows how long a job should take and may give you a flat rate based on that. If he knows a particular job will take about an hour, he may present his hourly rate as a flat rate.
Common Handyman Job Prices
In Singapore, prices are typically charged based on the job. Below are some of the more common handyman job prices in Singapore which you can take reference from. Do take note there are many factors involved and this only serves as an estimate for your home project:
Here are some examples of handyman services and prices that are often billed by the job:
General Home Services
- Installing Shelves/Blinds/Mirrors/Blinds = $50 to $70
- Installing TV brackets = $50 to $90
- Installing wall mounted fan = $60 to $120
- Installing a ceiling fan = $80 to $150
- Installing a chandelier = $90 to $120
- Installing mirrors = $50 to $70
- Installing frames and pictures =$50 to $70
- Assemble furniture = $80 to $120
- Assembling chairs and tables = $50 to $70
- Replacing the Door Knob = $60 to $150
- Replacing the Bedroom Door = $100 to $380
- Replacing leaked pipes = $50 to $100
- Replacing or installing a toilet bowl = $160 to $200
- Replacing or installing water taps = $40 to $60
- Replacing or installing shower sets = $60 to $80
- Clearing basin, kitchen, or toilet bowl = $100 to $200
- Replacing or installing instant heater = $60 to $100
- Replacing or installing big heater = $100 to $150
- Replacing light fittings / light bulbs / switch socket outlet = $50 to $7
- HDB painting service for 3 room = $980 to $1280
- HDB painting service for 4 room = $1080 t2 $1480
- HDB painting service for 5 room = $1480 to 1580
- Executive HDB painting service for 5 room = $1580 to $1780
- Painting service for 1 room = $280 to $580
Finding the Right Handyman
The right handyman can save you lots of time, effort for all your current and future home projects.
We have covered many commonly-asked questions when it comes to hiring a handyman.
Here we share some more important tips before hiring a handyman:
- Ratings and reviews: You can easily view ratings and reviews of reliable handyman services on SGHomeNeeds.
- Compare value and pricing: Talk to at least 3 handymen before fixating on hiring a handyman. This will give you a reasonable range to learn what a typical job like yours should involve and cost.
- Work experience: You can ask them for experience in similar repair projects as well. More experienced handyman tend to have done projects similar to yours and can potentially save you tonnes of headaches.
- Ask about rates up front. Some handymen charge by the hour, often with a minimum, while others may also have jobs that they use a flat rate for.
- Get estimates in writing. While can be impossible to confirm the pricing beforehand, it can be helpful if you state in writing as much as possible what can be confirmed. In this scenario, even if the job turns into something more than originally discussed, costs is something that can be traced back to ensure you are not being ripped off. For example, a handyman hired to clean your rain gutters and downspouts may find pieces that need replacing due to corrosion. They should advise you of the need before beginning any such further work.
- Check for liability insurance. This is to protect yourself should he or she get hurt on the job.
- Check for any complaints. Be sure to read the complaints if possible. Sadly, some people can be unreasonable or expect too much from others and will file complaints out of vindictiveness.
What Jobs Should I Hire a Handyman For?
A handyman is a skilled generalist that can do most of the smaller tasks a home needs. Below are a few traits of handymen:
- A handyman can take care of numerous small jobs and sometimes works with contractors on large projects, especially when time is of the essence.
- A handyman can be well-versed with many kinds of skills and jobs, and can help with everything from replacing your thermostat to paving a new walkway.
- They can handle most jobs that you may not have the time or ability to do yourself.
Contractors usually do bigger sized projects, projects that require more time and effort.
Some jobs may seem simple enough — turning your attic into an office or a spare bedroom, a larger picture window in your living room — but often require quite a bit more knowledge.
A good rule of thumb is that if your project is going to cost over $500 a day and take more than a day or two, you might want to hire a contractor.
These projects are usually fairly big. They will also be more likely to require permits and inspections, and will often require a crew of workers to accomplish.
If you project requires any of the following, you need a contractor:
- Repairing an electrical system such as replacing a breaker box or replacing wiring in the walls or ceiling
- Any air conditioning work beyond routine maintenance
- Adding livable space such as a room addition or converting an attic or basement into a livable space
- Major interior design/home remodelling
- New plumbing
- New electrical work
- Anything that affects the structure of your house.
The list goes on.
It is generally useful to check check with your local regulations to see if your project is required to be done by a licensed contractor.
Although it’s more expensive than hiring a handyman, hiring a contractor is a way to make sure that things are done safely and up to code.
Should I hire a contractor or a handyman?
Handymen typically specialise in odd, smaller jobs. These smaller jobs can range from fixing a broken tap, replacing a broken switch to clearing the pipes.
People searching for these people typically call them “electrical handyman”, “handyman electrician”, “handyman plumber”.
Contractors may have a team consisting of subcontractors who handle specialized jobs within the larger project. They are expected to be knowledgeable about permits and other such technicalities.
To determine if you can use a handyman instead of a fully-licensed contractor, ask yourself the following:
- Could I do it myself if I only had the time?
- Could I do it myself if I only had the knowledge or ability?
- Should this take less than a day?
- Should this cost less than $500?
- Can this be done by only one or two people?
- Can this be done without a permit?
Answering “yes” to these usually means that your project can be done by a handyman.
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