In the City of Denver, hiring a handyman to do home improvement work costs $22.84 per hour, which is 16 percent less than hiring a general contractor to do the same job. While employing a handyman is less expensive than hiring a contractor, it is always in your best interest to thoroughly vet the person you intend to engage before signing any contract.
You should ask the following questions to avoid choosing the wrong individual for your home improvement project:
- Are You Licensed To Practice as a Handyman in the City of Denver?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Handymen in the City of Denver?
- Do You Require a Permit To Complete This Work in the City of Denver?
- What Works Can You Do Legally as a Handyman in the City of Denver?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Handymen in the City of Denver?
- How To File a Complaint Against a Bad Handyman in the City of Denver
Handymen are not required to have an occupational license before they can work in the City of Denver. However, in order to carry out construction or home improvement projects that require city-issued permits, these professionals must obtain the necessary contractor licenses and certificates from the city's Community Planning and Development Services, as required by the city's Building and Fire Code.
A fine of up to $999, 300 days in jail, or both will be imposed on any handyman who completes a construction project or home improvement work that requires a contractor license or certificate without first acquiring the necessary license or certificate for the work.
For additional information on the types of construction or home improvement work that can be executed by licensed contractors alone, contact the Community Planning and Development Services at (720) 865-2770.
Handymen are encouraged to apply for and obtain a contractor license before undertaking specific home improvement jobs in the city. This will protect them from statutory penalties imposed on anyone practicing without the appropriate contractor license by the city.
However, before applying for a contractor license in the city, applicants must have a supervisor certificate, employ a supervisor certificate holder, or hold a Colorado electrical or plumbing license. Failure to meet any of the aforementioned conditions will make the applicant ineligible to apply for a contractor license.
Applicants who wish to obtain a supervisor certificate can call (720) 865-2770 to find out more about the requirements and procedures for obtaining the certificate. Once the supervisor certificate has been approved and issued, the holder can now apply for the appropriate contractor license.
Contractor license applications in the city can be completed online, by mail, or in person. To use the online method, applicants must first create a profile on the epermit portal before beginning the application process. After completing the profile, applicants can apply for a license or certificate by clicking contractor licensing. Select the relevant contractor license type and click continue application after that.
To complete an application for contractor license by mail, applicants are required to download, complete, and send a contractor license application form to:
- Community Planning and Development Department
- 201 West. Colfax Avenue
- Department 205
- Denver, CO 80202
Alternatively, applicants can decide to submit the completed contractor license application form in person at the Contractor Licensing Counter located at:
- Wellington Webb Municipal
- Office Building
- 201 West. Colfax Avenue
- Denver, CO 80202
Regardless of the application process, applicants must complete a supervisor statement of responsibility form, proof of company registration with the Secretary of State or an affidavit of lawful presence, and other relevant papers.
In the City of Denver, proof of business registration is a necessary requirement for obtaining a contractor license. Therefore, anyone who wants to work as a handyman or contractor must meet the city's business requirements.
These requirements include filing a business registration with the Colorado Secretary of State if the business is a limited liability company, partnership or general partnership, and corporation. However, if the business is a sole proprietorship, the handyman or contractor will file a trade name with the Secretary of State.
Other requirements include complying with business tax responsibilities, obtaining proper insurance for the business, and complying with the state wage law. Queries concerning the requirements and procedure for filing a business registration can be directed to the Colorado Secretary of State at (303) 894-2200.
When considering a handyman for your home repairs in the City of Denver, it is important to check their honesty and integrity before finalizing any agreement. This is crucial because hiring the wrong person will not only affect the quality of the work but also the cost of the work.
One of the best ways to find an honest and competent handyman for your work is by comparing estimates from different handymen in the city. Comparing estimates from different handymen will ensure that you do not pay more than necessary for your project.
However, when comparing estimates you should always keep in mind that each handyman's price will vary. As such, you should always find out which estimate represents a complete project scope, and which price value matches the scope of the work to be done.
Furthermore, do not assume that the lowest bidder is honest since unscrupulous individuals use low bids to attract unsuspecting citizens.
Denver handymen earn an average wage of $47,500, annually. The table below compares and contrasts the average hourly wages of handymen and other general maintenance and repair workers in Denver with those of workers in this industry across the State of Colorado and major American cities:Denver Handyman Average Hourly Wage$22.84Colorado Handyman Average Hourly Wage$22.17Houston Handyman Average Hourly Wage$20.96Boston Handyman Average Hourly Wage$25.61Detroit Handyman Average Hourly Wage$20.28Los Angeles Handyman Average Hourly Wage$22.77New York City Handyman Average Hourly Wage$24.50
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Per the City of Denver Building and Fire Code, you need a permit to erect, construct, enlarge, remodel, repair, improve, convert, or demolish any building, structure, or utility in the city. Permits for home improvement or construction work are issued by the city's Community Planning and Development Services, and only homeowners or contractors are eligible to apply for these permits.
However, according to section 130.3 of the city's Building and Fire Code, not all home improvements or construction work in the city requires a permit. In the city of Denver, the following home improvement projects are exempt from permitting:
- Installation and repair of painting, papering, tiling, flooring, cabinets and countertops
- Fixing prefabricated swimming pools accessory to one- and two-family dwellings
- Replacement of glass that are not in hazardous locations
- Replacement of plumbing fixtures
- Replacement of awning fabrics
- Replacement of windows with no structural alterations and no change in size of opening in one and two family dwellings and townhomes
- Installation of temporary motion picture, television, or theater stage
While it is not every home improvement work that requires a permit in the city, it is crucial to ask the individual you intend to hire for the work if a permit is needed. They can obtain a permit for your home improvement or construction work by visiting the epermit webpage. Note that applicants must create an account with their preferred username and password in order to complete an online permit application.
Before applying for a permit, applicants will be required to upload details of their contractor license. As a result, applicants should double-check that their contractor license is eligible for the work permit they are seeking. Once this has been confirmed, they can now apply for a permit, upload the necessary plans and documents, and pay the applicable fees.
A permit will be issued to an applicant if the city's Community Planning and Development Services approves the uploaded documents after close review. However, before work begins on the building, applicants who have been issued a permit must print and display it at the job site. Applicants can use e-Permits to arrange inspections when they are ready as construction progresses.
There is no law requiring handymen operating in the City of Denver to obtain an occupational license. As such, these professionals are legally permitted to execute any home improvement work that does not require an occupational license in the city.
Handymen in the city can also provide a wide range of home improvement work that do not require city-issued permits because permits are only issued to licensed contractors and homeowners in the city.
If a project requires an occupational license or city-issued permit, you should hire a licensed professional or ask your handyman to obtain the necessary license and permits before starting the job. Handymen that are interested in obtaining a contractor license in the city can contact the Community Planning and Development Services at (720) 865-2770.
Although handymen in the City of Denver do not need an occupational license to provide most of their services, it is your responsibility as a homeowner to ensure that the individual that you intend to hire has the requisite skill to complete the job. Hiring a handyman that has the skill to get the job done protects you from liabilities that may result from incompetency.
Listed below are cost estimates for some of the services that handymen in Denver offer:Driveway sealing$50 - $250Drywall repair$50 - $300Artwork hanging$37 - $170Cabinet repair$50 - $420Drain unclogging$70 - $200Electrical appliance installation$80 - $250Faulty fixture repair/replacement$40 - $200Gutter cleaning$55 - $200Home childproofing$80 - $300Lawn care/landscaping maintenance$50 - $300Patio/deck painting$130 - $400Snow removal$35 - $200TV mounting$37 - $160Residential handyman services$61 - $80 per hour (plus materials)Commercial handyman services$65 - $100 per hour (plus materials)
Compared to other professionals, construction, maintenance, and repair workers in the State of Colorado are more vulnerable to falls, slips, and trips, which can result in fatal injuries while on the job.
As such, even though there is no law stating that handymen must carry an insurance policy before operating in the City of Denver, it is always best if you hire an individual that has obtained the necessary insurance coverage to protect you from financial liabilities that may result from bodily injuries, property damage, and deaths that occurs during your job.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, general maintenance and repair workers suffered 70 fatal work-related injuries and 23,400 nonfatal work-related injuries. Given the startling estimates for fatal and non-fatal work injuries in general maintenance and repair in 2020 alone, you should constantly bear in mind that fatal injuries can happen at any point during the project, therefore it is better to hire someone who is insured.
To prevent being held accountable for these injuries, it is usually a good idea to ask if the person you are planning to hire is insured. It is also worth noting that dishonest individuals may claim to have insurance when they actually do not. As a result, you must always ask for their insurance certificate and contact the insurance company or agency that issued the certificate.
In June 2020, a refugee family in the City of Denver reported that an unscrupulous individual scammed their mother of $6,000 in cash for home repairs. According to Fox31 news, all attempts to contact the alleged contractor were unsuccessful, due to a lack of reliable information.
One of the biggest tasks facing anyone in need of a home improvement or construction service in the City of Denver is getting the right person for the job. This is particularly important as there are many unscrupulous individuals posing as legitimate contractors in order to steal from homeowners who are in need of home repairs or construction services.
To ensure that you do not fall victim to home improvement scammers, you should always follow these expert tips:
- Avoid doing business with anyone who comes to your door uninvited. If you need their services, take the company's information and tell them that you will contact them after you research the company
- Ask for referrals from neighbors, family, friends or members of the homeowners association you belong to
- Be wary of handymen that do not have a physical office. Legitimate handymen usually provide a business card carrying the company's address and office telephone number
- Get at least three written bids from different handymen before signing an agreement with anyone
- Check third-party websites such as Better Business Bureau to see if any complaint has been filed against the handyman in the past
- Ask the handyman to confirm if they will be willing to obtain a permit for their services where necessary
- Always ask the handyman if they are carrying an active liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance
- Insist on a written contract that lists materials to be used, charges, costs, and start and completion dates.
- Make sure you carefully read the contracts before signing
- Do not pay more than one third of the total construction price upfront
If you believe you have been scammed by your handyman, call the Denver's District Attorney fraud hotline at (720) 913-9179. Similarly, you can report home improvement scams to the Office of the Attorney General Colorado online.
However, homeowners must understand that filing a report with any of these agencies is not a guarantee that they will receive monetary compensation. If you seek full monetary compensation for what you lost to the handyman or contractor you can file a report with the appropriate court.
If the total money involved in the contract is $7,500 or less, you can file a civil action against the handyman in the Denver County Small Claims Court. However, it is always good if you consult your attorney before filing a civil action against anyone in court.