A handyman's service is ideal for individuals looking to have their home fixed or maintained cost-effectively. Handymen in Charlotte earn an average hourly wage of $21.50, which is approximately 5% less than what their general contractor counterparts charge for their services. Notwithstanding that handymen are a cheaper option, you must ensure that you hire only a handyman that is experienced and qualified. Doing this will save you from hiring a deceptive handyman.
You should also ask the following questions to ensure that your intended handyman is legitimate.
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Handyman in Charlotte?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Handymen in Charlotte?
- Do You Require a Permit to Complete This Work in Charlotte?
- What Works Can You Do Legally as a Handyman in Charlotte?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Handymen in Charlotte?
The City of Charlotte does not issue handyman licenses. However, any handyman bidding for a project worth more than $30,000 must obtain a general contractor license from the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors. A general contractor license will allow handymen in Charlotte to perform various construction projects, such as structural repairs and demolitions, worth more than $30,000. Per state law, it is a Class 2 misdemeanor for a handyman who is not licensed as a general contractor to bid on a construction project worth more than $30,000.
The type of general contractor license a handyman applies for is determined by the limitation on the license, which includes limited, intermediate, and unlimited. The working capital is a factor that determines the limitation on the general contractor license that a handyman can obtain. To obtain a general contractor license, the handyman will need to meet the following requirements:
Once the handyman has registered their business, they can apply to the North Carolina Licensing Board for a general contractor's license. The applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be at least 18 years old,
- Possess good moral character as to be determined by the state's Licensing Board
- Provide evidence of financial responsibility as determined by the Board or a surety bond based on the license limitation.
- Complete an online license application form and pay the appropriate application fee.
- After the Board approves the application, the applicant will receive an eligibility letter to schedule an exam with PSI. After passing the exam, PSI will contact the Licensing Board to confirm that the handyman has met all examination requirements. The Licensing Board will then issue a contractor license to the handyman.
You can contact the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors at (919) 571-4183 for inquiries regarding the licensing process for handymen obtaining a general contractor license. It is also important to always verify that the handyman you're hiring has a valid license. You can use the find a licensed contractor platform provided by North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors. You can also verify the business registration status of the handyman through the business search portal provided by the North Carolina Secretary of State.
When hiring a handyman for home repairs or improvements, it is important to compare multiple cost estimates of different handymen near you. Doing so will help avoid getting ripped off and also help you choose a handyman most suitable for your home improvement specific needs. Usually, the charges that a handyman will charge for home repairs or improvements are influenced by various factors such as:.
- The scope and nature of the job
- The size of the project
- The cost of materials
- Labor intensity required
- The length of time spent working on the job
Ask your intended handyman for an estimate with a detailed explanation of the cost differences you see in the estimates submitted by the other handymen. Avoid any handyman who is unable to give a satisfactory answer. Ensure that the estimate submitted by your potential handymen is similar to the job scope and includes all of the necessary details. This will help prevent them from over-inflating their rates and then charging you more for the job after it has already started.
Charlotte handymen earn an average wage of $44,710 annually. The table below compares and contrasts the average hourly wages of handymen and other general maintenance and repair workers in Charlotte with those of workers in this industry across North Carolina and other major American cities:Charlotte Handyman Average Hourly Wage$21.50North Carolina Handyman Average Hourly Wage$20.52Los Angeles Handyman Average Hourly Wage$23.74New York City Handyman Average Hourly Wage$25.73Seattle Handyman Average Hourly Wage$26.02Houston Handyman Average Hourly Wage$20.41Chicago Handyman Average Hourly Wage$24.56
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Before you begin a home renovation project, you should confirm whether your project requires a permit. Per North Carolina General Statute 160D-1110, a building permit is required for any construction, renovation, repair, or alteration which costs more than $15,000. It's also required for projects that involve the addition, repair, or replacement of load-bearing structures or components. Nonetheless, handymen commonly carry out certain home improvement works that do not require a permit. This include:
- The repair of non-load bearing components and non-structural repairs.
- Replacement of windows and doors if they remain in the exact location and are the same size.
- Repairing pickets, railings, stair treads, and decking on exterior decks, porches, and balconies.
- Any plumbing equipment or fixture/fitting replacement that does not change equipment size or system capacity. Includes water and drain lines replacement of the same size.
- Water heater replacement as long as it remains in the exact location.
- Vinyl siding replacement as long as the total cost doesn't exceed $15,000.
- Roofing replacement that does not exceed $15,000 uses the same type of materials, and no structural work is performed.
- Repair/replacement of dishwashers, disposals, water heaters, electrical devices, or light fixtures, provided that the work does not include the addition or relocation of wiring.
If a home improvement project in Charlotte requires a residential permit, the handyman or the homeowner must apply to the Mecklenburg County Department of Code Enforcement. The applicant must complete a permit application online and pay all applicable permit processing fees. Before a permit can be issued, the applicant must ensure all relevant plans are submitted for review to the Plan Review Services of the Department of Code Enforcement. When the applicants receive their permits, their projects will be assigned to a residential team for inspections. These inspections are carried out to ensure that the project complies with the North Carolina Building Code.
You can get information regarding home repair permitting and inspection process in the City of Charlotte by contacting the Mecklenburg County Department of Code Enforcement at (980) 314-2633 or in person at:
- 2145 Suttle Avenue
- Charlotte, NC 28208
- Hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
In Charlotte, home improvement contractors like handymen can perform repairs and renovations on residential properties legally, even without a license, as long as the work does not exceed $30,000. If the work exceeds $30,000, the handyman must possess a general contractor license issued by the North Carolina Contractors Licensing Board.
Also work that involves installing, altering, or repairing electrical, plumbing, gas, and mechanical systems typically requires a separate trade license. For instance, handymen that carry out plumbing work without a proper license will be committng a class 2 misdemeanor, which attracts a minimum penalty of 60 days of community punishment and a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail with a $1,000 fine.
Having a competent and experienced home repair or improvement professional is very important. Doing so will give you peace of mind that the job will be done properly. Before hiring a handyman, it is essential that you thoroughly confirm their credentials and experience by contacting references provided by the handyman. Also, before starting a project, you must know the exact cost of the work that the professional will be carrying out. This will allow you to decide the work to be carried out and how it fits your budget. Cost estimates for common Charlotte handyman services are provided below:Artwork hanging$50 - $130Cabinet repair$161 - $422Cabinet refinishing$450 - $2,137Drain unclogging$84 - $381Driveway sealing$50 - $200Drywall repair$60 - $400Electrical appliance installation$80 - $280Faulty fixture repair/replacement$60 - $270Gutter cleaning$70 - $200Home childproofing$100 - $300Lawn care/landscaping maintenance$45 - $380Patio/deck painting$80 - $500Room painting$150 - $600Snow removal$65 - $100TV mounting$75 - $200Residential handyman services$55 - $66 per hourCommercial handyman services$60 - $69 per hour
Although there are no requirements for liability insurance for handymen in the City of Charlotte, they are required to have a surety bond to maintain their licenses. They must maintain a bond of $175,000 for a limited license, $500,000 for an intermediate license, and $1 million for an unlimited license. This is done to provide consumers with financial restitution in cases where the handyman cannot meet their obligations.
However, it is still important to hire a handyman with an active general liability insurance plan. This is especially important since the activities of handymen who handle different tools can lead to injuries and deaths. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, over 70 deaths were recorded among general maintenance and repair workers in the country. There were also over 23,400 workplace injuries reported in the country.
Before hiring a handyman in Charlotte, ensure they have the necessary insurance and bonding documents to protect you against legal and financial liability in the event of work-related injuries. Note that if the person performing the work doesn't have adequate insurance or a bond, you may have to cover the costs of the incident out of pocket. To confirm their insurance status, request their insurance certificate and contact the issuing insurance provider for authentication. If you have any questions about the nature of your handyman's bond status or the requirements of the state's licensing board, then contact the North Carolina Licensing Board at (919) 571-4183.
Before hiring a handyman for a home improvement project, make a cautious effort in determining if they are the right fit for the job. Doing so will help prevent potential scam artists from taking advantage of you. In August 2018, a local news outlet reported that multiple complaints were filed against a contractor for collecting money, abandoning the work midway, and leaving more extensive damage, which left the homeowner's home almost uninhabitable. These bad handymen prey on unsuspecting residents of the City of Charlotte, and some common tactics used by these fraudulent handymen to carry out these scams include:
- The handyman offers low prices for their services but then increases the cost of the project when the project commences by charging way above the market price.
- Using high-pressure tactics and misleading the consumer into thinking that the home repair is urgent.
- Overstating the value of their services and downplaying the need for written contracts.
- They include hidden charges in their contracts and always have no explanation for the charges.
As such, before hiring a handyman in Charlotte, it is essential that you thoroughly research the details of their work and services to ensure that you are getting the best deal. Also, it will help you avoid falling victim to scams. You can take the following precautionary steps:
- Get and compare multiple quotes from different handymen near you before settling for the one most suitable for your project.
- Make sure that the handyman has the necessary licenses to perform the work, especially if the project costs above $30,000. You can utilize the find a licensed contractor platform provided by North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors to verify.
- Avoid handymen who carry out door-to-door solicitation. Instead, get in touch with your friends and family members to get a recommendation. Otherwise, you can use online resources like the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Google Review to find suitable handymen.
- Ensure you request at least three references of previous clients from the handyman. This will help you identify the quality of work that the handyman will provide.
- Avoid paying the full cost of the project before the work begins. Also, avoid paying more than 30% of the total project value as an advance payment. Also, only pay in full after deeming the completed project satisfactory.
- Execute a contract to allow the contractor provide you with a more accurate estimate. Also, it will state the obligations of the handyman like start date, materials to be utilized, and expected date of completion.
Complaints concerning the fraudulent activities of handymen in the City of Charlotte can be filed with the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors online or by sending your complaint by email. The North Carolina Department of Justice's Consumer Protection Division also handles complaints filed by city residents regarding home improvement scams. You can report by completing an online consumer complaint form, or you can contact the Consumer Protection Division via a toll-free number 1-877-5-NO-SCAM for callers within North Carolina and (919) 716-6000 for individuals calling from outside the state.