How to Hire a Good Handyman in the City of Oklahoma
At an average charge of $17.97 per hour, 35 percent less than the hourly cost of a general contractor ($23.47), hiring a handyman in Oklahoma City will save you money, time and stress, and ensure you get it done right the first time. With cases of home improvement scammers in Oklahoma City bilking victims of their hard-earned cash, it is best to be cautious about who you entrust your job to. Ask these professional questions to avoid falling for home improvement scams in Oklahoma City:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Handyman in the City of Oklahoma?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Handymen in the City of Oklahoma?
- Do You Require a Permit to Complete This Work in the City of Oklahoma?
- What Works Can You Do Legally as a Handyman in the City of Oklahoma?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Handymen in the City of Oklahoma?
- How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Handyman in the City of Oklahoma
Working as a handyman in Oklahoma City on any renovation, remodeling, repair, or construction project does not require a state license. However, any individual contracting to make or deliver any substantial change or addition, or enhancement of any new, proposed, or existing structure on private land must register as a residential building contractor with the City of Oklahoma. The following must be submitted in order to register as a residential building contractor:
- Insurance against general liability (minimum of $50,000 per occurrence)
- Form for workers' compensation exemption (if applicable)
- Compensation for workers (minimum of $100,000 per incident)
- Affidavit of immigration (if applicable)
- Payment of $100 for building contractor registration
A handyman who is obliged by the city to register but operates without doing so is considered guilty of a Class 'a' offense, which attracts a fine of not more than $500. Further offenses will be charged as a Class 'b' offense, which carries a maximum fine of $1200 and a maximum sentence of 6 months in prison. You can confirm your handyman's registration by using the Oklahoma City Citizen Portal.
It is also important that your handyman has a business license to operate in Oklahoma City. To get a business license, the handyman has to decide on a business structure and a business name, which may require the business to file a Trade Name with the Oklahoma Secretary of State to protect the use of that business name within Oklahoma. They may also need to establish a Federal Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service for the business and the bank may require it to set up business banking accounts and services.
For more information regarding licensing in Oklahoma City, contact the Department of Development Services at:
- Business Licensing Office
- 420 W Main Street,
- 8th floor
- Oklahoma City, OK 73102
- Phone: (405) 297-2606
The average cost of hiring a handyman in Oklahoma City is usually impacted by a number of factors, including the nature of the task, the type and cost of supplies required, and the expected labor requirements of the job. Before deciding on the best handyman to hire, it is a good idea to get quotations from at least two or three different handymen in Oklahoma City. This is also a good way to avoid being taken advantage of by con artists or handymen that overcharge for their services.
Handymen in Oklahoma City make an average of $37,380 per year. The table below compares and contrasts the average hourly wages of handymen and other general maintenance and repair workers in the City of Oklahoma with those of workers in this industry across the State of Oklahoma and major American cities:Oklahoma City Handyman Average Hourly Wage$17.97Oklahoma State Handyman Average Hourly Wage$17.83San Diego Handyman Average Hourly Wage$22.57New York City Handyman Average Hourly Wage$24.50Phoenix Handyman Average Hourly Wage$20.64Houston Handyman Average Hourly Wage$20.96Chicago Handyman Average Hourly Wage$23.38
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
As a homeowner, it is your job to ensure that your handyman follows all building and construction standards that may apply to your home repair project. According to the Oklahoma Uniform Building Code, when building, altering, repairing, enlarging, moving, or demolishing any primary or ancillary structure in the City of Oklahoma, a building permit is required. A building permit can be obtained online using the City of Oklahoma Citizen Portal.
Each permit issued for residential or commercial construction attracts an administrative fee of $0.50, which is collected and remitted to the Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission. You will receive a mandatory inspections list along with your permit; once you have received them, you are ready for inspections. To request an inspection, use the IVR Automated Phone System at (405) 316-5656. For more information about building permits in Oklahoma City, call the Development Center Plan Review at (405) 297-2525.
You might be asking what makes a handyman different from a contractor. Since these two types of professionals are not interchangeable, it is crucial to understand the distinction before hiring one for your next home renovation or repair project in Oklahoma City. A handyman differs from a contractor in that a handyman is a generalist who can install a ceiling fan and repair a door in your living room with equal ease. A contractor, on the other hand, is an expert in a specific area of home services, such as plumbing or electrical repair. A handyman can also handle little work like art hanging or showerhead replacement, whereas a contractor is needed for larger projects. In most cases, a handyman will charge less per hour or per project than a contractor. Before making your final hiring decision, you may wish to compare price quotations from different providers.
While city handymen are not required to have occupational licenses, it is always in your best interest to ensure that the handyman you hire has the experience and equipment needed to finish the job. Working with professional handymen can also assist you in identifying tasks that require specific knowledge. The following are price estimates for some of the services provided by Oklahoma City handymen:Artwork hanging$60 - $125Cabinet repair$148 - $224Drain unclogging$89 - $406Driveway sealing$0.20 - $0.41 per square foot (residential)Drywall repair$40 - $60 per hourElectrical appliance installation$101.40 - $142.81Faulty light fixture repair/replacement$32.00 - $169.00Gutter cleaning$60 - $200Home childproofing$90.00 - $907.00Lawn care/landscaping maintenance$80.83 - $120.83 (1 acre)Patio/deck painting$1.79 - $3.81 per square footSnow removal$100.00 - $150.00 (residential)TV mounting$147.00 - $688.00Residential handyman services$56.00 - $65.72 per hour (plus parts and materials)Commercial handyman services$50.13 - $58.34 per hour (plus materials)
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, general maintenance and repair employees in many cities across the country, including handymen in Oklahoma City, suffered 70 fatal work-related injuries and 23,400 nonfatal work-related injuries in 2020 alone. Making sure your handyman is properly insured therefore protects you from any financial and legal obligations if something goes wrong during the course of your home repair project. Damage to your property by the handyman and injuries to the handyman or other third parties as a result of the repair work in question are examples of these situations.
Even though handymen in Oklahoma City are not required by law to carry insurance, it is always in your best interest, as a homeowner, to make sure that your chosen handyman carries, at the very least, general liability insurance. Accidental damages or injuries are covered under this policy. To check the legitimacy of this insurance, get evidence of coverage and contact the relevant insurance provider. Also, according to Oklahoma's Administrative Workers' Compensation Act, if your handyman has employees, they are mandated to maintain workers' compensation insurance for these employees. As a result, if your handyman employs an assistant or apprentice, you should require proof of insurance as well. For more information regarding insurance in Oklahoma City, please contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at (405) 521-2828 or visit their office at:
- Oklahoma Insurance Department
- 400 North East
- 50th Street,
- Oklahoma City, OK 73105
In 2020, a local Oklahoma City news media reported that a man accused of stealing thousands of dollars from Oklahoma residents in exchange for roofing repairs that was never performed was facing seven felony charges. Storm Shield Roofing and Restoration, the accused's company, was used to lure consumers, including several senior individuals, under the premise of roof replacements or repairs, which the company then refused to finish or return cash received. The accused used this pattern of deception to steal roughly $40,000 from the victims in several incidents.
It is important to note that anyone can fall victim to contractor scams, especially when they are unsuspecting and unaware of the common tricks these scammers employ. To prevent falling victim to home repair scams, make sure you find a handyman in Oklahoma that operates within the constraints of the law. Con artists in the home improvement industry typically utilize the following tactics to defraud unwary homeowners of their hard-earned money:
- Pretending to be building inspectors or other city officials in order to demand rapid inspections and repairs for a fee.
- Checking out neighborhoods for prospective victims, especially after natural disasters, and then targeting vulnerable households
- Persuading homeowners that formal contracts are not necessary
- Obtaining funds to pay for services by enticing the homeowner to work with a specific lender or to apply for a reverse mortgage.
- Selling a variety of handyman-related services using high-pressure techniques
- Charging exorbitant fees
- Performing labor that is not up to par
The following are some tips to avoid becoming a victim of a home improvement scam in Oklahoma City:
- Conduct a comprehensive web search for the handyman's reviews using search engines and social media sites. Use keywords like 'scam' against their names when searching. You may also look for handyman ratings and recommendations on credible websites like the Better Business Bureau.
- Check to see if the handyman has a website or social media platform with photos of their completed work. These are usually signs that the handyman is running a legitimate company, especially if they connect with clients on social media.
- During interviews with handymen, ask probing questions such as how they manage change orders and how long they have been in business.
- When making your hiring decision, get numerous estimates for your project and avoid offers that appear too good to be true.
- Set aside time to look into different handyman services, and do not be afraid to go with your gut if you believe a handyman is untrustworthy.
- Request a copy of your handyman's insurance policy, and then call the insurer to verify that the coverage is valid. This can safeguard you from being held responsible for any workplace incidents.
- Avoid making cash payments and limit down payments to 10% of the project's worth or $1,000, whichever is less.
- Any handyman you want to engage should be able to provide you with up to three solid local references, and you should be wary of anyone who cannot.
- Ensure that you receive a signed and well-detailed contract for the project, which you should thoroughly check and understand before signing.
Complaints or reports of fraudulent home improvement-related services can be lodged at the Oklahoma Attorney General Office's Consumer Protection Unit by calling (405) 521-2029. Alternatively, interested parties may download and complete a consumer complaint form, which should then be mailed to the following address:
- Office of the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Unit
- 313 North East
- Oklahoma City, OK 73105
You can also file a report of handymen scams with the Oklahoma City Police Department by contacting it at (405) 297-1000 or visiting its office at:
- Oklahoma City Police Department
- 700 Concord Drive
- Oklahoma City, OK 73102