Employing a handyman in the UK – What jobs can you ask a handyman to do?
The handyman sector has now expanded to cover all but the most rural areas of the UK and via the Internet homeowners are able to easily identify and check the credentials of prospective handyman services.
Ideally the handyman is a man of a very practical nature who is good with his hands, good at problem solving, is methodical and patient in his work approach and is respectful of his customer and their property in which he is working. The handyman enjoys utilising his practical ability, resourcefulness and skill set in surmounting a challenge and is versatile. He will therefore welcome any unusual requests or advice.
You can of course call on a handyman to help with those jobs that require a practical, tradesman like skill set (and tool set!), but are outside of the traditional remit of the tradesman e.g. Putting up shelves, fitting blinds and curtain rails, fitting a wall mounted TV, building flat pack furniture and the like. Handyman Oxford
The handyman can then take care of those awkward ‘odd jobs’ but his resources extend to being able to undertake tradesman tasks. The handyman is likely to have better availability than the tradesman who is generally engaged in larger contracts.
The handyman should be able to undertake minor carpentry, plumbing and electrical work at significantly lower rates than those charged by tradesmen. It becomes essential to check the level of public liability insurance held by the handyman if he is to be engaged in plumbing and electrical work because in the worst case an accident or mistake could prove costly. The handyman would typically hold a £1-2 million pound third party risk policy.
As far is plumbing is concerned the handyman can undertake tasks such as adding an outdoor tap, change a w.c. pan, replace taps, fix leaking taps, plumb in or replace dishwashers or washing machines, vent tumble driers etc.
The handyman is unable to make any changes or modifications to a gas supply and is even unable to replace a gas cooker or heater (i.e. simply unplug or plug in a bayonet fitting) unless a member of the Gas Safe Register which replaced the CORGI gas register on 1 April 2009. Broadly speaking the extent of electrical work that can be carried out by the knowledgeable handyman in the capacity of ‘competent person’ is limited to the following non-notifiable tasks:
- Replacing damaged cable in one circuit
- Replacing a socket box
- Replacing sockets, switches or ceiling roses
Furthermore as long as they are not in kitchens, bathrooms, utility rooms or other ‘special locations’
- Adding light fittings and switches to existing circuits
- Adding sockets or fused spurs to existing ring or radial circuits
Electrical work must be carried out comply with the IEE Wiring Regulations. A phone call can be made to the local building control officer to verify whether the work is notifiable and whether it requires checking by a qualified electrician.