3 ways you can make extra money as a handyman

June 27, 2022 6 min read

3 ways you can make extra money as a handyman

Are you looking to expand your handyman business and need ideas about what projects you can offer your clients? We've put together a list of different projects a handyman can take on to help you attract future clients.

This list is pretty long, with a lot of options. Not all options will work for you. 

First, let's look at a few ways you can determine which services and skills you should look at offering to your customers.

Choosing your services. 

You cannot do everything. Some activities will require special licensing before you can do them as part of your handyman services. 

You won't be able to offer these services in most areas without a special license:

  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • HVAC

Look for your state's contractors' board website and start reading about all the laws associated with a handyman business. You should be able to find a FAQ section somewhere that's geared toward handyman projects involving small repairs and maintenance.

Make a note of everything and make sure you understand what your limitations are. For instance, your state may say you cannot do jobs over $1,000 without a contractor's license. ''

Don't worry. There are plenty of small repairs and maintenance jobs you can do if you have to stay under this amount.

Make a list of everything you know how to do. 

What are all the possible services you can offer right now? Begin by jotting down them all. It will be quite extensive once you get started. 

And that's okay. You'll narrow this list down later as you go through the rest of the preparation.

Just one caveat. Stay within your existing skillset. Taking on work that you're not honestly qualified for can get you into trouble fast.

Know your ideal customer.

Make it your priority right now to deliver a professional service at a professional rate. Which customers can you expect to value good service well enough to pay fair rates? 

Never lower your rates to get customers.

Not every customer will be a good fit for your services. Taking the time now to avoid the customers who do not value your time and effort will help you avoid taking on bad customers later on. 

Choose your customer base according to factors relating to your services and the quality you provide:

  • Can this customer afford to pay professional rates?
  • How far away does this customer live?
  • Does this customer care about quality, or does this person just want a patch job?

Set your goals and target customers who meet those goals. When you work for someone who you enjoy working for and who values you, you're happier, and they're happier. You'll be rewarded with better reviews, referrals, and repeat business. 

These are the people you're going to meet face to face with often. Do your best to please them and not everyone. When you try to please everyone, you'll struggle financially and emotionally, and neither of you will be satisfied with your work.

What do you WANT to do?

Running a handyman business is like anything else. You have to be dedicated to making it work, and sometimes you'll work harder at it than you would anything else. 

You must be self-motivated. And you must keep that level of self-motivation high.

If you take on offering services you don't like doing over and over again, you're going to jeopardize that level of self-motivation. 

Just like with any business, you have to maintain self-control and not slack off. Filling your days with jobs that you enjoy performing helps make staying on schedule easier.

A handyman service business allows you to be physically active, help people solve their problems, and get happily paid for providing them comfort and solutions after a job well done. 

Putting it all together.

Here are some jobs you can add to your list. After you've looked at everything you can possibly do, start scratching off everything you don't want to do for any amount of money. Then, scratch off items that don’t meet the requirements you set above. 

What's left over is a good list of ideas to let people know you're available for. 

Possible handyman services to offer.

Lawn Mowing Services;

This may not be one of those jobs you want to offer everyone, but we're pretty sure you have the equipment for this. Offering your services for mowing lawns to people who are too old to do it for themselves or who otherwise cannot make decent fill-in work during the slow times.

Snow Shoveling and Sidewalk Cleaning Services:

Just like lawn mowing, these extra services that keep the sidewalks clean and clear can also make great fill-in projects during the lean months. Don't forget to check with area businesses to keep their storefronts clean during the winter months and after summer storms.

Light Painting Services:

From fences to decks, homeowners need paint touch-ups around the yard. Some homeowners prefer to hire these services out to others.

Build & Sell Useful Items

Instead of sitting on your backside worrying about how you didn't get a job in for today, start building something you can sell directly instead. Small items like simple bar stools, cutting boards, knick-knack boxes, small shelves, and more won't take up much inventory space in your workshed and can be sold locally. 

Start offering homemade furniture.

A fuller version of the direct sales option is to use your garage to build a wide range of products—rocking chairs, end tables, shelving, etc. Your investment in this can be pretty low, while the return can be high. 

Refurbish old furniture.

You can also acquire old furniture on the cheap and restore it without a huge expense. You can sell the refurbished furniture locally or online, which can become a good source of extra weekly income once you start.

Minor Home Repairs

Some small fix-it jobs won't require licenses. Does someone need one strip of siding replaced? You may be able to do that. Do you need to be licensed to change the kitchen waste disposal? Possibly not. Take the time to go through the laws and make note of every small home repair job you can think of that you're allowed to do for a customer. When you ask someone if they need help around the house, you'll have the information you need to say, "I can help you."

Yard waste removals.

Many homeowners are still unsure about how to handle leaf litter in their yard. Be the answer to their problem by offering to rake it up and haul it away so they don't have to think about it. 

Mounting TVs and Ceiling Fans.

These are usually under general skills. Always double check with your state handyman laws. Many homeowners don't enjoy or have the skills needed to feel confident doing these jobs on their own. You can give them the peace of mind of hiring someone with the proper physical ability and tools.

Picture hanging services.

Believe it or not, not all men are fascinated with finding a stud. As a professional picture hanger, you can help homeowners avoid future accidents by hanging the heavy artwork in the right place. With a few simple tools you probably already have on hand, you can help them make their living space inviting.

Upgrading light fixtures.

After you check with the homeowner and local laws to verify the job in question does not require a liscence, you may find you can offer your services to a homeowner who's changing their lights out for a new style. 

Dumpster loading.

When it comes time to have a good clear out, whether for getting the basement ready for an overhaul or preparing for a move, dumpster loading is a huge task, homeowners could use an extra set of hands to help haul stuff out to their dumpster. Not a pretty job, but one of those needs you can use to fill gaps during a slow month. 

Popcorn ceiling removal.

This is one of those jobs most homeowners don't want to take on themselves. Add this to your arsenal of services. Just limit how much you do this one for any one customer, as a whole house ceiling removal would probably cost enough that you'd need a contractors's license.

As you can see, the number of jobs you can do for customers is quite extensive. With some thought, you should be able to find another set of services you can offer and help your handyman business bring home a steady income.

Choose some to advertise your services with and see how much interest you get. If you think this is something you'd like to get into full-time, consider getting a contractor's license with your state to open up more options for you.