Handyman hourly rate... what should it be?

Question Icon
Posted by: from Drumbo
3/1/2019 at 12:50:00 PM


My husband recently started his own handyman business in the Kitchener/Cambridge/Waterloo area (Ontario, just outside of the GTA). He starting charging $25/hr and then now sometimes charges $30/hr. I feel that this is not enough given his extensive experience and skill.

If he has liability insurance, and we will be registering for WSIB and HST very soon, does that qualify him to charge more? What should he be charging for his services.

He is very busy and has had a lot of returning clients, everyone has been sharing his name with their friends and family as they are so happy with his work. Most of the jobs he is doing are larger renovation jobs that take longer to complete, ie: full kitchen renovations, bathroom renovations, dry-walling entire floors of homes, that kind of thing.

He is also not marking up the cost of materiel's at all, is that something he should be doing as a Handyman?

Any advise or insight would be appreciated!

User Icon
Date/Time3/1/2019 at 2:10:47 PM

He is charging too low. Atleast $50-$100 per hr. Clients need tk understand that he needs to pay for gas and time is very valuable. Try to aim $500 -$1000 per day.hope this helps

User Icon
Date/Time3/1/2019 at 2:11:39 PM


I'm a handyman in Alberta and not too sure of pricing for Ontario, but I think that the pricing seems to be low. I know of some handyman charging upwards to $65 hourly for their services. It just matters on the market you are in.

It's really a choice on material markup, but I mark up my material as you have to take the time to pick up, and pay the interest on it if paying by credit card. Amount of markup is up to owner. Generally 10-15% is a reasonable amount.

Suggestion to maybe charge out by piece work instead of hourly in some cases is a good way to go to make a bit more money and not worry about hours to do a job.

Personally I do by the piece for tiling, flooring, painting and things like that.

Hope this helps.


User Icon
Oscar from Duarte Tile in Hamilton
Date/Time3/1/2019 at 2:16:36 PM

That's the right rate for a handyman. But you should put gas, freight truck and mileage.

Handyman they get less pay than tradesman.

I pay my tile guys 35/h

Get your license and charge more than 50

Good luck for u and your business.

Duarte Tile

User Icon
Date/Time3/1/2019 at 2:23:34 PM


He is charging to low. I charge $65 an hour with a $35 call out fee. So the first hour is $100. You have insurance etc to pay for. Piece work is good for bigger jobs. What I do then is figure roughly how long its going to take me and times that by the time I quote. I then give a discount. Most often then not I finish ahead of schedule and make more money. As for supplies I charge what I pay. I then add it to the invoice as a reimbursable expense, so I don't have to collect tax. If you need anymore help I'd be happy to answer.

User Icon
Date/Time3/1/2019 at 3:29:53 PM

Personally I charge minimum 60/h and 120$ minimum for the first hour so that if it's a quick job that's less than 2h it's still worth my while to go. If people don't want to pay the price they aren't worth doing work for. Make it worth your while

User Icon
Date/Time3/1/2019 at 3:58:57 PM

I agree with the majority of the other responses you've received. I would suggest that $25.00 to $35.00 and hour is way too low, especially for the types of jobs you are describing. I know it can seem scary to ask for more money but if he starts to track all his expenses, travel time, gas, ordering, quoting, and on and on he will soon discover that he is making very little for his time. I aim for $65.00 an hour with at least a 15% markup on materials. Though I quote most of my work on a job basis and don't typically work on an hourly contract. I do run this all through a legitimate corporation with WCB, insurance, bonding, proper licenses, corporate tax returns, and the like. So, I have much more overhead than a "after-hours" guy would have.

User Icon
Date/Time3/1/2019 at 6:10:22 PM

Kristy, I think he is way under priced. I charge $50/hr. BUT ... I don't charge for travel, estimates, or picking up small items. For larger jobs/projects, I would "guess" at my time and present a total price (i.e. $7000 for a kitchen). I always, put in writing,that the estimate is only an estimate and is subject to change. I also tell my client that I will keep them advised of any anticipated changes to the timing and cost. Remember that the additional costs he must absorb are: insurance, fuel, tool, WCB, advertising,down time, GST, HST (no HST in Alberta)and other unforeseen expenses. He is a contractor and should not be under-rated.

User Icon
Date/Time3/2/2019 at 9:11:23 PM

Your husband is undercutting himself big-time. If he is good at what he does he should be charged at anywhere from $50 to $75 per hour. Hope you convince him to charge more. Hope this helps you out. Jeff

User Icon
Date/Time3/3/2019 at 9:12:01 AM

I agree with the other posts that you should be charging more. I also agree that rates vary by location. Handyman Connection has offices across Canada and we all have slightly different pricing.

We don't charge by the hour - we charge by the job. There are other factors that go into pricing our jobs including skill level, tools, difficulty, and risk.

However, the average hourly rates that we pay our handymen/tradesmen is higher than you are charging.

User Icon
Date/Time3/8/2019 at 12:37:48 AM

I general skilled handy man 15 years experience my hours rate is $45 to $50 per h

User Icon
Date/Time3/8/2019 at 12:40:32 AM

Usually labor cost is 2 x times material cost it depend avery job is diferent

User Icon
Mike in Consecon
Date/Time11/25/2019 at 9:13:11 PM

I realize this post is from quite earlier on in the year, but hopefully it catches some eyes.

I started out doing handyman style work, but grew into a proper renovation business. I would highly recommend your hubby get the Michael a Stone book called Markup and Profit: a contractors guide - revisited .

Not marking up is going to bury him very quickly.

The books shows how to figure out the numbers in the business and understand how to use the numbers to charge what needs to be charged to make a profit.

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get quotes from top-rated contractors