I have a repair problem: do I need a Handyman?

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Ask a Handyman!

Have a question for our Handyman? Use this form to send us your question.

Sometimes it can be hard to know if your home or business repair problem requires a certified expert to make the repairs or whether there’s a simple fix that almost anyone can perform. Our “Do I Need A Handyman?” blog is here to help you find the answers to your general home repair questions. Browse our collection of frequently asked questions to help you determine whether a Handyman is the right repair expert for your needs.

Still not sure if we can help with your project? Use our contact form and a Budget Right representative will contact you about your specific project.

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I just bought a new ceiling fan – can a handyman install it?

Now that winter has finally ended and summer is just around the corner, we’re getting a lot of calls from customers about installing ceiling fans. While there are a lot, and I mean a lot, of different models of ceiling fan, unless you’ve managed to find an exceptially complicated fan, it should be something a handyman can easily tackle.

On average, it take a handyman roughly an hour and a half to swap out your old ceiling fan and replace it with the new one. There are only two general situations in which our Handymen couldn’t help:

1. If you are trying to install a fan in a place where there currently is no fan or light fixture. We can’t move electrical wiring–you need a certified electrician for that. So if there isn’t an electrical fixture of some sort already in the place you want your new fan, we probably can’t help you.

2. If your house is old and you’ve never had any rewiring done, there’s a chance you may have old cloth covered wires, in which case, you’ll have to call an electrician. It’s simply too much of a safety risk to our handymen to mess around with cloth wires, and frankly, you shouldn’t be messing around with them either. Call an electrician.

Recommendation: A handyman can easily replace an old ceiling fan for you, and usually in under 2 hours. Unless you know you’ll need new wiring, go ahead and give us a call.

I’d like to install a new backsplash in my kitchen – do I need a handyman?

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So you’ve find some fantastic new tiles and you’d like to add a back splash to your kitchen, but now that you look at it, you’d starting to think you bit off a little more than you can chew. Were you really crazy to think you could put the back splash up yourself? Do you need a professional handyman to do the job?

If the backsplash you want to install is only going to cover a fairly small area, say behind the sink or behind the stove, and if there are no electrical outlets or wall switches in the area you want to cover, then it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to install the backsplash yourself. Just make sure that you’ve bought enough tile to cover the area, and make sure that you’re careful to clean up the mortar as you go while setting the tile. If any mortar pokes through the spaces between the tiles, wipe it off before it dries and save yourself a lot of hassle when you’re grouting later.  Also, resist the temptation to cheap out and buy gray mortar! Yes, white mortar generally will cost you a few bucks more, but it’s usually worth it when you consider that it’s also much less likely to show through underneath the grouting. Keep these tips in mind and, for a small backsplash project, you should be good to go.

However, if you want to cover an area longer than 2-3 feet in width, and especially if you want to tile beneath cabinets and around outlets and switch plates, do yourself a favor and call a handyman. The basic tiling technique is the same as for a smaller job, but cutting tile to fit requires tools that you probably don’t have, but our handymen do! Not to mention they’ve almost certainly had more practice at it. A skilled handyman will be able to get the job done faster than a first time tiler, and we can save you a lot of trips to the hardware store for tools that you’ll probably never use again.

Recommendation: If you need to cut tile, call a handyman.

Crib assembly & nursery makeover – Do I need a handyman?

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We often get calls and emails from expecting parents who are starting to feel overwhelmed by all the preparations they need to make before their new baby arrives. Whether you’ve already got kids and you need to make way for a new one, or if this is your first child and you’re trying to get things just right, a handyman can really help you out with getting your nursery or child’s room all set up.

Our professional handymen can assemble cribs, cradles, bassinets, and beds as well as any other furniture for your child’s room: chairs, dressers, changing tables, shelving, you name it. We can help you install new light fixtures or put up mobiles, we can hang decorations on the wall for you, and we can help with child proof your home more generally.

We know you’ve got a lot on your mind when you’re expecting a new child, and we also know that the last thing you want to have to worry about is whether you’ve set everything up properly.  You don’t want to sit up a night wondering if that heavy antique mirror your great grandmother gave you is going to pull out of the drywall and come crashing down near your kid’s bed. If you’re not 100% comfortable with furniture assembly and wall hangings, then do yourself a favor and leave the heavy lifting and installation to a professional handyman. I promise you, you’ll find plenty of other things to sit up and worry about at nights!

Also, as a decorating tip from one parent to another: when you think about how to decorate your kid’s room, consider putting fun things in at kid level.  My son is not even a year old but he’s a pretty a big dude, and while he gets a real kick out of mirrors, holding him up in front of the bathroom vanity was getting to be a real pain. So I hung a mirror on the wall his bedroom, right at his standing height. He’s still not great at standing up yet, but boy does he love practicing his standing in front of that mirror.  Such a simple thing for me to install, but endlessly entertaining for him.  So when you’re thinking about making a space for your baby or young child, remember that the nursery is for the kid! Think about placing fun-stuff at their level.

Recommendation: Give a handyman a call! We can assemble your furniture, hang decorations, child proof, and help you make a fun and safe space for your kids all in one appointment.

My roof needs shingles replaced–Should I call a handyman?

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Unfortunately, the answer to this question is “no.” Our handymen can do a lot of different home repairs, but one thing we simply cannot do for you is fix your roof. You’ll need to hire professional roofers for that, even if you just want one or two shingles replaced.

Recommendation: Can we help you hang holiday lights and other decorations? Yes. Can we fix your roof? No.

Help! My toilet is leaking water onto the floor! Can a handyman fix this?

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We get asked this question quite often, usually by folks who know that waiting to fix a leaky toilet can result in seriously expensive repairs due to water damage. If you want to save some money and heartache in the long run, don’t wait to do something about that leak! The short answer to your question is yes, a handyman can help you fix your leaky toilet, but maybe you’re wondering if you always need a handyman for this kind of repair.

Let’s be frank, not all toilet leaks are the same. You may very well be able to repair the leak yourself with minimal expense, but in some case, you’ll absolutely benefit from hiring an experienced handyman to help you out. The first thing we’ll ask you if you call us with this problem is “where is the leak coming from?”

If the leak is coming from somewhere near the back of the tank, then you most likely will need to replace something within the kit in the back. Often it’s the the washers that attach the tank to the base, but the leak could also coming from the water supply line. If you’re fairly comfortable with home repair, you can probably do this yourself. Replacing the whole kit at once usually only costs around $20-$30 in parts.

If you’re not sure how to swap out the kit, there are plenty of good DIY resources online. Of course, we’re also happy to send a handyman to do it for you. If you’ve already picked up the parts, we can install them for you. We can also pick a kit up for you if you’re not sure what to buy.

Now, if the leak seems to be coming from underneath the toilet, it’s likely a problem with the wax ring. That means the whole toilet will have to be unseated and the wax ring replaced. If you’re not experience with taking your toilet apart, this is quite a more daunting task than just replacing parts in the tank. Unless you love the idea of spending a Saturday afternoon fixing a toilet, you should go ahead and call a handyman. Even if you are the home repair weekend warrior type, keep in mind that this is your toilet we’re talking about. If you’re pulling your toilet out, make sure you know how to put it back together!

Whether you decide to call a handyman or not, remember before beginning any toilet repair job, turn the water off at the shutoff valve! Oh, and if water is still running after you’ve shut the water off…? Make your life a little easier and just call a Budget Right handyman. We’ll be happy to come out and fix your shutoff valve and repair your leaky toilet all in one trip.

Recommendation: if it’s in the tank, you can probably fix it. Anywhere else, call a handyman.

My bathroom shower has some loose tiles–do I really need a handyman?

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Every month we get a few phone calls from homeowners looking to make a few repairs in their bathroom. “Oh, I noticed a few tiles coming off in my shower. I can just stick these back on the wall, right…?” And then we have to be the ones to break the bad news to them: it’s a lot more complicated than that.

If tiles are sagging off the wall, re-caulking isn’t going to solve the problem, at least not in the long term. Tiles generally only start sagging or falling off the wall if there’s too much moisture behind the tiles. In most case, the drywall that they were attached to has become moist and warped. It may even be moldy by the time tiles have started dropping off. You could try to simply reattach a missing tile to the wall, but it’s not going to last. The watertight seal has been broken and both the tiles and the water-damaged drywall need to be replaced, and they need to be replaced before the water damage to your walls gets any worse.

Now, can a handyman replace the drywall and put new tile in your shower? Absolutely! Can we do it faster and more efficiently than someone with average home repair skills? Yes. Is it going to be a quick fix? Unfortunately, no.

On average it will take one of our professional handymen roughly 24 man-hours spread out over the course of three days to remove the damaged tile and drywall, put in new hardibacker cement board, re-tile, re-grout, and re-caulk your shower or bathtub area. And of course, that may vary depending on the size and shape of your shower or tub. But look at it this way–you could hire a handyman do the repairs in a little more than a weekend, or you could try the repair yourself and possibly spend a week or more without a shower. Unless you’re experienced in bathroom repair, call a handyman.

Recommendation: you definitely need a handyman, and you need one now!