Get Quotes from Top Handymen in San Jose, CA

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Handyman in San Jose

At $28.79, the average hourly cost of using the services of a handyman in San Jose is approximately $10 cheaper than hiring a general contractor for the same job. While hiring a handyman for simple house repairs may be more cost effective, you should always ensure that the individual that you intend to hire is qualified to do the job.

You can ensure that you are hiring the best hand for the job by asking the following questions:

Are You Licensed To Practice as a Handyman in San Jose?

Handymen in San Jose and other regions of California are not required to get an occupational license if they are working on a project that costs less than $500, including materials and labor. However, to execute a project that costs more than $500, the individual will first have to obtain the appropriate contractor license from the California Contractor State License (CSLB) for such work. Any handyman who performs a project worth more than $500 without first obtaining the required contractor license is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by six months imprisonment, $ 5,000 in fines, or both. 

Furthermore, if the offense committed includes working outside the handyman's license exemption scope, the CSLB may also impose an administrative fee ranging from $200 to $15,000 on the handyman. To avoid the aforementioned statutory penalties, handymen in San Jose are advised to check the total cost of completing a project before starting the work. This will help the individual confirm whether or not a contractor license will be required for the project.

Handymen can also call the CSLB at (800) 321-2751 to learn more about the criteria for certain contractor licenses required to execute specific projects. While handymen are expected to obtain a contractor license where required, San Jose residents should double-check whether the handyman they wish to hire for their job has obtained the required contractor license before beginning the project. Residents can do this by asking the handyman to provide proof of licensure and verifying the information using the State of California's Check a Contractor License tool.

In addition to obtaining a contractor license for specific types of projects, handymen in San Jose are also required to meet applicable business regulations in the city. Per city regulation, every person or company conducting business in San Jose is required to register for a Business Tax Certificate and pay business tax within the first 15 days of operation.

Failure to pay business tax within the first 15 days of operation will result in a 25% increase in the initial tax value, and failure to pay the tax after one month will result in a further 25% increase in the tax value. As such, San Jose handymen should research the city's specific business regulations before offering their services, as this will help them avoid unnecessary fines. For more information concerning business regulations, call (408) 535-7055 and click option 2.

Finally, as a resident of San Jose, it is your responsibility to find out whether the handyman you wish to hire for your project has met the applicable business regulations before signing an agreement with them. You can confirm whether the handyman has met the applicable business regulations by requesting their business tax certificate and looking up the business tax certificate using the city's business tax lookup tool

Note that hiring a handyman who has met the city's business regulations means that you are hiring a law-abiding citizen and an individual who is eligible to provide the type of services you need in the city.

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Handymen in San Jose?

Before hiring a handyman for any type of project in San Jose, it is essential to note that the cost of retaining a handyman's services is influenced by a variety of factors. The nature of the job, the amount of labor required to complete the job, the type and cost of materials, and the number of hands needed to complete the job are all factors that can influence the cost of a handyman's service.

Since the cost of retaining the services of a handyman will vary depending on the aforementioned factors, residents are advised to always get and compare quotes from multiple handymen before choosing the best hand for the job. Residents will not only have a clear understanding of how much their project will cost by comparing estimates from multiple handymen, but they will also avoid spending more than the average market price for the service.

San Jose handymen earn an average wage of $59,870 annually. Listed below is the cost comparison of average hourly wages of handymen and other general maintenance and repair workers in San Jose with those of workers in this industry across the State of California and major American cities:

San Jose Handyman Average Hourly Wage
California Handyman Average Hourly Wage
San Diego Handyman Average Hourly Wage
New York City Handyman Average Hourly Wage
Phoenix Handyman Average Hourly Wage
Houston Handyman Average Hourly Wage
Chicago Handyman Average Hourly Wage
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Do You Require a Permit To Complete This Work in San Jose?

Not every home improvement project requires a permit in San Jose. However, as a homeowner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your handyman finds out whether a permit is required for your home improvement work and obtains the appropriate permit before starting the work.

Per the city requirements, any home improvement work that changes the structural, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical configuration of a home and the design of walls, roofs, and major appliances in a home requires at least one type of building permit. To obtain a permit for home improvement work, the authorized agent or handyman must first select the appropriate permit service option. Home improvement work permit applications can be submitted online or in person by homeowners, licensed contractors, or an authorized agent in San Jose.

Note that online permit applications are for small projects that do not require plan review. Authorized agents or handymen can check the home improvement work permits that are issued online on the city's Development Services permit page. Once it has been confirmed that the type of permit required for your project is available online, the handyman will now proceed to create a user profile. After creating a user profile, the handyman must fill out the relevant information and pay the appropriate permit fee before the permit is provided.

To obtain a permit in person, on the other hand, applicants must download, complete, and submit a building permit application form with the necessary plans for the project at:

Development Services
Permit Center
San Jose's Hall
200 East. Santa Clara Street
San Jose, CA 95113

For more information concerning the requirements and procedures for obtaining a home improvement work permit in San Jose, call (408) 535-3555. Note that all home improvement work for which a permit is obtained in San Jose will also require inspection. Homeowners should always ensure that their handyman schedules an inspection with the city's Building Division before completing the work.

What Works Can You Do Legally as a Handyman in San Jose?

Handymen are different from general building and construction contractors in San Jose because there is no monetary limit on the service they offer. While general building and construction contractors are required to obtain a CSLB-issued license before they can execute home improvement projects worth $500 or more, handymen in San Jose are authorized to do any type of work, provided the job costs less than $500.

Cabinet repair, snow removal, repairing or replacing broken electrical and plumbing fixtures, patching holes in walls, and painting patios and decks are all common jobs that can be executed by handymen in the city. Although there is no mandatory requirement for handymen to have an occupational license in San Jose, residents should keep in mind that picking a handyman who is skilled and competent in the type of service they seek is critical.

Hiring an experienced handyman not only ensures that you get someone with the right skill set for the work but also that you get someone who knows exactly what the project requires.

Outlined below are cost estimates for some of the services that handymen in San Jose offer:

Driveway sealing
$70 - $200
Drywall repair
$50 - $400
Artwork hanging
$50 - $150
Cabinet repair
$85 - $420
Drain unclogging
$80 - $160
Electrical appliance installation
$119 - $200
Faulty fixture repair/replacement
$80 - $200
Gutter cleaning
$80 - $350
Home childproofing
$100 - $400
Lawn care/landscaping maintenance
$50 - $350
Patio/deck painting
$200 - $450
Snow removal
$45 - $200
TV mounting
$45 - $200
Residential handyman services (per hour)
$86 - $106
Commercial handyman services (per hour)
$93 - $110

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Handymen in San Jose?

San Jose handymen are not required by law to carry insurance. However, honest handymen in the city understand the need to carry insurance coverage because it is the only way to protect clients from potential financial and legal responsibilities that may arise due to accidents or mistakes that occur during work. As a homeowner, you must understand that hiring a handyman who is not insured exposes you to financial risks resulting from accidents or mistakes that often lead to property damage or bodily injury during your work.

Furthermore, homeowners must also understand that work accidents or mistakes may occur multiple times before the work is completed, considerably increasing their exposure to financial risks significantly. This is possible when one considers the number of work injuries recorded amongst general maintenance and repair workers in several locations nationwide.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, general maintenance and repair employees suffered 70 fatal work-related injuries and 23,400 nonfatal work-related injuries in 2020 alone. As such, you must ensure that the handyman you intend to hire is carrying general liability insurance before signing off any agreement with them. You can find out whether an individual has general liability insurance by asking for their insurance certificate and contacting the insurance company that issued the certificate.

In addition to holding active general liability insurance, handymen with employees in San Jose are expected to maintain workers' compensation insurance. Accordingly, if your handyman will not be working on the project alone, requesting proof of Workers' Compensation Insurance is also necessary. For more information concerning workers' compensation insurance, contact the Division of Workers' Compensation of the state's Department of Industrial Relations at:

320 W 4th Street
9th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90013-1954
Phone: (213) 576-7389

How To File a Complaint Against a Bad Handyman in San Jose

A handyman is any person who possesses the basic skills to execute a variety of tasks, including general repairs, maintenance, and minor installations in a residential setting. While you may need the services of a handyman in San Jose, keep in mind that there are many unscrupulous individuals posing as licensed home improvement workers in the city.

In November 2017, a warrant for a home improvement worker in San Jose was issued by the CSLB for engaging in unlicensed activity. The home improvement worker is suspected of practicing without first obtaining the appropriate license and defrauding more than two dozen Bay Area families by soliciting landscaping and tree removal services. Given the number of people that a single unscrupulous home improvement worker can defraud, the city's rate of home improvement scams is likely to be high. As such, residents must protect themselves from possible home improvement scams by doing the following:

  • Avoid anyone using high-pressure tactics to sell a range of services to you.
  • Get referrals from family, friends, and neighbors who have had good experiences with their handymen.
  • Get estimates from different handymen, and do not assume that the lowest bidder is the best choice.
  • Always check the Better Business Bureau or other reputable third-party websites for reviews on the handyman you intend to hire
  • Check the CSLB's Most Wanted List to make sure that the handyman is not listed there.
  • Get a written contract for the work.
  • Make sure your handyman obtains the appropriate home improvement work permit where necessary.
  • Choose the most favorable payment option for you.
  • Limit what you pay upfront to one-third of the total home improvement work price.
  • Make payments as work progresses. If the work is delayed, you should also delay making any payment.
  • If total home improvement work costs exceed $500, do not hire a handyman. These types of jobs are better handled by licensed professionals.

Home improvement scams in San Jose can be reported to the Santa Clara County Office of the District Attorney. You can report home improvement scams by downloading, completing, and submitting a consumer complaint form at:

Santa Clara County
Office of the District Attorney
Mediation Services, Consumer Protection Unit
70 West Hedding Street
San Jose, CA 95110

Similarly, you can also report a fraudulent contractor to the California Department of Consumer Affairs. You can file a complaint with the Department online or by calling (800) 952-5210. Although reporting a home improvement scam to the aforementioned agencies can help resolve the issue between you and your home improvement worker. It is important to note that none of these offices can guarantee monetary compensation when you file consumer complaints.

If you seek monetary compensation, you can file a lawsuit against the handyman at the Santa Clara County Small Claims Court. Note that the court only tries disputes involving a total of $10,000 or less. However, before bringing a case against the handyman, you should always consult with an attorney.