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Tasks range from minor to major, from unskilled to highly skilled, and include painting, drywall repair, remodeling, minor plumbing work, minor electrical work, household carpentry, sheetrock, crown moulding, and furniture assembly (see more complete list below.) And, as populations worldwide tend to become older, on average, and since increasingly elderly people will be less inclined and able to maintain their homes, it is likely that demand for handyman services will grow.Many towns have handymen who work part-time, for friends or family or neighbors, who are skilled in a variety of tasks. They vary in quality, professionalism, skill level, and price.Often handymen are barred from major plumbing, electrical wiring, or gas-fitting projects for safety reasons, and authorities sometimes require workers to be licensed in particular trades.However, minor plumbing work such as fixing water taps, connecting sinks, fixing leaks, or installing new washing machines, are usually permitted to be done without licensing.Specifically, these jobs could be light plumbing jobs such as fixing a leaky toilet or light electric jobs such as changing a light fixture.The term handyman increasingly describes a paid worker, but it also includes non-paid homeowners or do-it-yourselfers.Contractors often criticize the work of previous contractors, and this practice is not limited to handymen, but to all trades.
Handymen have been portrayed in books and films, generally positively, as do-gooder helpful types, but not particularly smart or ambitious.One Lehman Brothers executive, after being let go from the Wall Street firm, bought a Union, New Jersey franchise from a national handyman firm.A handyman built this bathroom wall using two-by-four boards; after electricians added the wires, metal plates were put on studs to prevent nails and screws (to hold drywall) from going into electric wires; a handyman added the drywall.A consumer was quoted by a reporter explaining the decision to hire one firm: "'I couldn't find anyone to come in and help me because the jobs were too small', said Meg Beck of Huntington, who needed some painting and carpentry done.She turned to one franchise firm and said she liked the fact that the service has well-marked trucks and uniformed technicians and that a dispatcher called with the names of the crew before they showed up." Sometimes homeowners contact a professional service after trying, but failing, to do repair work themselves; in one instance, a Minneapolis homeowner attempted a project but called a technician to finish the project, and the overall cost was substantial. One Wall Street Journal reporting team did an informal assessment by hiring handymen all over the United States and asking them to fix a wide range of problems, from a relatively routine leaky faucet to a sticky door.