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Who and How Much Do You Tip for Home Services?

Before owning my first house, I’d always been a renter. That means that all the home repairs that my house needs was took care of by my landlord. I never had to hire any handyman service company since everything was taken care of by my landlord. On the rare occasion that my landlord doesn’t know how to repair something, he’ll call someone to fix it. Nonetheless, I never really know how to deal with home repairs. Now that I have my own house, every home repair ends up getting ignored until the last minute but by then, it’ll all be too much to repair.

If you want to know about home repair myths, click here.

Because of my lack of experience dealing with home repairs, I will also get stressed out when I call someone to fix the damage for me. I don’t know how to deal with them. What’s the proper etiquette? Do I tip? No? What is it?

When I needed to move my stuff to my new house, I hired movers. They were pretty helpful, actually. They did an amazing job and I was happy to give them a generous tip. Factor in my feeling of satisfaction because of my new home, and that should give you an idea of how much I gave them. They made one of the stressful moments of my life almost hassle-free. Of course, I was going to give them something to say thanks.

Still, I don’t know the protocol on handymen services. I read somewhere, on CNN maybe, that you don’t need to tip handymen. I was surprised by this since they do hard labor and they should, in my opinion, receive a little something for their work. Most of the work they do is something we don’t want to do, which is why we hire them in the first place. You have to agree that while some of their repairs are pretty basic, some of their tasks can become quite complicated, and even dangerous. This is the main reason why I am considering giving them tip if they do their job right.

Many would say that you need to tip 15 – 20% of the full price. I would say scrap this math for handyman services. Most of them charge by the hour. Imagine 10 hours of work then add another 15% to that – that’s actually substantial. For repairs that take long to finish, here’s what I do. I will ask for an estimate, one for the price and another for time. If they are done before their estimated time, I’d be happy to give them the quoted amount – consider the full payment as the tip. On the other hand, if they exceed their quoted time, I would pay extra only if I see they’re working hard. If I see them toying around and not actually focusing on the work, I will only pay the quoted price. If the cause of delay is a harder-than-expected repair, I would pay the extra hour and add around 10% (only for overtime).

So, that’s my tip (no pun intended). I’ve researched this topic and found no agreed upon protocol so I made my own. I hope that you get to use it when you hire a handyman service.

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