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Get Quotes from Top Handymen in Indianapolis, IN

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Handyman in the City of Indianapolis

At an hourly rate of $21.12, choosing a handyman rather than a general contractor to do your home repairs in the City of Indianapolis saves you more than $5. However, before you hire a handyman to perform these repairs, it is always good to ask the following questions to avoid to avoid choosing someone who is incompetent:

Are You Licensed To Practice as a Handyman in the City of Indianapolis?

Handymen are not required to hold an occupational license before providing their services in the City of Indianapolis. However, before they can execute home improvement jobs that require city-issued permits, handymen must obtain the appropriate contractor license from the city's Department of Business and Neighborhood Services.

To obtain a contractor license from the Department, applicants are expected to visit the contractor licensing page and apply for the appropriate contractor license that qualifies them for a home improvement project.

As soon as they select the appropriate contractor license they want, applicants will be required to download, complete and submit the right contractor license application form to the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services office at:

1200 Madison Avenue
Suite 100
Indianapolis, IN 46225

It is important to note that hiring a handyman to carry out a home improvement work for which a permit is required can result in not only fines for the individual, but also costly repairs and you being held liable for any personal injury or property damage that occurs during the work.

As a result, you should always ensure that your handyman obtains the appropriate contractor license for home improvement jobs that require city-issued permits. You can confirm if the handyman you intend to hire has obtained a contractor license by checking the lists of currently licensed contractors in the city.

For more information concerning contractor licensing, call the city's Department of Business and Neighborhood Services at (317) 327-1219.

While handymen in Indianapolis are not required to have an occupational license unless they are performing work that requires city-issued permits, they must meet the specific business registration requirements before they can operate as a legitimate business in the city.

These include filing an Assumed Name Certificate with the Indiana Secretary of State, or recording the business name with the Marion County Recorder's Office when the business name does not contain the owner's actual name.

Handyman services must also meet all the applicable tax responsibilities, obtain an Employee Identification Number (EIN), register with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development if the business will employ people, and obtain workers' compensation insurance before they can operate legally.

Information concerning business registration requirements in Indianapolis can be gotten by calling the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services at (317) 327-1219, or visiting the Indiana business owners guide page.

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Handymen in the City of Indianapolis?

In the City of Indianapolis, the hourly rate charged by handymen varies depending on a number of factors. These include the nature and scope of the work, the type and cost of materials required to complete the work, the time of the year, and the amount of labor required to do the work.

As a homeowner in the city, you should always obtain and compare quotations from different handymen before choosing the best individual for the job. You should also find out whether the estimates were calculated using hourly rates or a flat fee as this is the only way to determine the work's actual price.

However, always keep in mind that the lowest bidder is not always the best individual for the task when comparing estimates as many fraudulent individuals use low bids as a strategy to attract homeowners.

Indianapolis handymen earn an average wage of $43,930, annually. The table below compares and contrasts the average hourly wages of handymen and other general maintenance and repair workers in Indianapolis with those of workers in this industry across the State of Indiana and major American cities:

Indianapolis Handyman Average Hourly Wage
$21.12
Indiana Handyman Average Hourly Wage
$21.51
Houston Handyman Average Hourly Wage
$20.96
Boston Handyman Average Hourly Wage
$25.61
Detroit Handyman Average Hourly Wage
$20.28
Los Angeles Handyman Average Hourly Wage
$22.77
New York City Handyman Average Hourly Wage
$24.50
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Do You Require a Permit To Complete This Work in the City of Indianapolis?

A permit is required to construct, add to, remodel, repair, or convert a structure or building service equipment in the City of Indianapolis. A homeowner or contractor may need to obtain multiple permits before beginning a project in the city, depending on the nature and scope of the work.

Only licensed contractors and homeowners are eligible to apply for these permits, which are issued by the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services.

While a permit is needed for most construction activities in the city, the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services exempt certain home improvement work from permitting.

Common home improvement work that do not require permits in Indianapolis include:

  • Replacement of prime doors and windows if performed by a licensed contractors
  • Installation and replacement of existing siding if performed by a listed contractor
  • Maintenance and repair of a structure where the work does not reduce performance or create additional health or safety risks
  • Installation and replacement of fixtures attached to the walls or floors such as cupboards, cabinets, shelving, railings, tracks, wall and floor coverings, and doors
  • Maintenance and repair of storm windows and other exterior windows designed and used as protection against severe weather
  • Gutter replacement or installation
  • Installation of thermal insulation

Homeowners or licensed contractors in the city can apply for and obtain a permit for home improvement work online. However, to use any of the available online permit services, homeowners and licensed contractors will need to create a profile with a unique User ID and password.

Homeowners and contractors who do not wish to complete the permit application online can also do so by downloading, completing, and submitting the appropriate permit application form at:

Department of Business and Neighborhood Services
1200 Madison Avenue
Suite 100
Indianapolis, IN 46225

Before a permit is issued, applicants must provide the name of the property owner and the contracting firm that will be performing the work, a legal description of the property and the work to be done, site plans drawn to scale, and drawings of all sides of the building. Applicants are additionally required to pay the applicable permit fees.

Only applicants who meet the specific permit requirements for a project will be issued a permit once the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services has reviewed all necessary documents.

The permits will be issued when approved, and If the building permit is not issued within six months from the date of submission, the application will be abandoned.

Homeowners and licensed contractors can call the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services at (317) 327-1219 to learn more about the permit requirements for their project, as well as whether an inspection is required once the permit is obtained.

Once a permit is issued, a copy of the permit must be displayed at the building site in a way that makes it visible across the street.

What Works Can You Do Legally as a Handyman in the City of Indianapolis?

Handymen in the City of Indianapolis do not need an occupational license to provide their services. As a result, these professionals are legally permitted to carry out a wide range of home improvement projects as long as they do not require a city-issued permit.

Home improvement projects requiring a city-issued permit can only be executed by a licensed contractor in the city or by the homeowner themselves provided that the homeowner signs a statement of intent and understanding before pulling the permit.

Any handyman that intends to execute a project requiring a city-issued permit must first obtain the appropriate contractor license from the Department of Business and Neighborhood Service. Call the Department at (317) 327-1219 to ask if the project you want to carry out requires a permit.

Whether or not your project requires a city-issued permit, it is crucial to ensure that the individual you intend to hire is experienced enough to handle the project. Hiring an experienced handyman protects you from future costly repairs caused by shoddy work.

Listed below are cost estimates for some of the services that handymen in Indianapolis offer:

Driveway sealing
$50 - $180
Drywall repair
$80 - $300
Artwork hanging
$35 - $150
Cabinet repair
$70 - $420
Drain unclogging
$50 - $150
Electrical appliance installation
$100 - $180
Faulty fixture repair/replacement
$45 - $180
Gutter cleaning
$60 - $250
Home childproofing
$85 - $300
Lawn care/landscaping maintenance
$50 - $300
Patio/deck painting
$150 - $400
Snow removal
$40 - $170
TV mounting
$40 - $170
Residential handyman services
$52 - $90 per hour (plus materials)
Commercial handyman services
$56 - $100 per hour (plus materials)

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Handymen in the City of Indianapolis?

In the year 2020, a total of 70 fatal work-related injuries and 23,400 nonfatal work-related injuries were reported among general maintenance and repair workers across the country. As such, even if there is no law requiring handymen to have insurance before working in the city, it is crucial to ensure that the individual you intend to hire for your project is covered.

Hiring an individual that has all the necessary insurance policies protects you from being liable for personal injury and property damage that occurs during your work.

By requesting a copy of the handyman's insurance certificate and contacting the insurance company that issued it, you may verify that they have the proper coverage.

You should also inquire about the handyman's ability to complete the project on their own. If they are going to hire other people to help with the project, be sure the handyman has workers' compensation insurance.

Employers in Indiana are permitted to obtain workers' compensation insurance from private insurance companies, so you can request a certificate from your handyman and contact the company that issued the certificate.

How To File a Complaint Against a Bad Handyman in the City of Indianapolis

Many homeowners across Indianapolis undertake home improvement projects every year, but unfortunately for some of them, these projects may become unnecessarily expensive and fraustring because they hired an unscrupulous professional who failed to complete the job as promised.

Home improvement scams are common in the City of Indianapolis, and that is why the State Attorney General has advised homeowners to ask the right questions, do proper research, and get a written contract before they reach an agreement with any contractor or handyman.

A prominent example of home improvement scam in the City of Indianapolis was reported by indystar on January 2, 2015. According to the Indystar news website, a resident of the city paid $60,000 to three men to fix an unfinished patch on an apartment's ceiling. These unscrupulous individuals collected the money, performed shoddy work, and left most of the job untouched.

To avoid falling victims to these and other types of home improvement scams, residents of Indianapolis are advised to follow these expert tips:

  • Be wary of anyone who comes to your door soliciting for services. Even if you need such service, request for the company's information, and tell them you want to research about the company. Reputable handymen will not hesitate to provide you with enough information about their company and services
  • Ask the handyman for their office address and visit the location to confirm
  • Do not hire anyone trying to use pressure-sales tactics or threats to convince you into getting a repair
  • Get recommendations from friends, family, and neighbors on reliable handymen in the city
  • Get at least three written estimates from multiple handymen before choosing the best
  • Be wary of low bids because many unscrupulous individuals use it as a strategy to attract customers
  • Check customer reviews about the handyman on third-party websites such as Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Google review
  • Get a written contract that specifies the details of the work to be done, the cost of labor and materials, and the date for completion of work
  • Do not sign the contract until you have carefully read and understand it
  • Ensure that handyman is carrying the necessary insurance policies before you sign a contract with them
  • Always choose a payment plan that is favorable to you
  • Do not pay more than one-third of the total construction price upfront

Victims of home improvement scams in the City of Indianapolis can file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Division of the Indiana Attorney General's Office. You can file your complaint with the Consumer Protection Division of the Indiana Attorney General's Office online or by downloading, completing, and sending a consumer complaint form to:

Office of the Indiana Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
Government Center South, 5th Floor
302 West. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204

However, victims of home improvement scams must understand that the Office of the Indiana Attorney General does not pursue monetary compensation on behalf of individuals.

As such, if you seek monetary compensation for what you lost as result of the home improvement contract you should consider filing a civil action against the handyman or contractor in an appropriate court.

If the total value involved in the dispute is less than $8,000, you should file a civil action against the professional at any of the small claims court locations:

Center Township Small Claims Court
300 East. Fall Creek Pkwy N
Drive #130
Indianapolis, IN 46205
Decatur Township Small Claims Court
3730 South. Foltz Street
Indianapolis, IN 46241
Franklin Township Small Claims Court
4351 Independence Square
Indianapolis, IN 46203

However, it is always a good idea to seek the advice of your attorney before filing a civil action in court.