When you should tip a handyman

Awkward isn’t it? Even if you’ve mastered the art of tipping restaurant servers and taxi drivers, there’s still a gray area. You typically don’t tip a handyman, but sometimes you may want to. But is it acceptable to tip a handyman? If so, when and how much?

Well, there aren’t any hard and fast rules, but my informal survey raised the following questions. Along with their answers, these reveal basic tipping guidelines for craftsmen.

1. Who hired him?

Here is a simple one. If the decision to hire a handyman was made by a third party such as your HOA or Condo committee, do not tip.

2. Does his boss allow it?

Tipping is directly discouraged or prohibited by some employers. In this case, too, you clearly do not tip.

3. Does the person who did your job own the craft business?

Opinions on this are different. Many people say that a business owner should not be tipped because they are likely to set their fees high enough to make a profit. Others tend to tip every handyman who has provided really great service.

4. Did he do everything he promised?

I once interviewed a homeowner who praised a handyman for “showing up on time and doing what he said he would”. Simple but impressive. He had a feeling that the worker deserved a tip.

5. Did he avoid wasting time?

This falls more into the “When shouldn’t you tip a handyman?” Category, but there is general agreement that anyone who charges by the hour shouldn’t waste time on long cell phone calls at work.

6. Did you ask about extras that weren’t part of the original agreement?

Guilty as charged. When I have an excellent worker in my house I am tempted to ask, “When you’re here, can you just …?” In this situation, you should definitely pay extra if your agreement includes a per-job fee. However, I wouldn’t consider the additional payment a tip.

7. Do people in your neighborhood usually tip craftsmen?

If you are unsure which local practice is accepted, ask before the handyman works for you. (If you are new to the area this can be a great way to get to know your neighbors.)

8. I have decided to tip my handyman. Now can you help me figure out how much?

The sum most often cited as a reasonable tip for a handyman is $ 20. Other recommended amounts include the equivalent of a daily wage or 10-15% of the total fee (for a large job). Many homeowners round up the bill for smaller tasks, e.g. B. Pay $ 100 for a $ 85 bill.

9. What about cashless tips?

Call me a Curmudgeon, but I disagree with the popular belief that offering drinks and snacks – or using your bathroom – equates to cash. The provision of these amenities, especially cold drinks on a hot day, is just a common courtesy in my opinion. And “tip” with a gift of your homemade jam or pickles, as a homeowner advised? No, just no.

10. When should I tip my craftsman?

Some tip for the “holiday season” but that seems a bit culturally insensitive – not every holiday season falls in December. If you tip the handyman at the time of paying for the service provided, this awkwardness will be avoided.

11. Is there any other way to recognize exceptional craftsmanship?

For sure. If he is the business owner, please give it a positive review. State exactly why you thought this craftsman was outstanding. Also recommend it to your friends and neighbors.

Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.

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