How To Estimate Handyman Jobs

There are many different ways to perform an estimate for handyman jobs but through trial and error I have found a way that works best for me and gets the best feedback from my customers. I want to share with you my secrets to performing a successful handyman estimate.

You can check out my in-depth video on How to Estimate Handyman Jobs here:

How To Estimate Handyman Jobs


#1. Always look your best

When you are performing a handyman estimate it is very important to look your best. What I really like in a uniform is a nice button up shirt and matching pants with sewed on patches stating my first name and my business name. I get these uniforms from a website called AutomotiveWorkWear.

Benefits of a professional uniform

The Handyman Uniform


Uniforms instantly make you appear very professional, When you walk up to a customers house, what you are wearing means a lot. If a customer sees someone walking to their door wearing ripped jeans with a dirty shirt they are going to think different thoughts than if they were wearing a nice and clean uniform that is nicely tucked in.

Brand uniformity

Another great thing about uniforms is that they really establish a great brand uniformity, Therefore if, in the future you decide to have employees or people that work for you, they will easily be established as one of your own by your customers. having a strong brand awareness helps set your business apart from others in your area, after all when someone thinks of a handyman do you think they would rather call the nicely dressed people or the people who look like they don’t even care about themselves.

#2. Know your Ideal Customer

One of the most important things about going out and providing an estimate for a job starts before you actually meet the customer. In my mind, it is very important to know who your ideal customer is and make sure that you narrow down the customers into that frame before you go an give an estimate. One of the most common questions I get from other handyman that I consult is “Don’t you get people that want you to do the work right then when you go and give an estimate?” To be honest this is something that I struggled with when I first started my business, I have customers that got angry that when I came to do the estimate I wouldn’t just do the job right then and there.

It wasn’t until I really sat down and established who my ideal customer was that estimates started going a lot smoother for me. I run all my customers through what I call my “Marketing Funnel” to really make sure they are someone that I want to work with.See a lot of handyman think that when people reach out to them for jobs it is our responsibility to make the customer want to do business with us, while that is true, it is only half true. During the first customer contact it is also the customers responsibility to make sure that we as handymen want to work with them. This is contrary to what most people think but this thought process creates a mutually beneficial relationship that will last for a lifetime.

Benefits of Knowing your Ideal Customer

Long lasting, Mutually beneficial work relationships

When you can accurately describe who your ideal customer is and who you want to work with it creates much easier, long lasting work relationships.

More fun at work

Who doesn’t want more fun at work?! When you work for people that you naturally enjoy and have similar values as you, you tend to have more fun at work!

Better paying jobs

Handyman jobs that are done for people who respect you and your business tend to pay more than jobs done for people who don’t care about you at all. When you can gain respect from a customer by showing them respect they will naturally accept that a mutually beneficial work relationship is worth more money.

#3. Document the Job needs

When you arrive at the customers home always come prepared with a notepad and pen and also a camera of some sort, it is the 21st century so most people have a cell phone that takes good quality photos. What I have found by doing years of Job Estimates is that you can never document too much, There will always be that on job where you wish you had taken more pictures to refer back to when you are preparing the estimate so don’t be ashamed to ask the customer if you can take photos of the work that is needed, you will thank yourself later.

Benefits of Documenting potential Jobs

Good Reference

It is always nice to have good notes and pictures to refer to when you are preparing an estimate for a customer, it is always a little challenging when you have to ask the customer to send you pictures or rely of memory when you are preparing an estimate.

Detail Awareness

Sometimes you will need to refer back to the pictures that you took before you started the job, whether it is for damage purposes or creating before and after pictures for advertising.

#4. Use a Professional Estimating Software

When I am all done meeting with the customer and documenting the work that they need I simply transfer all the jobs over to a professional estimate and invoicing software to get it ready to send over to the customer. I have used many different estimating platforms in the last few years, when I first started my business I would create a google doc that was structured like an estimate and that is what I would submit to the customer as a written estimate.

I had heard about a website called WaveApps so I used that for quite a while, the only limiting factor about waveapps was that you could only use it on a computer. Then I learned about an estimating website that you could use on your computer or phone, I really liked the fact that it had an app so I switched to Joist App and have been using it for about a year now. I really love the functionality and ease of it.

Benefits of Estimating Software

Ease of use

I really like the fact that you can use joist app on your smart phone, it really makes sending estimates and invoice easy. I love the fact the I can create and send them while at the customers house. Technology has really made creating and sending estimates very nice for both the professional handyman and the customer.


Having a estimating software is well worth it because it not only makes things easier but it makes you seem way more professional to the customer. When a customer gets a professional looking estimate or invoice that has all the needed information on it and even a place for them to sign they are instantly going to know the you mean business.

#5. Follow up

The fortune is in the follow up. Plainly said, following up is where you really make your money. There is nothing worse than going through all the trouble of finding your ideal customer, taking a look at the job and estimating the job, and never hearing from the customer again. If someone reaches out to you for handyman work they area ready to buy your services and if you don’t land that job then that means you did something wrong as a handyman. This is something that most people struggle with and probably always will, it’s not something you learn over night or even in 20 years. perfecting the art of the follow up is a life long journey.

Benefits of Following Up

More jobs sold

By following up with customers after sending them an estimate you are re opening the lines of communication and often times it leads to a sale. Sometimes our lives get busy and sometimes estimates get forgotten about, this is why I find it is important to always be following up with customers.

Higher retention rate of Customers

Following up is good for everyone including your customer. It is important that your customer knows that you really care about the work that they need done and following up with them shows them that. I recommend following up with customers no later than a week after the estimate is sent to them, This will make customers want to work with you and continue to work with you in the future.


In Summary: Always look your best when giving an estimate, it really shows your professionalism and creates brand uniformity within your business. Knowing your ideal customer brings about better business relationships, more fun and better paying jobs. Thoroughly documenting the job needs will create a good reference for you to look back on when you are preparing the estimate and it will also create great detail awareness for both you and your customer. Using a professional estimating software will once again show your professionalism as a handyman and make preparing and sending estimates way easier. Last but not least, The fortune is in the follow up, Following up with customers means more jobs sold and better customer retention! Now go out and perform some Professional Handyman Estimates!

You can check out my in-depth video on How to Estimate Handyman Jobs here:

How To Estimate Handyman Jobs

Handyman Start Up Success e-book


Want more information on starting up your very own successful handyman business?

Download my FREE e-book and discover the 4 secrets to handyman startup success: www.Handymanjourney.com

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Allen Lee

Prior to starting my handyman business I was feeling the weight of my work and trapped in a career that I had no vision for. After starting my handyman business I more than doubled my income, have a much better relationship with my family and now look forward to going to work every day. I started The Handyman Journey with a vision of helping others realize that they don't have to be stuck and often times change is right around the corner! With results tested curriculum The Handyman Journey excels in helping people learn how to start and run a profitable handyman business.

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About Me

Allen Lee is the owner of Honest Lee Handyman Services in Sacramento, and founder of the Handyman Journey. He is passionate about educating fellow handymen on starting, running, and growing a successful handyman business.

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