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Question DetailsAsked on 5/8/2012

Does a handyman charge for travel time to and from a store when picking up supplies?

If I need supplies ie. a threshold for a door and weather stripping; do I have to pay for the time he spends at the hardware store to get this equipment?

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1 Answer


It depends. If it is something he knew from a previous trip he needed and forgot then generally no but chances are he's charging you a fixed rate for the job anyway. If it is his first trip there for that project he'll need to take measurements to buy the correct threshold and type of weatherstripping before going to the store so yes because you are paying for his time to get the required supplies and properly install them. The simplest analogy I can come up with on the fly is this: Does a company make an office assistant clock out to go get copy paper? No, because it's necessary to do the job and that company is paying him/her for teir time while doing those tasks.

I generally don't like charging by the hour even for small repairs. Someone always feels they've been screwed. Either the contractor feels he should have gotten more for the complexity and knowledge required to do the work or the customer feels the person has racked up additinional time to drive the price up whether that is the case or not. Some shady handymen and contractors love hourly for this very reason. It sounds great at first until the hours start adding up and the job costs more than they wanted to pay. A set price for a specific job is always better. You may not like it but you know what you're paying. One caveat to that: with repairs and remodeling expect the possibility of unknown problems to arise which will increase the price. He could find rotten wood or some other damage when removing the old threshold which then needs to be repaired before he proceeds. Then he needs to give you a price for what that will add to your bill.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services

Answered 8 years ago by Todd's Home Services

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