Get Quotes from Top Handymen in San Antonio, TX
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Handyman in the City of San Antonio
Handymen in the City of San Antonio earn an average hourly wage of approximately $18.50 for their services, making them a preferable alternative solution for handling small home repair jobs instead of licensed and specialized professionals, who typically charge more. In addition to handling small repair jobs, San Antonio handymen also perform building maintenance work for homeowners in the city. However, while hiring a handyman can save you money on home repairs and maintenance, you should always take certain steps to ensure that you hire the right professional for the job. To this end, you can hire a good handyman in the City of San Antonio by always asking the following questions:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Handyman in the City of San Antonio?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Handymen in the City of San Antonio?
- Do You Require a Permit to Complete This Work in the City of San Antonio?
- What Works Can You Do Legally as a Handyman in the City of San Antonio?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Handymen in the City of San Antonio?
- How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Handyman in the City of San Antonio
Handymen that wish to operate in the City of San Antonio are required to register as either a Home Improvement Contractor or a Residential Building Contractor with the city's Development Services Department before doing so. The scope of work for handymen that register as home improvement contractors is limited to non-structural remodeling, repair, replacement, alterations, conversions, and modernizations on existing residential structures and detached accessory buildings that are not more than 400 square feet. On the other hand, handymen that register as residential building contractors can perform new residential construction work as well as structural alteration, remodeling, addition, and repair work on existing homes and detached accessory buildings that are more than 400 square feet.
Registrants will be required to complete and submit either a Home Improvement Contractor Registration Application Form or a Residential Building Contractor Registration Application Form. Other registration requirements include undergoing an FBI national background check, submitting a government-issued photo ID, paying applicable fees, and providing proof of adequate liability insurance. This registration process must be completed in person at the San Antonio Development Services Department's office located at:Cliff Morton Development and Business Services Center
1901 South Alamo Street
San Antonio, TX 78204
Phone: (210) 207-1111
Hours: 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Mondays to Fridays
Note that handymen that wish to maintain or make minor repairs to existing electrical systems on any property that has been registered in the City of San Antonio will be required to undergo a separate Electrical Maintenance Technician registration process with the Development Services Department. This process includes being certified by a city-authorized provider, and submitting a completed Electrical Maintenance Technician Application Form along with a government-issued photo-ID, a copy of the training class certificate, and applicable registration fees.
Also, while San Antonio does not issue a general business license, handymen in the city may be required to meet certain business registration requirements, such as filing an Assumed Name Certificate with the Bexar County Clerk's Office and applying for Sales and Use Tax permits from the Texas Comptroller of Public Account's Office. Additional information on San Antonio business registration requirements can be gotten by contacting the city's Economic Development Department atCity Tower
100 West Houston Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone: (210) 207-8080
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays
You can also confirm that your intended handyman has completed all necessary contractor registration requirements by contacting the San Antonio Development Services Department at (210) 207-1111 or by utilizing this department's online Contractor Search portal.
Handyman hourly rates in the City of San Antonio are generally determined by several factors, and these include:
- The type of home repair or maintenance service required
- The urgency of the repair job
- The types of tools needed to perform the job
- The cost of materials that may be utilized for the job
- The labor intensity of the repair or maintenance job
- The cost of any permits that the job may require
A good way to ensure that you get charged a fair rate for your required service is by getting and comparing estimates from at least two or three handymen in the city. Provide the same job parameters to these professionals, and consider it a red flag if the estimate submitted by any of these handymen is significantly higher or lower than the other submitted estimates.
San Antonio handymen earn an average wage of $38,490, annually. The table below compares and contrasts the average hourly wages of handymen and other general maintenance and repair workers in San Antonio with those of workers in this industry across the State of Texas and major American cities:
The San Antonio Development Services Department issues permits for all activities that involve the building, remodeling, repair, or demolishing of structures in the city. These activities typically include general repair and small remodeling jobs typically handled by handymen in the city. However, exemptions are made for certain types of jobs, such as:
- Painting, plastering, wallpapering, sheetrock repairs, and tiling
- Carpeting and wood or laminate flooring
- Cabinet and countertops installation or repair
- Replacing existing doors and broken glass in windows
- Replacing new siding over existing siding
- Work involving sidewalks and driveways within a homeowner's property line
- Work involving one-story detached accessory structures that are used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses, or for other similar purposes, as long as these structures' floor areas do not exceed 300 square feet
- Work involving retaining walls that are less than four feet
Permits can be obtained by homeowners, city-registered home improvement or residential building contractors, and state-licensed specialty trade contractors. It should be noted that, depending on the nature and scope of the repair job, multiple permits may be required. Permit applications can be made at the Development Services Department's One-Stop Center located at:1901 South Alamo Street
San Antonio, TX 78204
Applications can also be made online via the department's BuildSA platform. However, applicants that wish to utilize this option will have to register a user account on this platform before doing so. The department provides interested parties with access to customer resources that can be used to glean information on navigating its BuildSA platform.
Permit applicants will be required to submit appropriate application forms relevant to the type of repair work that needs to be done. Note that projects that involve room additions of more than 1,000 square feet or any type of two-story addition, regardless of the size, will require the submission of construction plans for review by the department's Plans Examiners. Once the submitted application forms and supporting documents have been reviewed and approved, and all stipulated fees have been paid, the required repair or remodeling job can commence. Inspections are typically performed at various stages of the permitted work to ensure that it is done in compliance with the city's building codes. Queries concerning the San Antonio home repair and remodeling permitting and work inspection process can be directed to the Development Services Department at (210) 207-1111.
The scope of work that handymen in San Antonio can perform is mostly dependent on the type of local-level contractor registration process that they have completed. Handymen that are registered as home improvement contractors can only perform non-structural home repair and remodeling, while handymen that are registered as residential building contractors can perform both structural and non-structural repair and remodeling, as well as new building construction work. Likewise, handymen that wish to perform minor electrical repairs on city-registered property must be certified and registered as electrician maintenance technicians.
Thus, you should always confirm the registration status of any handyman that you intend to hire in the city and make sure that this registration is relevant to the scope of your home repair or remodeling job. Note that handymen in San Antonio are not authorized to perform work involving plumbing and HVAC systems or carry out major repairs on existing electrical systems unless they possess a valid state-issued contractor license. State-issued HVAC and electrical contractor licenses are issued by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, while plumbing contractor licenses are issued by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners. Also, handymen that obtain these state-issued licenses will also have to register them locally with the city's Development Services Department.
Once you have determined that your intended handyman has undergone the appropriate registration process required for the job, it is also a good idea to find out the rates that this professional charges for their services. Listed below are cost estimates for common home repair and remodeling services requested by homeowners in San Antonio:
In 2020 alone, 70 fatal occupational injuries and 23,400 nonfatal occupational injuries were reported amongst general maintenance and repair workers across the United States. Making sure that your handyman is properly insured provides you with financial insulation from the outcome of these on-the-job injuries and also covers the cost of property damages and other negative work-related events.
Handymen in the City of San Antonio are required to meet certain mandatory insurance requirements before they can register as contractors with the city's Development Services Department and legally offer their services to interested San Antonians. Handymen that register as home improvement contractors must maintain liability insurance of at least $300,000 per occurrence or $600,000 aggregate for bodily injury and property damage, and $300,000 aggregate for products and completed operations. Likewise, handymen registered as residential building contractors must maintain liability insurance of at least $500,000 per occurrence or $1,000,000 aggregate for bodily injury and property damage, and $500,000 aggregate for products and completed operations.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your preferred handymen comply with these city-mandated insurance requirements. As such, before hiring any handyman, always ask them to provide you with a copy of their insurance certificate and contact the insurance provider to authenticate it. You can also contact the San Antonio Development Services Department at (210) 207-1111 to get additional information on the city's mandatory insurance requirements for handymen that wish to operate within its jurisdiction.
In May 2018, San Antonio Express-News reported the arrest of a local contractor that had been accused of scamming elderly residents of the city by accepting money for home repairs and then failing to carry out these repairs. Similarly, in October 2020, local media house K-SAT TV reported that a fraudulent contractor that had previously been convicted in 2017 for home repair scams had been accused of carrying out similar scam schemes less than a year after being released from jail.
According to a survey conducted by the Consumer Federation of America, reports on home improvement and repair scams are the second most-common type of complaints made by consumers across the United States. These scams typically involve the contractors providing shoddy services, failing to complete work that had already been paid for, or not even starting the work at all. Considering the high rate of home repair scams in San Antonio and across the country, you should always take the following precautionary steps when hiring handymen in the city so as to avoid falling victim to one:
- Be cautious of door-to-door handymen. Note that not all door-to-door handymen are scammers. However, it is advisable to get referrals to handymen from reputable sources instead of hiring one that shows up at your home uninvited. Some reputable sources through which you can get these referrals include family, friends, and online platforms like the Better Business Bureau website and the Contractor Connect platform provided by the San Antonio Development Services Department
- Get written estimates for your home repair or remodeling job from no less than two to three different handymen in the city. Compare these estimates and look out for discrepancies in any of them. These discrepancies may include extremely low bids or unexplainably high rates
- Confirm the registration status of your preferred handyman online or by calling (210) 207-1111. You should equally verify the handyman's insurance status
- Always get references from any handyman that you intend to hire. Consider it a red flag if your preferred handyman cannot provide you with at least three verifiable references
- Make sure that you are given a written contract for the home repair or remodeling work. However, do not rush to sign any contract that you are given. Take your time to review it and make sure that it does not contain any blank spaces or ambiguous clauses. Also, ensure that the contract includes the terms of the job, such as a description of the work that is to be done, its cost, and an estimated timeline for its completion
- Never pay the full cost of the job upfront until the work has been completed, and you have also inspected it and found it satisfactory. If you have to make any advance payments, make sure that this payment does not exceed 10 - 30 percent of the job's total cost. Depending on the nature of the job, you can also come up with a payment schedule where payments are made when specified milestones in the job are reached. It is also a good idea to avoid cash transactions
The Office of the Attorney General of Texas is charged with protecting consumers in the City of San Antonio from deceptive and fraudulent business actions and practices. Residents of the city can file complaints concerning home repair and remodeling scams with this office's Consumer Protection Division by calling (800) 621-0508. Complaints can also be filed with this division either by completing and submitting an online consumer complaint form or by mailing a duly completed printable complaint form to:Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548