For many people, domestic bliss does not involve cleaning, repairs, or yard work; so here are top home maintenance repair businesses to start at home.
But that doesn’t mean that their vision of a happy home involves a dirty, broken-down house with an unkempt yard.
It simply means that they prefer to pay others to do the gritier tasks of residential upkeep.
And in doing so, they create employment opportunities for the care and cleaning of homes.
This post highlights three businesses: Handyman, maid/housekeeper, and landscaping/grounds keeping that involve specific types of house calls.
These home businesses may not be at the top of very job seeker’s choice careers, but they offer some advantages.
In general, entering these industries requires little formal education, and paid training occurs on the the job.
In essence, these are cash businesses.
Operators often have the opportunity to be self-employed and part-time work is possible.
Most homeowners encounter household maintenance and repair projects that they can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t do themselves.
Maybe a lock needs to be changed, a porch needs to be painted, or storm windows need to be installed.
For these types of businesses (or jobs), homeowners often rely on help from a handyman.
Handymen are fix-it generalists who have a knack for thinking through a problem to find a solution.
They are hired to complete household maintenance and repair tasks that are not complex enough to require the specialized training of a licensed tradesperson, such as a plumber or electrician, but that require certain skills and knowledge.
They also are responsible for recognizing when a job is above their skill level and requires the expertise of a trades person. Services might involve both interior and exterior work and require a variety of skills. For example, replacing an outdoor light fixture could require basic carpentry skills, as well as an elementary knowledge of electrical wiring.
Most handymen jobs for hire begin with meeting the prospective homeowner-client to learn about the work that needs to be done. Some jobs are straightforward and simple, but others may be complicated. The handyman explains how they will approach the job and how much it should cost. A more detailed cost estimate might be provided when the homeowner hires the handyman to do the job.
The variety of tasks that a handyman performs can be complicated by the range of conditions under which they must work. For example, in confined spaces, in all kinds of weather, or at great heights. And because home maintenance and repair runs the gamut from simple to complex, handymen must be adept at using many kinds of tools and at understanding wiring diagrams, installation instructions, and other informational documents.
There are few formal training requirements for becoming a handyman, and specialized training is not required. Although most of a handyman’s duties are not complex or difficult, they may need specialized knowledge and skills. Practical training, available at many adult education centers and community colleges, is helpful for learning tasks such as drywall repair and basic plumbing. Math aptitude is especially useful for handyman when measuring and calculating areas.
They also need good interpersonal skills to interact with a variety of clients. And because clients hire a handyman to do work that they may not b e able to be themselves, the handyman must be able to communicate concepts that clients can understand.
For most homeowners, a happy home is a tidy one. But housecleaning is sometimes considered more chore than cheer. Homeowners who would rather hire someone to do the work than to do it themselves turn to maids and housekeepers. Maids and housekeepers clean and do a range of other household tasks. Typical duties include vacuuming, mopping, and dusting throughout the house, as well as sanitizing kitchens and bathrooms. Some maids and housekeepers also empty trash bins, wash dishes, and do laundry.
Almost anything inside a house can be cleaned or tidied by maids and housekeepers. For example, workers might wash windows; clean appliances; wash, fold, and iron clothes or other linens, such as tablecloths; polish furniture or silver; and clean floors. When cleaning, maids and housekeepers arrive, but some general straightening may be necessary.
Operators often bring their own cleaning supplies, although sometimes clients prefer to provide certain products. Work arrangements for maids and housekeepers vary considerably. You can employ other maids and housekeepers to service many homes; or have informal relationships with a few clients that you service.
Maids and housekeepers working for you may be required to pass a background check. The employer often must be able to secure a bond on the employee (a kind of insurance against looses to the client). These procedures protect the employee, the homeowner, and the service company.
Maids and housekeepers who are self-employed usually manage scheduling and payment matters themselves. They also have other responsibilities, including building a a clientele. Workers typically gain new clients through referrals from existing, satisfied ones. Housekeeping is physical work but is generally not strenuous. Bending, standing for long periods, reaching and twisting, and repetitive motion are routine in this occupation.
Maids and housekeepers also work with cleaning chemical, which are sometimes toxic; however, cleaning products that are natural and less harmful are widely available.
Maids and housekeepers must understand what each client expects, such as which rooms are to be cleaned or which linens are to be changed. Because the client is frequently absent from the home while the cleaning is done, details of the job must be explained before the time or price is established. For example, clients might request that additional rooms be cleaned thoroughly for special occasions, such as a family party, in which case workers must adjust their schedules and the amount they charge for that particular day.
Formal training is rarely required for maids and housekeepers. But some knowledge, such as how to safely and efficiently use cleaning chemicals and equipment, is essential. Maids and housekeepers interact with clients and may work as part of a team, so interpersonal skills are important. Basic math and accounting are helpful in calculating and tracking payment, especially for those who are self-employed.
A beautiful yard helps homeowners present a favorable impression to visitors and passersby. And homeowners unwilling or unable to invest the time and effort to create such an impression my instead invest in the services of landscaping and grounds-keeping workers. Landscaping workers, also called landscapers, create aesthetically pleasing outdoor spaces. Grounds-keeping workers, also called groundskeepers, maintain previously established landscapes.
Although their duties are distinct, landscaping and grounds-keeping workers may perform some of the same tasks and sometimes work together. Landscapers begin a project by talking with a prospective client about what clients want. They take these preferences into account when planning a new design for front or backyard spaces. Then, landscapers measure the area and consider soil types, sunlight availability, and other factors before drawing up plans for the layout. The work involved in each job depends on the landscaper’s vision, and the client’s budget. For example, landscapers might lay sod and plant trees, bushes, and flowers to enhance a yard’s beauty. By adding edging and mulch around their plantings, landscapers establish sections and help to minimize weeds. Retaining walls, walkways, patios, water gardens, and other structures create ambiance. And to address other considerations, such as safety or convenience, landscapers might install in-ground lights or sprinklers.
After completing installation of their design, landscapers must devise a plan for its upkeep. This plan, which also requires client approval, includes timetables for watering plantings, mowing the lawn, and trimming existing vegetation. Groundskeepers implement the plan for maintaining existing yards. In addition to watering and mowing, they might apply fertilizers or other lawn products to eliminate weeds or pests. They also trim grass in areas that the lawnmower can’t reach and replenish mulch around plants, as needed.
Landscaping and grounds-keeping operators use tools such as push and ride-on lawn mowers, clippers, rakes, and shovels. Some lawn care work may require use of tractors, backhoes, or other heavy equipment. Repairing and maintaining these tools and equipment is another of their tasks.
Work arrangements for landscapers and groundskeepers vary. Many of these workers are self-employed; others work for landscaping companies. Their jobs are physically demanding and often require working in severe weather, including extreme temperatures. Except in warmer regions of the United States, landscaping and grounds-keeping work is largely seasonal. Workers are usually busiest during the growing seasons, but opportunities also exist at other times for raking and mulching leaves in the fall, and for clearing snow or ice from walkways and driveways in the winter.
There are no specific educational requirements for landscaping and grounds-keeping business owners. To advance or specialize, however, formal training in horticulture or landscape design is beneficial. This training is available at community colleges and adult education centers. In addition, professional organizations offer certification based on experience and successful completion of an examination. Because of the work involved in these occupations, landscapers and groundskeepers should be physically fit. And workers must be able to work with poisonous or allergy-inducing plants and insects, as well as fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals. Some States require that landscape contractors be licensed, and most require certification or license, usually acquired by completing a written test, for those who apply pesticides. And workers who operate motor vehicles or heavy equipment must have the relevant driver’s or operator’s license.
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