| I want to install a deadbolt at a temp location (with owner's permission)
| but I don't have my tools with me. What would you folks consider a fair
| charge for the local competent handyman to install one?
Not nearly enough information. You might
call a neighbor to screw in a $3 deadbolt you
provide, and maybe he'd do it for free. Maybe
a few dollars. Maybe in exchange for lunch.
That deadbolt, presumably, would only serve
to let you know whether someone broke in,
not to stop them.
If it were me I'd say likely about $300, depending
on how inconvenient it was for me. Do I have to
go to the store, drive 15 miles, do a good job
at short notice... probably at least $300. Would
you like some steel reinforcing plates, so that
there's a hope the deadbolt might actually serve
its purpose? More for that.
I don't overcharge, but I'm not a handyman. I'm
a contractor. I don't know of any handyman types
anymore. It's just not economically feasible to
drive around doing piddling jobs for token fees. It's
costing me a day, logistically, to do the job --
assuming no complications -- so I have to charge
Due to those logistics I typically do small jobs
for regular customers free, but charge full otherwise.
I don't want to charge some token amount like
$30 because then the customer will expect any
small job to cost only $30. I spent that much
in labor just buying the lock. So I'd rather not charge
them at all than to charge a misleadingly small fee.
It's a funny situation. People think it's outrageous
to pay me $100 to change a lightbulb. I don't blame
them. But I took their phone call, planned, packed up
tools, drove to their house to check the bulb, drove
to the store, back to their house.... $100 is a bargain.
The same people don't
blink to spend $100,000 for a new kitchen, but I'm
actually charging less for my time with the bulb
replacement. To avoid hassles for me and resentment
from customers, I encourage them to save a "punch
list" and call me periodically. I have a number of
customers who do that. They call maybe once per
year with a few days worth of work. I'd suggest you
do the same if it's feasible for you. (And the second
important point: Find and cultivate a good, honest
contractor. If you don't have any loyalty to the handyman
you seek, only caring about how much you'll have to
pay him, then he won't have any loyalty to you and
you'll be in the same boat next time you need a job