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Contractors often criticize the work of previous contractors, and this practice is not limited to handymen, but to all trades.

In 2009, there were national handyman service firms which handle such nationwide tasks as public relations, marketing, advertising, and signage, but sell specific territories to franchise owners.

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It's a less prestigious occupation than a specialist such as a plumber, electrician, or carpenter.

With the emergence of large national chains, an effort is being made to change that perception, by emphasizing professionalism and the fact that a handyman is actually a technician with multiple skills and a wide range of knowledge.

Some jurisdictions require paid handymen to be licensed and/or insured.

New Jersey, for example, requires all handymen who work in for-profit businesses serving residential and commercial customers, to be registered and insured.

In many parts of the world, there are professional handyman firms that do small home or commercial projects which claim possible advantages such as having workers who are insured and licensed.

Their branch offices schedule service appointments for full-time and part-time handymen to visit and make repairs, and sometimes coordinate with sub-contractors.

Tasks range from minor to major, from unskilled to highly skilled, and include painting, drywall repair, remodeling, minor plumbing work, minor electrical work, household carpentry, sheetrock, crown moulding, and furniture assembly (see more complete list below.) The term handyman is occasionally applied as an adjective to describe politicians or business leaders who make substantial organizational changes, such as overhauling a business structure or administrative division.

One trend is that fewer homeowners are inclined to do fix-up jobs, perhaps because of time constraints, perhaps because of lack of interest; one reporter commented "my family's fix-it gene petered out before it reached my generation." Generally the job of paid handyman is low status, a semi-skilled labor job.

At the same time, unpaid homeowners skilled at repairs are valued for saving money.

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