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Q: Why an estimate?

A: Handyman contractors, like many contractors, run into endless unforeseen issues, circumstances, and unexpected secondary issues. Sometimes it’s much worse than expected, and sometimes it’s better. I’m going to give you my best educated guess based on observations and experience. If reality turns out to be even moderately off, I’m going to communicate with you about it before I do anything and will proceed according to your direction.

Q: Are estimates always free?

A: They are usually free, but not always. Some estimates are time-intensive and require research just to put them together, and they also might contain advice on how something ought to be done. That’s a service in itself and sometimes the estimate is going to require financial consideration, which I’ll communicate clearly and upfront. 

Q: Why is handyman work so expensive?

A: There are definitely ranges of costs in this line of service, due to many different factors. I try my best to be fair and transparent, and the fact is that some things are expensive to get done. They require time and they require experience to accomplish correctly in as little time as possible. My commitment is I’ll do my best to get you to done on your project with your budget and satisfaction in-mind.

Q: If we talked about something, does that mean it’s in the estimate?

A: Please read your estimate carefully. If it is not in the estimate, it’s not in the scope of work and it’s not included in the job. My intent is to be as transparent as possible. Many customers request to have multiple different jobs done. For many reasons, the estimate may only include a portion of the jobs/tasks discussed, so please read the estimate and if you have any questions, please talk with me about it. I am very open to questions and feedback.

Q: Why does it take so long?

A: There’s currently a massive shortage of reliable handyman contractors. There’s a tremendous amount of work that needs done and it takes time to process the outreach, view a job, put an estimate together, and ultimately get going. The tradespeople I know are all in the same boat, but I believe everyone is doing their best. When you’re filling out my contact form, you can clearly note if your issue is urgent, so I’ll do my best to get you an answer on if I can help as soon as possible.

Q: Why might I turn your job down?

A: There are many reasons and it’s not personal. It might be that I cannot get to it in a reasonable amount of time, no matter how much I’d like to. It might be that I’m not legally able to or don’t have sufficient skills, and there could be a number of other reasons that I’m just not able to do it.


Q: Will I reuse materials, retrofit, or use “green” products?

A: Yes. On all. I love to help customers retrofit and reuse materials they have on-hand or have reclaimed. I’m also fairly well-versed in green and sustainable products and services. Just ask.

Q: Do I have to pay taxes?

A: Yes, I must pay taxes on the services I render. Washington has a sales tax calculator that I use with each project that auto-populates your sales tax rate based on where your project is located. So I’ll have it entered into the estimate and invoice for you.

Q: What drives project costs up?

A: Candidly, what can drive project costs up the most is when customers want to talk with their contractor while the work is happening. It’s the #1 driver of costs increases and potential overruns. As much as I love talking with many of my customers, when it’s happening while the work is happening, it’s going to make it take longer, and time is money. Plus, it’s also a distraction and a potential for work quality decrease, injury, or secondary issue creation.

Additionally, other drivers can be significant clutter where the job/task site is. If I have to move a bunch of things that are blocking what I’m there to work on, it takes time. Additionally, unannounced issues or symptoms of the issue that weren’t presented are also drivers. It may seem like you’re exposing yourself to increased cost by holding things back, but I can tell you that it’s much better to just put it all on the table and we can work through it and any concerns you have on the front-end.

Q: What’s an estimate look like?

A: My estimates are detailed (unless it’s a simple on-the-spot fix that we agree to). I list the materials at-cost (the actual cost of the material or equipment at the time of purchase, with no markups.) Then I include the reasonable and realistic time that I believe I can accomplish the work. I then include the tax, any discounts, any materials you already had on-hand, and the time I spent picking materials up. I usually do not charge for my travel time in the Snoqualmie Valley, and I only charge for the estimate if we agreed to that on the front-end. That’s it. Then I do my best to stick to that estimate, record what I did, and that is included in the invoice.


Swede's was very responsive and even came out on the same day when we had kitchen sink troubles thanks to a Valley freeze this winter. Josh was able to quickly get to the root of our plumbing problem and explained his process every step of the way. He was polite, educated us on the hardware in our home, and completely fixed our kitchen faucet and sink! I will absolutely be contacting him again for any problem we have around the house!

Alex & Chase - Snoqualmie 

Thank you again for the great job you did on my new front porch landing, it looks great. You went above and beyond expectations, everything was very smooth and orderly, and you left everything so picked up and clean.  I look forward to working with you again and I will recommend you to others.

Linda, Snoqualmie Valley


Thank you for the great work getting our first home ready to move in, you exceeded our expectations.

Mike, Issaquah


As a contractor, I have nearly unrealistic expectations for those I hire. Swede’s met and then exceeded my expectations, finding durable and economical solutions to my projects, and caring about the finished product. I highly recommend this outfit.

Bob, North Bend


Josh, this trellis is exactly what we talked about in every way from design to construction. It looks great! Thank you.

Brad, North Bend


Josh was a true professional and endured some challenging circumstances with several of my clients. He was transparent, approachable, and did great work. I will work with him again anytime.

Jason, Factoria


Swede’s is awesome!

Bobbi, Snoqualmie

Thanks for the great work you did in replacing our 4 bathroom fans. The job was done exactly as expected and the effort you went to source the materials is much appreciated. You also communicated how things were going and when we could expect things to happen, which was really nice. We have found that level of transparency is not that common in the home repair field. Thanks again! 

Bruce C., Snoqualmie 

Swede's Handyman
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