Whether you’re looking to move or just want to make some repairs or upgrades to your home, some jobs are simply out of your wheelhouse. Hiring day laborers may be a cost-effective option for helping you complete all kinds of home improvement projects.
If you’re a new homeowner, you may not be familiar with what day laborers do, or where to begin searching for day labor near you. Since there are certain risks and legalities involved with hiring day laborers, knowing exactly what you’re getting into can make the difference between a great experience … or a potentially disastrous one.
How do you hire day laborers safely and affordably? Here’s how to utilize the robust labor pool to hire day laborers that are dependable and trustworthy.
What Are “Day Laborers”?
As the name implies, day laborers are people hired on a temporary, per diem basis, often to complete a specific job. Day laborers tend to take on work related to areas such as:
- And more
The benefit of hiring day laborers is that they’re often less expensive and more flexible than some contractors or professional tradespeople.
What Kinds of Jobs Can Day Laborers Do?
- Cleaning: Laborers are often used for tasks such as interior housekeeping or washing windows and home exteriors.
- Construction: Day laborers can often perform everything from brick and masonry work to mixing cement and executing demolition projects.
- Moving and Transportation: Daily labor can help with packing up a home as well as moving and transporting furniture and other large objects. They can also come in handy for projects or events that require materials to be moved from one site or location to another.
- Repairs: For certain kinds of plumbing or electrical work, hiring day laborers may be a cost-effective way to get the problem solved by someone who has the specialized skills you need.
- Renovations: Need someone to set the tiles in your bathroom, complete a big interior or exterior paint job, or build an outdoor fence? These jobs are exactly the type of work for which many day laborers are in the market.
How To Vet Day Laborers
Day laborers are not one-size-fits-all. They come with different skills and experience levels, and you should be discerning for the safety of everyone involved.
“The average hourly pay for a day laborer is about $15 … but this rate should likely increase with more complicated jobs that require more experience.”
For jobs that involve using heavy machinery such as forklifts and excavators, or even hand and power tools, certifications and licenses may be required. You need to take the time to ask questions, conduct background checks, and verify work experience.
When vetting a day laborer, here are some important questions to ask:
- Can you tell me about past work experiences related to this job?
- What’s your going rate?
- What working hours do you prefer?
- Do you require special accommodations to perform the job?
- Do you have your own tools?
- Do you have any certifications or licenses?
What Are My Responsibilities With Day Laborers?
As much as you’d love some help with your drywall hanging or vinyl siding, it can be scary when you aren’t recruiting labor through the intermediary of a licensed contracting business. But there are some ways to ensure you keep yourself protected legally and otherwise.
As hiring a day laborer is a private arrangement, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Even if you get connected with a worker through a day labor work center or temp agency, that organization will not be managing the worker for you.
- You are subject to the same labor laws as any other employer. Depending on where you live, there may also be additional paperwork and regulations your state requires, related to factors such as discrimination and payment. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is an excellent resource for what you need to know.
- If the day laborer is injured on the job, you will be held responsible. This means you could be required to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and more, depending on the severity of the injury. Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see what coverage, if any, exists in case a day laborer becomes injured.
- The average hourly pay for a day laborer is about $15, according to PayScale, but this rate should likely increase with more complicated jobs that require more experience.
Where Do I Go To Find Day Laborers Near Me?
In years past, homeowners or businesses interested in hiring day laborers would head out to the local Home Depot or designated street corners near construction sites to scope out the talent. But this can be risky on several levels. Not only could you be wasting your time and money if the worker lacks the necessary skills, but bringing a stranger into your home can potentially put you, your family, and your property at risk.
What should I do instead?
If you aren’t well-versed in the hierarchies and subculture of day laborers at your local hardware store, have no fear! Technology and other resources make the process of finding reliable and trustworthy day laborers near you much easier:
Think of this option as using a matchmaking service to help you find a day laborer that specializes in the skills needed for your particular project. If for whatever reason you find that the day laborer you hired doesn’t meet the requirements you need to complete the job properly, the day labor work center can arrange to find you a more suitable worker.
- Word of Mouth and Social Media
Asking for referrals from people you know and trust can be the easiest and safest method for hiring day laborers. You can also reach out to your network by posting to social media with details about your general location, the nature of the work, and any specific skills or certifications required.
Project-specific services like Porch.com can help you find immediate labor help.
- Online Day Labor Curators
- Porch.com offers a variety of tools to help with every aspect of home improvement and moving, and their online service for finding a handyman is particularly useful. You can easily search on the website for available day laborers or contractors near you that specialize in everything from bathroom remodeling to garage door installation. The site also allows you to read customer reviews about available workers for extra peace of mind.
- If you’re moving, packing, rearranging furniture, or facing any other project that requires an extra hand with the heavy lifting, HireaHelper.com has a user-friendly tool that allows you to compare prices and even find a mover with a truck if needed. You’ll also have access to a customer service team 7 days a week, and all-day labor orders come with damage coverage and a $1,000 service guarantee.
Hiring daily labor isn’t always a straightforward process, but when you succeed at getting the help you’re looking for, you’ll find it’s well worth the time and effort. This guide should give you a head start on the learning curve, so you’ll have a qualified, reliable day laborer on your doorstep in no time.