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.
In a book by author Carolyn See called The Handyman, a handyman is really an aspiring but discouraged artist who transforms the lives of people he works for, as well as having sexual encounters with some of his clients, and his experiences improve his artistic output.
A 1980 movie called The Handyman was about a carpenter-plumber who was "good at what he does" but is "too honest and trusting," and gets taken advantage of by "women who find him handsome and understanding;" the movie earned negative reviews from critic Vincent Canby.
The term handyman increasingly describes a paid worker, but it also includes non-paid homeowners or do-it-yourselfers.
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.
One Lehman Brothers executive, after being let go from the Wall Street firm, bought a Union, New Jersey franchise from a national handyman firm.
A handyman built this bathroom wall using two-by-four boards; after electricians added the wires, metal plates were put on studs to prevent nails and screws (to hold drywall) from going into electric wires; a handyman added the drywall.
Service varied from spotty to good, with complaints about unreturned phone calls, service people standing on dining room chairs, leaving holes between wood planking, but liked getting multiple jobs done instead of just one.