How to Hire a Day Worker for Your Home Remodel Project

Remodeling or renovating your home can be an exciting yet daunting task. While some homeowners have the skills to tackle DIY projects, many jobs are best left to experienced professionals. Hiring day workers is an affordable way to get help with labor-intensive tasks without breaking the bank on a large remodeling company. Follow these tips to find, hire and manage day laborers to assist with your home remodel.

Define the Scope of Work

Before hiring any workers, you need to determine exactly what tasks you need help with. Make a detailed list of all jobs, from demolition to finishing work. Being as specific as possible will allow you to give clear direction to workers and get an accurate estimate of labor costs.

Consider the following when defining project scope:

  • What needs to be demolished or removed? Walls, flooring, cabinets etc.
  • What areas need new installation or construction? Framing, drywall, tile etc.
  • What tasks require skilled tradesmen like electricians or plumbers?
  • What finishing work is needed? Painting, trim, final cleaning etc.

If undertaking a major remodel, break up the project into phases so you aren’t hiring workers for months on end. Prioritize must-have elements first.

Find Experienced Day Workers

There are several ways to find casual laborers to hire by the day:

Home Improvement Stores

Many hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s have a labor pool you can hire from right onsite. Workers gather there daily looking for jobs. Benefits include convenience and ability to vet workers first. Downsides are higher rates and less flexibility in scheduling.

Online Job Boards

Websites like Craigslist, WorkNola and LaborPond connect homeowners with workers available for short term jobs. You can post help wanted ads or browse resumes. This allows you to interview candidates and review work history. Ensure workers have transportation.

Day Labor Agencies

Companies like LaborFinders and Blue Collar Staffing specialize in dispatching temporary laborers of various skill levels. Fees are higher but workers are pre-screened. Useful for last minute or urgent hiring needs.


Ask family, friends and neighbors if they know any dependable handymen or contractors that offer day labor services. Referrals can yield great finds through word of mouth. Check references thoroughly first.

Drive-Up Sites

In some areas, casual laborers will gather at well-known meeting spots like home improvement store parking lots looking for day work. You can connect with workers directly but have less assurance of skills.

Community Job Boards

Check bulletin boards at libraries, rec centers, churches and guild halls which often have local job postings. This can help you find neighborhood handymen looking for side work.

Vet Workers Thoroughly

Whether you find candidates online, through an agency or by referral, vet each one thoroughly before hiring.

Check References

Ask each prospective worker for 2-3 references from recent jobs and call them. Ask references about work quality, reliability and honesty.

Verify Identities

Ask to see a photo ID and write down the full legal name, address and phone number of each worker you consider hiring. This protects against potential theft or property damage.

Review Portfolios

If relevant to the task, ask to see examples of past work like photographs of tile projects, cabinetry, etc. Visual evidence helps assess skills.

Check for Licensing

Ensure workers have the proper licensing for specialized tasks like electrical or plumbing work. Verify credentials are current. Don’t risk safety violations.

Negotiate Rates

Agree upon hourly wages or per project pricing upfront so there are no surprises. Be clear on what is and is not included in day rates, like supplies, mileage, meals, etc.

Trust Instincts

If anything seems off about a potential hire, from bad references to aggressive soliciting for work, trust your gut feeling and look for another candidate.

Hiring through an established agency or site with vetting procedures can streamline background checks. For independent hires, thoroughly vet each worker yourself.

Define the Job Details

Before work begins, communicate all key details to your hired day laborers to set clear expectations.

Specify Tasks

Provide a complete list of the specific tasks and scope of work you are hiring them to complete. Be as detailed as possible so nothing is left open to interpretation.

Set Schedule

Be clear about start and end times, total hours required and the timeline for completing the project. Let them know if you have firm deadlines.

Review Policies

Cover any policies on breaks, use of phones/music, smoking, food delivery, bathroom access, parking locations, cleanliness and safety protocols.

Confirm Compensation

Reconfirm your agreement on hourly wages or project rates. Explain when and how workers will be paid. Settle any outstanding questions.

Share Contact Info

Provide your phone number and availability details in case workers need to reach you while on the job with questions or supply requests.

Taking time to clearly define project expectations is crucial to getting off on the right foot. Leave no room for assumptions.

Oversee Work in Progress

Once workers begin the job, check in periodically to oversee progress and quality.

Start the Day

Begin each workday by outlining the tasks and goals you want accomplished. Review any safety concerns. Provide equipment or materials needed.

Check Work

Stop by intermittently to inspect completed work for issues that need correction like crooked tile lines or sloppy paint edges. Nip problems in the bud.

Resolve Problems

If concerns arise like workers not following directions or doing subpar work, address them immediately to prevent bigger issues down the line.

Replenish Supplies

Make sure workers have the tools, materials and protective equipment needed to perform tasks properly. Nothing slows progress like supply delays.

Review Schedule

Periodically confirm the project is on track to be completed within the original timeframe. Make adjustments if needed.

Stay Flexible

Be open to modifying plans as needed if discoveries like rotted framing or hidden asbestos are made that impact project scope.

Overseeing progress ensures you get the quality and efficiency you want from day labor. Be actively involved.

Keep Workers On Task

To maximize productivity, keep your temporary laborers focused on work while on site.

Minimize Distractions

Don’t allow workers to play loud music, talk on cell phones or take excessive breaks which can impede progress. Keep chatter minimal.

Emphasize Timelines

Remind workers regularly of timeline expectations and that productivity is a condition of continued employment. Keep them output focused.

Lead by Example

Don’t sit around idly chatting or getting distracted yourself. Model efficient, focused behavior and others will follow.

Review Tasks

If you see workers idle, re-review project plans and delegate the next task. Keep everyone busy and accountable.

Provide Motivation

From snacks to bonus pay for beating deadlines, find small ways to motivate your crew to work hard and fast. Inspire peak performance.

Address Issues

If a worker seems disinterested, lagging or difficult to manage, speak to them privately to understand why and reinforce expectations before issues escalate.

With good leadership, you can keep temporary workers on track and maximize how much gets done each day.

Practice Job Site Safety

When using day laborers, protecting safety is paramount. Take the following precautions:

Hold a Safety Meeting

On the first day, review job hazards, emergency procedures, incident reporting and safety protocols. Emphasize your commitment to a safe site.

Provide Safety Gear

Supply workers with hard hats, goggles, gloves, face masks and any other gear needed for their tasks. Require that they wear it at all times.

Reduce Risks

Remove debris promptly. Cover wires. Provide adequate lighting and ventilation. Eliminate other hazards that could cause slips, falls or other injuries.

Enforce Rules

Continuously enforce all safety rules and procedures. Lead by example by wearing protective equipment yourself and never taking shortcuts.

Allow for Breaks

Make sure workers take sufficient breaks for water, rest and getting out of the sun/cold. Fatigue leads to accidents.

Report Incidents

Mandate all injuries or near misses be reported immediately so you can address risks before the worst occurs.

While homeowners insurance can provide liability coverage, taking proactive measures to protect temporary workers is important, smart and humane. Don’t cut corners on safety.

Pay Workers Properly

To build goodwill and avoid legal issues, pay your temporary staff properly and on time.

Track Hours

Closely track start and stop times each day to calculate total hours worked. Don’t estimate to avoid wage disputes.

Review Rates

Confirm hourly or per project rates in writing so no confusion exists when payment is due. Get signatures.

Mind Overtime

Know overtime pay requirements in your state to avoid underpaying if long hours are required to meet deadlines.

Provide Receipts

Have workers sign receipts when issued payment. Keep these on file to prove compensation was received.

Report Earnings

If paying cash, collect tax IDs and issue 1099 forms at year end. Failure to do so can create IRS headaches.

By compensating temporary laborers fairly and documenting payments properly, you prove yourself an ethical employer. This helps secure return helpers for future projects.

Troubleshoot Common Issues

Despite best efforts, problems can arise when relying on temporary laborers. Be prepared to address them.


If workers are habitually late or fail to show up, reemphasize the importance of punctuality to project timelines or be forced to terminate them.

Lack of Effort

Take underperforming workers aside and explain the quality and productivity you expect. Replace repeat offenders.

Poor Workmanship

For subpar work, provide additional hands-on training or direct supervision. If no improvement, cut losses and hire a replacement.


Enlist an attendant to closely monitor possessions and valuables if you suspect theft. Ban proven offenders from the work site.

Aggressive Behavior

Don’t tolerate intimidating language, threats or uncontrolled anger. Fire volatile workers immediately to prevent altercations.

Injury Claims

If a worker claims a job-related injury, follow protocol for documenting and reporting it to your insurer for investigation before paying any claim.

Remaining level-headed yet firm when issues arise with temporary staff will help resolve problems efficiently while protecting your interests.

Wrap Up the Project

Once the work is done, finish strong by tying up loose ends and celebrating a job well done.

Inspect Work

Walk the site to confirm all tasks were completed properly and the quality of workmanship meets expectations. Have punch lists repaired.

Get Sign Off

Review the finished job with workers and have them sign off that the contracted work is complete and they have received full payment.

Share Contacts

Exchange contact information with workers who displayed good skills and work ethic. Consider re-hiring them for future projects.

Provide References

Offer to serve as a reference for those who did great work. Good referrals help skilled laborers build their business.

Offer Bonuses

Consider small bonuses or gift cards if crews exceeded expectations for quality and productivity. This shows appreciation.


Thank your work crews and acknowledge their efforts. Provide snacks, drinks or a meal. Toast a job well done!

Ending your temporary work relationship positively ensures you part on good terms. Leaving doors open to re-hire the best laborers saves you effort next time.


Where is the best place to find day laborers?

Home improvement stores, online job boards like Craigslist, and day labor agencies are good options. Referrals can also yield good finds. Vet all workers thoroughly.

What info should I get from each worker?

Collect full legal names, phone numbers, addresses and photo ID. Also get licensing info and references. Perform due diligence before hiring.

What’s the best way to pay day laborers?

Pay by check or cash and get signed receipts. Avoid off-book payments. Report earnings at tax time and follow labor laws to avoid issues. Pay fair market wages.

How can I ensure day laborers work efficiently?

Start each day reviewing tasks. Check work periodically. Address problems immediately. Replenish supplies promptly. Motivate workers. Keep them focused with minimal distractions. Lead by example.

What steps can I take to prevent injuries on the job?

Hold a safety meeting. Provide safety gear. Reduce risks. Enforce rules consistently. Allow for breaks. Report all incidents and address immediately. Don’t cut corners on safety.

What should I do if a worker damages property?

Assess if it was an accident or negligence. Review your homeowner’s insurance policy’s liability coverage. Get multiple repair estimates. Negotiate payment if warranted. Ban irresponsible workers from site.


Hiring temporary laborers is an affordable way to tackle the labor-intensive parts of your home remodel. Follow best practices in finding quality workers, overseeing work, handling payment, addressing issues and maintaining safety. Managing day workers diligently will help contain project costs without compromising quality results. With a thoughtful approach, you can successfully augment your remodeling workforce and budget.