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By the hour (Arawan) vs. by the job (Pakyawan): Which pricing method is the best for you?

To immediately address what probably many of you are already thinking, you are right, per hour pricing on handyman services is not common in the Philippines. However, we’ve also been accustomed to a pricing method that is quite similar. We typically call this pricing setup “Arawan” or pricing by the day. Filipino handymen normally charge by the day for their work which is composed of 9 hours, with an hour of lunch break in the middle. 

Another popular pricing method that Filipino handymen normally employ is what we call “Pakyawan” or “By the Job” pricing. In this pricing method, the handymen would normally quote a fixed labor rate to complete the job specified by the client.

The big question now is: Which pricing method is the best for you?

To help you answer this question for yourself, let’s identify first the advantages and disadvantages of each pricing method.

For this blog, we are just going to focus our discussion on the pricing methods that are available at Mr. Butler Philippines. When it comes to handyman services, Mr. Butler employs both the following pricing methods:

1. By-the-hour

Mr. Butler’s “By the hour” pricing is simply just a derivation of an hourly rate from an 8-hour work rate plus of course overhead related to logistics, training, warranty, PPE, and tools needed for the job. With this pricing method, the client agrees to a base fee for the first 2 hours. If the job is done within the first 2 hours, then the client no longer incurs any additional expense. But, if the job takes more than 2 hours, a per-hour rate applies for the succeeding hours.


  • Fast delivery of services: With this pricing method, you skip the time-consuming process of assessment, reviewing, and approving estimates or quotes. Especially if the job required involves urgent repairs and installations, then definitely this is the best pricing for you.
  • Less upfront cash outflow: Unlike by- the-job pricing which would normally require you to place a downpayment of 50% of the estimated project cost, by-the-hour pricing does not pressure you on parting with big amounts of money at the start of the project. You can decide how your handymen work and when they can come to work. You can even delay your project intentionally just in case you run out of budget and need time to raise the money.
  • More flexible: By the hour pricing accommodates changes and surprises in the project. It doesn’t matter if the project scope changes in the middle of the project since the handymen are being paid by the hour.


  • Requires Hands-On: This pricing method works best for clients who:

a) have at least some technical knowledge on the required work to be done

b) have time to supervise the work

With this pricing method, the handymen would be needing your attention to complete the job. They will have to come to you for materials and other major tools and equipment to complete the job. You will also have to monitor the time their work started and ended in a day. Although, if you have no problem with both the points above, then this should quickly work to your advantage.

2. By-the-job

Most popularly known as “Pakyaw”, with the by-the-job pricing method, the client agrees to a fixed rate to complete the job. The agreement normally includes the scope of the job and desired outcome.


  • Controlled budget: With this pricing method, you can keep the expenses within a set budget. You have peace of mind knowing that you can comfortably afford the completion of your home project and knowing that the handymen will do their best to finish the job within the set job estimate.
  • The project gets completed quicker: With this pricing method, the handymen have a very high incentive to complete the job faster. This is because the earlier they complete the project, the higher the take-home pay they get for the project.
  • No need for supervision: With this setup, you don’t have to supervise the project. All you have to do is agree on the scope of work, the pricing, and the timetable of the project. After that, all you need to do then is wait for the project to be handed over back to you already completed.


  • Takes longer process: If the job is just minor, then availing of this setup will have a longer process compared to booking services by the hour. With a by-the-job pricing setup, the process starts with scheduling an ocular visit from one of our lead handymen. On the day of the appointment, the lead handymen would do an ocular assessment of the job to be done. After that, it normally takes 1 to 2 days for the job estimate to be sent back to you for your review and approval.
  • Not so flexible: This setup heavily relies on the scope of work agreed by all parties before starting the project. Any changes to the scope will result in a Change Order or additional charges to complete the amended scope of work.
  • May include contingent costs: Due to the very nature of this pricing method, several variables are being considered that may increase the job estimate for the project. Quite frankly, some variables may or may not happen. Regardless, the price remains the same. Hence, you may realize that you would have saved some money if you opted for the by-the-hour pricing.

To summarize, either of the two pricing methods available can work for you if you know when to use them. If the job you need to be completed is either urgent or minor, then by the hour pricing is the best for you. It skips assessments and estimates and goes straight to completing the job for you. Also, if you are also knowledgeable of the job to be done and have free time to supervise the project, then by-the-hour pricing will perfectly work for you. However, if the job you need to be completed is a major one; and if you would prefer to work within a set budget and do not wish to involve yourself too much in the project, then by-the-job pricing is the best for you. This is also perfect for our clients who are just canvassing how much to complete their home project. By-the-job pricing starts with just an assessment. A no-obligation job estimate will be sent back to you for your review and approval within 1 to 2 days.

I hope this article helps you to make the right decision. When you’ve decided, if you choose by-the-hour, go on and click on the “Book Now” button above. Otherwise, if you choose by-the-job, then simply click on the “Get an Estimate” button above.

If you’re still undecided, no worries, you can always talk to one of our live agents. They will be happy to assist you further.

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