Referrals are a wonderful thing. They are essentially money in the bank. What if you could find a way to encourage referrals and reward the referrers, all the while giving the man of the house the day off to golf while someone else does all the “honey-do” tasks?

Moss Building & Design, in Chantilly, Va., has done just that with its “Free Handyman for a Day” reward program. According to Jodi Jameson, Moss’ customer service manager, when a customer refers a client whose job is more than $5,000, the company sends over a free handyman to do eight hours of odd jobs, quick fixes, or just whatever needs to be done around the house.

In the event that a client has, say, a need for a more serious electrical fix, Jameson will send an electrician over for one hour and a carpenter for the remaining seven. “Most people know what they’re looking at,” Jameson says. “They just don’t have the skills to do it themselves.” She adds that the jobs are typically little things such as drywall patches, hanging curtain rods, changing out a light fixture, or building shelves. If the handyman has to pick up any materials for one of the jobs, Moss just charges the client for those items.

$44 Average cost per hour for handyman services in the northern Virginia area — ServiceMaster

The handymen come from Moss’ Home Services Division, which undertakes those jobs that are too small for a contractor and too big for a handyman. So far, none of the clients have made any outrageous demands on their free handymen. “It’s all pretty standard handyman stuff,” Jameson says. “The oddest thing one of the guys was ever asked to do was to put together a ping-pong table — the kind of thing that makes a husband crazy!”

—Mark A. Newman, senior editor, REMODELING.