Monday, July 25, 2011

Should I Hire A Handyman or A Contractor For Home Repair.

Gustave Caillebotte, Les raboteurs de parquet ...Image via WikipediaKeeping a residence or commercial business in good condition is a tough job. Water pipes may leak, toilets can overflow and the electricity can go out in the blink of an eye. Property owners must also pay close attention to how the outside looks, as to not violate any city code violations. A handyman or professional contractor may be consulted for these issues – but there are major differences in the qualifications and duties of each profession.

Do you hire a contractor or a handyman?

A handyman service can be a great choice for home repairs, especially for homeowners who need help with smaller jobs, or those who have a variety of projects.

Some of these tradesmen and women can even tackle complicated jobs that include electrical and plumbing work, but be sure they are licensed for those trades if it is required in your area. No matter who you hire for which job, it is always important you know exactly what you want in a project and communicate that. These days, contractors and handymen are very similar, especially with more contractors developing an all-around approach - making the decision on who you should hire that much more confusing.

Before you hire, make a list of what you need done. Include as much detail as you can so the company can determine if your requests are within their abilities. Have this list on hand when you call to make an appointment. Talk through your list with the handyman or contractor. Most professionals are going to tell you up front if it's a job outside their area of expertise. And, in the case of some of the larger handyman shops, knowing what jobs you need done, often determines which employee they send to your house

Who to hire? Contractor or Handyman?

  • A handyman service can be a great choice for home repairs, especially for homeowners who need help with smaller jobs, or those who have a variety of projects. Some of these tradesmen and women can even tackle complicated jobs that include electrical and plumbing work - but be sure they are licensed for those trades if it's required in your area.
  • A contractor tends to concentrate on larger jobs or a more specialized field that could require a license or special certification. If you are planning a room addition or a kitchen remodel, for example, a contractor would be better suited for your project. These jobs may last several weeks or months, whereas a handyman's work may be done in just a few hours.

7 comments:

  1. Dave,
    I think I understand the difference between a handyman and a contractor, but allow me to ask you: where is the line drawn? Does a handyman sort of evolve into a contractor when he is able to take on bigger projects? Does a contractor necessarily bid for the work while a handyman might work by the hour? I know you are a contractor, so I appreciate your perspective.

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  2. Joe, it is interesting because a contractor can perform handyman duties but a handy man cannot be a contractor. Contractors in Florida have to be licensed by the state. There is a two day test that must be taken and there are three kinds of contractors: residential, building, and general. Residential can work on homes single family, duplexes and triplexes. Building can work on residential or commercial up to 3 stories. General is unlimited residential and commercial, everything. You need a permit and inspections for everything here.
    I did a remodel job that took two months and it was mostly work at a handyman level. Long time frame jobs I usually do by time and materials, because the unknowns can hazardous to your bottom line.
    Licensed contractors seem to carry more weight in the respectability department. Not to insult the handyman. I guess you use the handyman on quick short term jobs like hanging a door or some carpentry. Also quick plumbing and hanging a fan or light. A contractor is called when the work requires a permit or specialization and expertise.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Talk through your list with the handyman or contractor. Most professionals are going to tell you up front if it's a job outside their area of expertise. And, in the case of some of the larger handyman shops, knowing what jobs you need done, often determines which employee they send to your house -

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    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
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