Choosing a handyman or a contractor for your home improvement or repair project can be a tough decision. Many homeowners don’t know which one they need much less the differences between them, but there are definite distinctions that must be considered in helping you make the right choice.
What it boils down to is simple – the type of work you need performed will be the main determining factor as to whether you’re hiring a contractor or a handyman service to do the job. The main reason being that a contractor is an individual who has obtained a license to do the work they are most often hired for, while a handyman will not have an accreditation such as this, nor does he or she need to have it.
So let’s compare and contrast the two types of workpeople and then you can make a better-informed choice as to which is right for you.
Hiring a Contractor
There are some jobs that require the individual performing the work to be licensed in accordance with state and local regulations. Holding that license not only assures the consumer that the person they have hired is trained and qualified to perform the work properly, but that he or she holds liability and other forms of insurance.
The process by which you must obtain that license is no small feat, contractors must pass multiple examinations and be in compliance with a number of competency standards that have been established for workers plying certain trades. Moreover, the contractor doesn’t just get licensed and that’s all they need to do, the individual who holds that license must continue to meet the necessary standards as prescribed by law in order to maintain its validity.
A contractor comes to your home to do the work you need with the full support and backing of regulatory criteria. Each state has certain mandates that dictate whether you can hire a handyman or a contractor. These mandates will often refer to the cost of the job being performed and, in many instances; a licensed contractor must be hired over a handyman in the event that the job including labor and materials exceeds $500.
Hiring a Handyman
As a license is really the only major difference that exists between a handyman and a contractor, hiring a handyman means the individual you have decided to bring on does not maintain a license and, therefore, is unable to perform certain types of work.
But this is not to suggest that a handyman has any less skill, knowledge, or expertise than a contractor, as most people offering their services as a handyman may be just as qualified, if not more so, to do work around the house. They are just limited in the scope of their services.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a handyman may not have the right insurance policies in place to keep you protected. You must always do your due diligence before hiring anyone to do work around your home and this is important when you are seeking out a handyman.