When you need repairs or improvements done on your home, one question you should ask yourself is whether you ought to hire a handyman or a contractor. If you can stick to a handyman, you’re likely to save quite a bit of money compared to the expense of hiring a contractor. The confusing aspect of this question is that a handyman works on the same types of projects that a contractor does, often, but will take on a broader range of responsibilities and typically keeps the scope of a project small. Here are some guidelines that can help you figure out which will give you the better value based on your situation:
When the Handyman Can
A handyman (or woman) is the right person to handle all the small repair and renovation tasks that tend to pile up around the home. Often, a handyman is happy to take on quite a few small projects, which means you can pay for an afternoon of work and see your whole home to-do list erased. Here are some examples of times when a handyman would be helpful around the house:
- You need a toilet changed out for a newer model
- You need some drywall patched or a room painted
- You need some boards in your deck replaced
- You need some pictures hung on a double-height wall
- You need help cleaning out gutters
- You need a switch replaced
The thing to keep in mind with handymen, however, is that they don’t all have the same sets of skills, and not all will have the licenses necessary to perform all kinds of work. That’s one advantage of hiring handyman services, rather than individual handymen; handyman services have several workers on their rosters and can send out the most qualified one based on the projects you need completed.
When to Call a Contractor
If your project is larger in scale and requires either extended time or multiple workers, then a contractor is probably the better choice. You may also want to hire a specialized contractor on high-value projects that, if they go wrong, go very wrong. Roofing repairs or major plumbing projects both fall into this category. Here are some common reasons to hire a contractor:
- You want to put on an addition, such as a family room
- You want to add plumbing in a room that didn’t have it before
- You want to move around the electrical wiring in a room
- You want to reconfigure your kitchen
- You want new gutters put on
- You want to remove a wall to create an open-concept floor plan
In general, any project that requires heavy machinery should be handled by a licensed and bonded contractor.
What projects do you need done? Would handyman services do the trick, or are you in need of a contractor? Share your thoughts in the comments.