There are times when it’s best to go with a handyman, and times when it’s very advisable to hire a contractor outright. As a rule of thumb anytime a legal issue might emerge, such as pulling a permit, working with gas, or electrical jobs, it’s best to hire a bonded, licensed, and insured contractor. Otherwise if it’s something you could feasibly do yourself with the right equipment, go with a handyman. Home improvement doesn't have to be difficult, as long as you find the right pro for the job. This article will go into what each profession entails, and when to use them.

When to Hire a Contractor

Hire a handyman nearby
Do you need a handyman or a contractor? Find out! Source: Bob Vila

Whenever you need legal clearance to build, or are alerting your property lines, or if it’s just simply a large project in scale, hire a contractor.

A full-fledged contractor will have everything you need to make sure that the job gets done right. Anytime gas, plumbing, or electrical work is involved it’s best to have a contractor. This doesn't just ensure that the work is being done correctly, it protects you against potentially dangerous - or in some cases illegal - changes to your home. Consider using a contractor when you’re involved with:

  • Any plumbing, electrical, or gas jobs
  • Installing roofing
  • Putting in new doors or windows
  • Any major remodeling
  • Constructing a raised deck
  • Installing a fireplace or stove
  • Anything leaking

When to Hire a Handyman

Handyman or contractor? The age-old question
Handymen are great for small jobs that don't require permits. Source: HGTV

Essentially a handyman acts as a sort of buffer for a DIY project that you either don’t want to do yourself, or simply can’t. If you’re too busy, or simply want a professional to perform the task, go find a handyman nearby.

These jobs usually consist of DIY projects that you could do in theory, but lack the tools, time, or experience to really get the job done the way you want. Anytime you have a small project, basically. A top handyman will have the general experience to handle any issue in your home. Some examples of small projects include:

  • Loose lighting fixtures
  • Old steps falling into disrepair
  • Installing a window-mounted A/C
  • Handyman tile installation
  • Winterizing a home
  • Fixing a sprinkler system
  • Hanging a TV

Pros and Cons

Handyman services for your home
Contractors are necessary when you need permits or are doing a major remodel on your house. Source: Home Depot

Choosing a Handyman vs a Contractor

  • When to go for a handyman:
    • When you need a variety of tasks done by the same person, which allows you to save money on the projects.
    • When you can potentially save money on a few small jobs
  • When to go for a contractor:
    • If you hire a contractor, they will be really experienced on their field and be more experts on what they work with, since their job is focused on one area.
    • When you need permits or are doing a major remodel to your home.

Another huge factor besides the type of job you want done is the cost of the job. Obviously contractors are going to be more expensive than handyman services. In any case, as a homeowner you’re looking to see which household modifications could fall under the realm of contractor work that can safely be done by a handyman to maximize possible savings.

Ready to hire a handyman or contractorRequest your free estimate to find out how much your project is going to cost.

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