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Should You Hire a Handyman or Contractor?

Your list of unfinished house repairs is growing and you need a professional to help get everything done. But who should you hire, a handyman or a contractor?

Both types of experts offer a range of useful services to help you complete home improvement projects, repairs, and maintenance.

However, handymen and contractors are better suited to specific kinds of home repair projects, so it’s important to understand the differences between these two professionals.

Handyman Services

A handyman is a repair “Generalist” capable of completing basic projects related to cabinetry, plumbing, electrical wiring, exterior and interior lighting, general maintenance, and more.

  • Best for: Basic home improvement and home maintenance jobs around that you’d like to be complete in one session.
  • Pros of hiring a handyman: Hiring a handyman is usually more affordable than hiring a specialized expert for a project. Since handymen have broad repair skills that can be applied to a variety of odd jobs, they can complete many different kinds of repair or maintenance projects in the same visit, saving you considerable time and money.
  • Choose a handyman for jobs such as:
    • Painting a room or making touch ups
    • Plumbing, like unclogging a drain
    • Repair drywall
    • Install appliances like a fridge or stove
    • Lay down flooring
    • Repair interior and exterior lighting fixtures
    • Fixing a squeaky door
    • Mount a TV securely
    • Hang artwork, cabinets, or other heavy items
  • Considerations: Not all handymen hold a license or professional training, although many reputable companies, such as Fluorescent Man Lighting, do. It’s important to make sure that you choose a handyman who has the relevant qualifications for the projects you want to complete.

If you’re planning a major home renovation project or need extensive repairs, it is better to go with a contractor or other licensed professional specialized in the applicable trade for your particular project, such as a plumber, electrician, or carpenter.

Contractor Services

A contractor typically acts as a renovation “Project Manager,” providing expertise in renovation licensing requirements and coordinating all of the details for large-scale renovation projects with multiple stages, equipment, and subcontractors.

  • Best for: Comprehensive home improvement projects that require specialized knowledge of applicable building codes, licensing requirements, and permits, and solid project management skills.
  • Pros of hiring a contractor: A contractor will help take care of all of the details for a major home renovation, including securing supplies and managing sub-contractors. This expertise is invaluable when you want to complete a large and complex renovation, as the contractor will know what needs to be done, who to recruit for specific tasks, which codes to consult, and how to coordinate relevant inspections of the finished project.
  • Choose a contractor when you want to:
    • Add a new room
    • Refinish your basement
    • Remodel a kitchen or bathroom
    • Install complicated interior or exterior lighting systems
    • Install a new HVAC system
    • Tackle major plumbing or electrical repairs
  • Considerations: Since contractors hold specialized expertise and qualifications, their services are usually more expensive than those of a handyman. It is also essential to make sure that your contractor has proven experience with the relevant licensing requirements and permits for your renovation project, as a completed project that doesn’t meet code will not only compromise safety, but it can also negatively impact your home insurance coverage.

Both a handyman and a contractor can help you maintain your home and complete important repairs—the key is knowing the scope of your intended home improvement project and choosing the correct repair professional accordingly.

Regardless of which repair professional you hire, you should follow a few best practices. These include a careful assessment of your project goals and budget, thorough background research on available repair service professionals, referrals from trusted sources, and quotes from multiple candidates to help you compare options.

Fluorescent Man Lighting offers professional handyman services for maintenance and repair jobs in your home, along with expert contractor services for interior lighting installations, exterior lighting installations, and lighting repairs. To learn more about our full range of services or to receive a quote on your intended repair project, call 403-863-8529.

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