When you find yourself needing home repairs, it can be confusing to determine whether to hire the local handyman or a Kalispell general contractor. Though there are many similarities between the two, there are a few key differences that can help guide your decision. Continue reading below to learn about the differences between a handyman and contractor, and advantages to both.
One of the biggest differences between a handyman and a contractor is the issue of licensing. In most states, there is no licensing or certification requirement to be able to market yourself as a handyman. While a handyman may have personal knowledge and experience in a variety of areas, it can be dangerous or even illegal for them to work on projects such as electricity that requires training and licensure.
On the other hand, in many states throughout the US, general contractors are required to complete a rigorous process to receive their licensing and certification. For example, in New York, contractors must complete a scrupulous amount of paperwork. In California, contractors must complete an exam along with their paperwork and carry a certain amount of experience. All jobs over $500 in California automatically require you to hire a contractor.
Type of Project
Along with the licensing requirements, there is a difference in the size and scope of jobs that a handyman and a contractor can take on. If a job is larger, such as a remodel, house build, or room addition, it will require a wider range of specialties: electricians, plumbers, painters, tile specialists, etc. This is where a general contractor will shine. They are skilled at planning, scheduling, and coordinating each of the subcontractors involved in the project in order to get the job done thoroughly and efficiently. A contractor serves as a liaison between the homeowner and the subcontractors, communicating all pertinent information and ensuring everyone is on the same page.
If you have many smaller projects or repairs piling up for your home, a handyman may be the best choice. They can easily manage projects such as gutter cleanup, washing machine installation, painting, patching holes, deck repair, and the like. Additionally, their prices will be more affordable than that of a contractor because the smaller jobs only require one person and they will have little to no overhead costs.
Experience and Knowledge
Generally speaking, contractors have more knowledge and experience in a wide range of areas. They typically have a background in construction, have access to equipment rentals, be able to show licensing, offer insurance for themselves and their employees, and carry close professional relationships with employees at wholesale lumber and tool stores. In some cases, a handyman may carry just as much or more experience and knowledge than a contractor, but this is not a normal situation.
The Choice is Yours
In the end, it is almost entirely up to you to make the decision between hiring a handyman or a contractor. It is important to look at the scope and size of your project to determine if licensing is required, and how many people will need to be involved. You should also be aware of the legal requirements in your state. Experts recommend taking time to research, discuss your ideas with a few different professionals, and get estimates from at least three of those professionals, before making a final decision.
If the job is smaller and fairly simple, a handyman may be the best option. But, if you have a more intensive project in mind, the best choice would be to go with a general contractor who carries licensing, insurance, and five-star ratings. American Home Construction is an excellent choice as a licensed contractor known for high-quality work, reliability, and clear communication.
Give us a call today at 406-249-5840 to learn more about our services and receive a free estimate!