Living Smart: Handyman vs. Contractor

Whom should you hire: handyman or general contractor?

The answer largely depends on the scope of the work. If you need help with a honey-do list, consider a handyman or handywoman. If the project is rather complex, consider a contractor.

A general contractor and a handyman may offer similar abilities, but in general, the handyman focuses on smaller jobs that can be done in a few hours, a day or a couple of days. A contractor typically manages larger projects that require significant coordination over weeks or months.

Specialized trades, such as plumber or electrician, require specific training and, in most states, a license. If you hire someone who isn’t appropriately licensed or trained and experienced, you could end up with problems, including eventually having to pay to have work redone to meet local code requirements.

Someone with a general contractor’s license may be your best bet to manage a project that requires extensive time, specialized machinery and multiple workers with varying levels of expertise and licensure requirements, such as a kitchen remodel or home addition.

A qualified handyman, though, can often tackle in one visit several smaller projects that don’t require special training or licensing.

Some handyman businesses employ licensed electricians or other pros, or feature an owner or manager with a general contractor’s license. These companies will have more flexibility to handle a wider range of jobs.

Handymen can be less expensive to hire, in part because they usually have less overhead. They often charge by the day or hour. Be aware that some states restrict how much work a handyman can do. California, for example, limits handymen to $500 worth of work per day.

The cost to hire a handyman can range from $50 to $400, depending on the scope of the job and how long it takes. A general contractor, meanwhile, should be comfortable handling projects costing thousands of dollars.

Before hiring a handyman or contractor, get multiple bids and confirm that the person you hire is appropriately licensed, insured and bonded.

Be wary of a handyman or contractor who seeks full payment before starting work. Ask for a written agreement that details the job, cost and payment schedule, and get guarantees in writing.

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About thenoelteam

As a Broker with RE/MAX Alliance, I work energetically for my clients whether they are a buyer or seller. I help you achieve your goal of owning a home or getting the best price for your home in the shortest time possible. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in communications and finance, I was licensed in 1977 and since then I have sold over 3600 properties amounting to over $1 billion in sales. I currently rank in the top 10 in home sales for Colorado. I offer the same quality of service and superior communication to all clients, ranging from starter homes to multi-million dollar estates, commercial and income properties, relocations and foreclosures My goal is to provide you with the best representation possible whether you are buying or selling. Over the years, one of the things that I've discovered is that there is a difference in the way individual Realtors do business. For me, I have always felt that honesty and personal integrity are the foundations upon which a successful business and career are built and sustained. I have an extensive background and knowledge base in real estate, including financing, which has enabled me to provide outstanding, quality advice and service not found with many agents today. My commitment to communication creates a positive relationship between my client and myself that results in a successful property sale or purchase. My passion for real estate, commitment to my clients and personal integrity has helped me to achieve success placing me in the top 1% of all brokers in nationwide. In my career, I have earned a number of awards and received considerable recognition for my success but the most significant recognition comes from the fact that over 75% of my business comes from past clients. My success is a true measure of my client satisfaction.
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