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Should I Hire a Handyman or a Contractor?

When tackling projects around the house, some items should always be left to professionals. If you can’t complete a project alone, you may want to consider hiring a handyman or a contractor. However, you might be wondering, “Should I hire a handyman OR a contractor?” Although they work in similar capacities, handymen and contractors are not the same thing, and it is important to consider their differences when making the decision on who you should hire.

Licensure

Although both handymen and contractors are required to have a Contractor’s license to work on your house, contractors are held to a higher level of legal requirements. The license protects you both legally and there are different classifications to help you choose whom you should select for your needs.


“Class A contractors perform or manage construction, removal, repair, or improvements when (i) the total value referred to in a single contract or project is $120,000 or more, or (ii) the total value of all such construction, removal, repair, or improvements undertaken by such person within any twelve-month period is $750,000 or more.


Class B contractors perform or manage construction, removal, repair, or improvements when (i) the total value referred to in a single contract or project is $10,000 or more, but less than $120,000, or (ii) the total value of all such construction, removal, repair, or improvements undertaken by such person within any twelve-month period is $150,000 or more, but less than $750,000.


Class C contractors perform or manage construction, removal, repair, or improvements when (i) the total value referred to in a single contract or project is over $1,000 but no more than $10,000, or (ii) the total value of all such construction, removal, repair, or improvements undertaken by such person within any twelve-month period is no more than $150,000.”


Most people don’t ask for the Contractor’s license at the interviewing process.  A handymen may only carry a Class C license or none at all. At times, a handyman is just a guy in a truck working part time to make a little extra money while the benefit of a Class A Contractor is that they are required to carry general liability and workman’s compensation insurance.


“General liability protects third parties, such as vendors, customers, and other people in contact with your business or on your business property. Injuries: Workers compensation pays the medical costs, lost wages, and, if necessary, death benefits when an employee becomes ill, has an accident, or dies while on the job.”


So if your handyman gets hurt in your home or their subcontractors are not covered by Workman’s Compensation Insurances, it will fall on the homeowners insurance to cover those additional costs.
 
Better Safe, than Sued.

Subcontractors

Most contractors perform a larger scope of work and will employ many reliable professionals, instead of hiring individuals for each specific job. This allows the contractors to ensure that the tradesmen coming into your home are trustworthy, as well as reliable workers. Because the average handyman runs a smaller business, they don’t tend to have full-time employees. In contrast, design/ build companies generally employ full-time experts. They also have a reliable network of subcontractors on call. In the event that a handyman needs to subcontract workers, they will either hire people just for one particular job, or ask you to source your own subcontractors. This might include electricians, plumbers, or other tradesmen. If the handyman hires the subcontractors, you will have to check their credentials yourself. If you are involved in the hiring, it will be a lot more time, effort and energy expended by you, the client. In Hiring a reliable contractor at a design/build company, you save yourself time and money by tapping into the reliable networks they have been working with for years.

Should I Hire a Handyman or a Contractor

Design

Design/Build companies usually have an in-house designer or architect for you to work with when planning a project. They are a reputable and experienced individual who works for the contractor, so you can be sure that they have the proper credentials and experience for the job. An in-house designer will provide detailed drawings, elevations and a 3d rendering of your project. They will work with you on a detailed basis for color selections, function and overall style to ensure a functional, aesthetically pleasing space.


When working with a handyman, you will most likely be expected to provide your own blueprints and design. You can hire your own engineer or architect to draw up the plans, but this adds more time and cost to the overall project. This can also lead to miscommunications between the designer and the handyman, because they most likely have never worked together before. By working with a build company, you have the benefit of a team that has experience with each other and solid lines of communication.
 

Full-time vs. Part-time

Another concern when you ask yourself, “Should I hire a handyman or a contractor?” is time. How quickly do you want this project completed? If you are remodeling your kitchen, you will probably want things done as soon as possible so you can get back to living comfortably in your home. In general, handymen either have multiple projects going on at once, or they complete these projects while working a full-time job elsewhere. Because they are usually only one or two person teams, they don’t always have the manpower or the scheduling flexibility to stay on a timeline. Contractors have the benefit of working within a large network and have a team of full-time employees at their disposal. Sticking to the agreed timeline is essential for them, due to customer satisfaction. They have the resources to deal with issues that may arise because they are well established in the industry.


“Should I hire a handyman or a contractor?” is the most important question to think about when planning a project. In reality, hiring a contractor for big projects is the safest, most efficient way to get the job done. The resources, experience, and quality that design/build companies can provide more piece of mind and value to your overall project. Bay Shore Remodeling is a company that prides itself in quality work completed on time. Give BayShore Remodeling a call today to talk about your upcoming projects!

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