Should You Call a Professional Contractor or Handyman?

Keeping a residence or commercial business in good condition is a tough job.  You have a decision to make, call a plumber or a handyman? Water pipes may leak, toilets can overflow and the electricity can go out in the blink of an eye.  Property owners must also pay close attention to how the outside looks, as to not violate any city code violations.  A handyman or professional contractor may be consulted for these issues – but there are major differences in the qualifications and duties of each profession.

In simplistic terms, a handyman is someone who works with their hands.  A handyman is hired to execute repairs and keep the home or business in good condition.  Repairing windows, cleaning gutters and mowing lawns are all duties of a handyman.  These services are valuable, but there may be some disadvantages.  There is no license required to be a handyman.  Many services offered by a handyman include common tasks that the property owners can do themselves, and often is just a matter of finding the time or motivation to do it.

On the other hand, a plumber’s training is more extensive and requires a formal education.  Most qualified plumbers go through a four year apprenticeship and theory program to learn specific state and municipal plumbing codes.  The profession typically requires in-field training for up to eight or nine years.  Plumbers are also required to pass a state issued examination in order to work on their own.  Codes are constantly changing so continuing education is required for all licensed plumbing contractors.

Plumbers are responsible for the installation and upkeep of a variety of fixtures.  They monitor and adjust water temperature and gas pressure inside a home or business.  They make sure drains and pipes are the proper size based on local codes.  Plumbers also make sure grab bars and sinks are installed at the correct height.  Essentially, their job is to protect the health and safety of their customers.

Differences between handyman services and contractors

You might be able to find someone to meet all your needs, there are some projects a handyman may not be licensed to do. Specialized trades, such as a plumbing or electrical work, require licensing, so check with your local licensing agency to see if the handyman is properly licensed, should your project require one.

If he or she isn’t licensed, you’ll need to hire a specialized contractor who is. If not, you could be liable financially if damages occur. Or, if you try to sell the home, you could end up paying more to fix the issue so it meets local code requirements.

Large projects that take time, machinery and multiple workers, such as a kitchen remodel or home addition, often require a general contractor’s license. These types of projects often require multiple types of licensing and levels of expertise.

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



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