How to decide between a handyman and contractor

How to decide between a handyman and contractor

You’ve got a series of odd jobs that can be performed in a day. Do you hire a handyman or a contractor?

The term “handyman” is loosely defined. Some are self-trained jacks-of-all-trades, while others have more formal training in various aspects of construction. Several services label themselves “handymen” but have specially trained staff or use professional contractors.

Some are specialists in only a few types of home maintenance, such as painting, but others specialize in particular areas of home repair. Angie’s List has member reports from Los Angeles residents who have utilized services of local handymen. More than 400 highly rated local handymen can be found on Angie’s List.

Whether the handyman services actually are less expensive than those of a contractor depends on whether the handyman is a licensed professional. For instance, a true unlicensed handyman may charge less for changing out a light switch than a licensed electrician. That’s because the licenses and memberships are added costs for skilled contractors.

One difference in pricing is that some handymen charge one fee for all the work that can be done in a certain block of time. A service charge from a plumber, electrician or locksmith to come to your home and asses the situation might be nearly the same as the actual labor performed by the handyman.

Whether using a handyman or a construction professional, the ultimate cost of your project depends on the equipment and materials you want to use, which must be factored in addition to the labor cost.

As always, get three estimates; check references, insurance and bonding and licensure.

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