Angie’s List: Handyman vs. Contractor, Knowing who’s best for your job

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Spending time at home can make every creaky stair, loose doorknob, and leaky faucet even more apparent. As we take stock and begin planning for projects we need to be done around the home, it can be confusing to know who to call. Are those general repairs right for a handyman or is it time to get a general contractor involved? Angie Hicks of Angie’s List helps us answer that question.

 Generally speaking, a handyman task is typically one that is done in a day and is pretty simple. If you find that your project is going to be spanning days or weeks or also has multiple types of tradespeople involved, you really want to be looking for a general contractor.

You might have multiple small tasks on your to-do list. Grouping those together into one job makes good sense and makes the most of a pro’s time.

Some states limit the type and scope of work that can be done by a handyman. For example, in California, the job has to be under $ 500 so be sure you investigate what your area requires when it comes to hiring a handyman so that you stay in compliance.

 If your job potentially has a larger scope, be sure to communicate that clearly to your potential pro so the right questions get asked and you both understand what the job would fully entail.

It may come down to licensing. Specialized trades such as plumbing and electrical oftentimes require a license. So check with your local licensing bureau that the pro you’re hiring has the right credentials.

Professionals know what is within their abilities and should be honest about their limitations. It’s important for you, as the consumer, to be as transparent as possible about everything you want to have done. That will help eliminate the possibility of encountering a roadblock in your project or any unpleasant surprises. For more info on deciding who’s right for your upcoming jobs, check angieslist.com.