Should You Hire A Contractor Or Handyman For Your Fixer Upper?

30 August 2017
 Categories: Real Estate, Blog


A fixer upper is an economical option for buying a home. However, once you have bought it, you are now charged with preparing it for you and your family to live in. Some homeowners opt for a home contractor, while others choose a handyman. If you are unsure if a contractor or handyman is right for the overhaul of your home, here is what you need to know.

What Is the Difference?

Before you can choose between a handyman and a contractor, it is important that you understand the key differences between them. Both the handyman and contractor can complete plumbing, electrical work, and other building projects. However, there is a key difference between the two. Handymen are usually not licensed.

Contractors must go through years of training and evaluations before they can receive a license from the state. By contrast, handymen sometimes just start their businesses without going through the same training.

A lack of licensing is not something to blow off. Even if the handyman has the capabilities to do the work you need in your fixer upper, you should think twice before hiring one. The lack of licensing means that the handyman cannot receive insurance for his or her services. As a result, if he or she damages something in your home or suffers an injury, you could be on the hook for the monetary damages.

What If You Want to Hire the Handyman?

Despite the risk that sometimes comes with hiring a handyman, some homeowners still do so. The cost of a handyman is sometimes less expensive than a contractor. If you have decided to risk it, there are some steps you can take to potentially protect yourself.

One of the most important steps is to look for a handyman that is licensed. Not all handymen are, but there are some who have taken the necessary steps to get licensed. Before agreeing to any work, ask for his or her licensing number so you can check its status with the state's licensing board.

In addition to this, you need to know your state's restrictions for handymen. Some states limit the amount of work that a handyman can legally do. If the work that you need done exceeds that, it is time to consider a contractor.

Some companies have contractors and handymen working for them. To save money, you can work with the company to have the handyman complete the projects that he or she is legally allowed to do. The contractor can handle the other projects.