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The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Handyman over a General Contractor

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The Benefits and Disadvantages of Hiring a Pro Handyman Over a General Contractor

What is a Handyman, and what is a General Contractor? Simply put, a handyman is someone who is skilled in various techniques and can fix or repair almost any problem. On the other hand, a general contractor is someone who usually oversees work delivered by others for a single project.

So when it comes time for owners to fix something at home or work, they have three options:

  • They can attempt to do it themselves with YouTube guides or how-to articles
  • Hire a General Contractor who will subcontract the work
  • Or hire a Handyman

Despite the words in this article being written by a Handyman Website that cheers for the success of all handymen and women everywhere, we’ll do our best to genuinely tell you both the pros and cons of hiring a Handyman over a General Contractor.

Let’s begin…

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What Exactly is a Handyman?

A Handyman is someone who can do a range of different jobs, like conducting minor repairs and fulfilling home improvements. They have skills in carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, and many other trades. Because of their varied skill sets, handymen can often take on jobs that generally require multiple contractors.

Because of their varied skill sets, handymen can often take on jobs that generally require multiple contractors.

In casual conversations, people enjoy dubbing a Handyman as a Handyperson, Fixer, Fixer-upper, Handyworker, and sometimes, even a Miracle Worker. Furthermore, they are generally associated with jobs like Side Work, Odd Jobs, Small Jobs and Fix-Up Tasks.

When hired for work, it’s common for homeowners to give handymen a To-Do list. Lists usually contain assorted items, from small tasks up to large and complicated projects. With a list in hand, a handyman can quickly provide an initial quote for a project, and the list can also be used as a checklist to ensure each item gets properly done.





What Services Can a Handyman Offer?

The trades and services a handyperson can offer are limited only by their skills and experience, which means you may be surprised by some of the unique services they can bring to your home. Some of the most common handyman services include:

  • Hanging pictures
  • Minor electrical work
  • Installing shelves
  • Fixing leaky faucets
  • Fixing a leaky toilet
  • Changing a light fixture
  • Unclogging toilets and other plumbing jobs
  • Furniture assembly
  • Interior and Exterior Painting
  • Construction work
  • Hanging curtains
  • House clearing or moving services
  • Interior and Exterior Home maintenance
  • Fix up tasks
  • Odd jobs
  • Minor plumbing repairs
  • Home and yard repairs
  • Addressing small household issues
  • Fixing vents and ducts for heating systems
  • Maintenance work
  • Leveling washing machines
  • And much more!

Basically, small or medium-sized jobs that a homeowner or business typically need different contractors to handle, a handyman can complete them alone. This convenience is one of the most significant advantages of hiring a handyman over a general contractor.

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Why Hire a Professional Handyman Service?

There are many reasons why you might want to hire a good handyman service for help. Example:

  1. Perhaps you want to save time to work on more important things yourself?
  2. Or maybe you are engaged in home repairs yourself, but you need a little advice from a skilled person?
  3. Or perhaps you are missing proper tools for a specific job you are working on?

Whatever the reason may be, if you don’t have the time, money, resources, extensive knowledge, or equipment to get a job done, you can always bring in a professional handyman to help. And if you bring in a handyman, you’ll enjoy their extensive knowledge and the additional benefits they bring to your home or business.

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The Benefits of Hiring a Handyman over a General Contractor

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You Can Save Money

First and foremost, a professional handyman can save you a significant amount of money. A general or licensed contractor typically marks up subcontractors’ prices, so homeowners can avoid this mark-up cost by going straight to the source.

Handymen also tend to be more flexible with their pricing than general contractors. For example, if a project is easy for them to complete, they may be willing to negotiate lower hourly rates or provide a flat-rate quote to fit your budget.

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You Can Save Time

Another benefit of hiring a Handyman over a General Contractor is that it can save homeowners a lot of time. Trying to carry out small home maintenance tasks yourself often takes longer than anticipated. Plus, figuring out how to do something when one is not a professional can be frustrating.

Handymen are experienced and have extensive knowledge and access to all the tools they need to get a job done and done right! This combination of experience and tools saves you money because you don’t have to learn how to fix something properly or go out and buy/rent different types of tools.

As for General Contractors, unless it’s a large job like a kitchen remodel, they generally avoid small jobs. Period.

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You Get a Personable, Friendly Experience

Most handymen are renowned for their friendly, personable service. Many have years of experience and are happy to share tips with homeowners on how they can better maintain their homes. This warm service contrasts with a general contractor, who often has a more rigid, business-like approach and is there to get a job done quickly and efficiently.

Moreover, many handymen are self-employed, meaning they have a personal stake in ensuring their customers are happy. For this reason, they are often more inclined to go above and beyond to complete each job as best they can.

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You Get Trust and Peace of Mind

Trust between a Handyman and a Client quickly develops because of the handyman’s friendly demeanor and willingness to serve a client to the best of their abilities. An example of trust is, when handymen perform a lengthy service, clients sometimes give handymen the keys to their cherished homes. With keys in hand, handymen can continue working and get everything nice and clean before the client returns home.

On the other hand, when you hire a General Contractor, there is no way of knowing who they may have working on your home. Therefore, it’s best if you work from home if possible or take a vacation to oversee their work.

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Home Repair, DIY, and Fix Up Tasks Can Backfire

While it might seem like you can easily repair something in your home, you may not have the proper knowledge to complete the job. As a result, you can end up paying a lot more for repairs if something goes wrong. Even attempting minor electrical work like changing a light fixture or minor plumbing work such as exchanging a leaking faucet can have severe repercussions if done incorrectly.

So depending on the project’s scope, it’s best to bring in either a Handyman or a General Contractor to help.

In so many cases, if the job is small to medium in size, it saves time and money to hire a good handyman over a general contractor from the start. And if you’d like to complete a job yourself, and you are already a client of a handyman service, it’s even better if you ask for their advice. We’ve lost count of how many times we’ve been in a hardware store like Home Depot and seen people look wholly lost. We pray for their health and their homes to be okay.

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The Disadvantages of Hiring a Handyman

There are, of course, some disadvantages to hiring a handyman for homes and businesses. These points won’t apply every time you hire a handyman but are points you’ll want to keep an eye out for.

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The Quality of Workmanship May Vary

One potential downside of a Handyman is that their quality of work may be lower than that of a General Contractor. Why? Because general contractors typically have more experience with a specific job and are better able to manage projects and teams.

A contractor usually specializes in a job and may have done it over 100 times, whether fitting or installing showers, performing a kitchen remodel, or painting an entire house. This specialization means they have vastly more experience than a handyman, who may have done the same job only once or twice.

If you have a big job and believe it might be a challenge, for instance, major plumbing repairs, the best way to avoid any problems is to ask your handyman if he has experience with the type of work you need. A handyman will usually let you know his level of expertise and suggest a contractor or two if the job is too big or specialized for him to handle.

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Some Handyman Services Can Be Pushy

Another potential disadvantage of hiring a handyman is that they might try to upsell you on services or products you don’t need. For this reason, it’s important to be clear about what you want and need before hiring a handyman. Otherwise, you may end up spending more money than anticipated.

Some handymen may also try to charge you more for a task, depending on how long it takes, what materials and tools they use, and what repair work they must perform. Again, these are hidden fees you didn’t expect, but you can easily avoid them if you agree on a final price before any work begins.

As with most services, it’s always best to get a final price in writing!

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Slow Speed of Delivery

Contractors usually have a team of workers, so if something ever goes wrong, they can quickly fix it.

On the other hand, handymen typically work alone, so if anything unexpected occurs, it might take a long time for them to correct the issue.

If you’re hosting a Christmas party next week or a backyard wedding in the coming days and need to finalize a project ASAP, a solo handyman might not be your best solution. Hire a General Contractor.

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Handymen Rarely Take on Jobs That Require Specialized Equipment

A handyman or woman might not be the right person if you require specialized equipment to complete a job. Handymen are renowned for their ability to complete, alone, small to mid-level jobs, but they usually only use and own portable tools.

On the other hand, contractors have the licensing, operation skills, and ownership of specialized equipment such as excavators, hedge cutting vehicles, concrete core drills, or aerial lifts to work on projects such as tree top cutting, commercial fencing, or metal roof installations/replacements, to name but a few.

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FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What are some tips for Hiring a Trustworthy Handyman?

If you’re shopping around for a trustworthy handyman, make sure to do these things before you hire them:

  • Get recommendations from people you know and trust
  • Perform some research and check them out online
  • Always check a wide range of reviews
  • Get 2-3 estimates from different handymen

If you want more of an in-depth guide on what to look for when hiring a handyperson, check out our complete guide here: Find The Best Handyman Near Me – An Ultimate Guide For Homeowners

What’s The Average Handyman Charge Per Hour?

While every Handyman is different, the average hourly rate you can expect sits around the $18-$75CDN mark, or $50 to $150US. But, of course, if a handyman works for a contractor, you are more likely to pay a bit more, usually around $65CDN per hour minimum, or $125US. So it is best for your budget if you hire a handyman independently.

Can Anyone Start a Handyman Business?

You don’t need any qualifications or specific skills to start a handyman business, but if you want to get licensed, you will need to pass an exam. Requirements depend on the state and country you reside in.

Additionally, to get licensed, you’ll need to have experience working in the field and pass an exam that tests your knowledge of the trade. If you want to use specific equipment, you may also require a license for its operation.

On the other hand, if you’re not interested in getting licensed, you can still start a handyman business, but you may find it harder to secure jobs as most people prefer to hire licensed professionals. In this case, you can always stick with small repair tasks that don’t require a license or exceptional experience to complete.

How do I Find a Local Handyman For Maintenance Services?

There are a few ways to find a capable person skilled in numerous trade skills for common jobs. You can ask people you know for recommendations, check online review sites like Yelp or Angie’s List, or do a Google search for “handyman services near me.”

For additional info on how to find a quality handyman, check out our complete guide here: Find The Best Handyman Near Me – An Ultimate Guide For Homeowners

How Can I Become a Full Time Handyman Myself?

After reading all this, you may be thinking, “how can I become a full time handyman?”

After all, you get to work your own hours, can earn an average of $30-$75CND/hour ($60 – $150US in the states), and if you’ve got either general or specific skills to complete small tasks, repair projects, and other forms of creative work with excellent quality, this could be the perfect job for you!

The good news is, you don’t need any qualifications to become a full time handyman or woman; anyone can get started by simply putting themselves out into the world. Just create a logo, list up all the jobs you think you’ll be able to handle, purchase a few primary tools, make room in your car/van/pick-up truck for tools, and away you go! Just start advertising and see who gets back to you.

However, remember that being a handyman is far more than just earning money to pay your way. Instead, it’s a personable job that will bring value to homeowners in your area. In the end, you can either become a pillar in your community or a cog in the wheel of the eternal rat race. The choice is yours.

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Conclusion – Final Thoughts

Overall, hiring handyman services for your home repair tasks and creative projects has both its advantages and disadvantages, but it’s clear that the benefits of hiring a handyman outweigh the cons.

… quality and experience will vary. Some provide a better experience, while others deliver superior work.

Nevertheless, depending on each handyman or woman, quality and experience will vary. Some provide a better experience, while others deliver superior work. Therefore, if you commit to hiring a handyman for either small or large projects, be sure to do your research. Find someone who is reputable and who will do a fabulous job!

As your search continues to find a Perfect Handyman, we at Handyman And Designs wish you the best with all your future projects and endeavors.



Handyman Jobs – Join Our Team!

Never stop looking for your perfect job! It exists, and spoiler alert… it may not be at your current place of work.

We at Handyman And Designs are always looking for exceptional people to join us in our mission to grow and provide extraordinary quality and service at an affordable price. Therefore, if you are a handy and creative person who enjoys helping others, we’d love to hear from you!

We provide training, so professional experience is not required. However, we will ask to see a personal project or two that you have worked on for yourself, your family, or friends. Basically, show us your love!

View our available positions and contact us via our Handyman contact form today to begin a dialogue.

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    Last Updated: Nov 15, 2022 @ 6:45 am

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