When you’ve got repairs or construction that need doing, your two basic options (besides taking on such tasks yourself, which you shouldn’t do unless you’re quite experienced) are to hire a handyman or to look for contractors. What is a handyman? Handymen — who can also be women — are jacks of all trades, people who are qualified to take on more types of tasks than contractors, who tend to focus on a single aspect of building. If you’re not sure whether a handyman would suit your needs, weigh the pros and cons:
- Breadth of Work
One of the best aspects of hiring handymen is that they can wipe out your to-do list in a single day of work, jumping from task to task. If you’ve been meaning to fix a table, patch some drywall, install some shelves and paint a wall, you can hire a handyman who will do all those things and save you the trouble of either doing them yourself or finding individual contractors for each. Handymen are also often happy to take on tasks that you might be able to do yourself, but can pose some risks, such as cleaning out gutters or doing simple roofing repairs.
- Easy Pricing Model
Some handymen price their work per project, while others charge per hour. Either way, it’s often much easier to figure out what hiring a handyman will cost, as opposed to hiring a contractor (who will often quote you a price, but adjust it depending on how the work goes). Just make sure you’ve discussed the details up front so there aren’t any surprises.
- Lack of Depth
The counterpart to handymen acting as jacks of all trades is that they sometimes lack the ability to take on some more difficult or extended tasks. The scope of most handymen-led projects is quite small — something that can take an afternoon or a weekend, rather than a month of construction. So if you’re looking for roof installation or an addition to your house, handymen probably won’t have the experience to handle those projects.
- Lack of Certifications
Some states have no certification or licensing requirements for handymen. This means you’ll need to do your own research and specifically ask handymen what their training is in the area you need addressed. You should also ensure that any handymen you consider are bonded and insured, so that you’re not taking on any unnecessary risk.
As you’ll see, most of the cons simply have to do with handymen not being qualified to take on all kinds of tasks. As long as you’re looking to hire a handyman who is honest about his or her limits, then you’ve got nothing to worry about.
Does it sound like a handyman or a contractor would be more appropriate for your next project? Let us know in the comments.