Difference Between A Handyman And General Contractor

Handyman and contractor are often used interchangeably, but they’re not actually the same thing. For anyone who only needs a contractor or handyman occasionally, it can be hard to spot the differences. Of course, for any project around the house, you want to make sure you have the right person for the job.

Handymen and contractors can handle various jobs when it comes to repairs, remodeling, and renovation. Here are a few tips to help you know the difference between the two and which is right for your projects.

What Exactly is A Handyman?

Uncle Mike, who can swing a hammer, turn a wrench, and fix appliances, is a handyman. Handymen are just that, handy people who are good at building, fixing, and doing odd jobs. Not all handymen take on a variety of jobs, some are very specialized, and some are extraordinarily talented. But, handymen are not licensed.

The biggest difference between handymen and contractors is having the appropriate license. It is important to note that there are many home improvement and home repair jobs that don’t require a licensed contractor.

Hiring a painter for your home? They don’t need a license. Repairing a patch of drywall? They don’t need a license.

Handymen might repair tile, drywall, hang pictures, fix fences, repair appliances, and pressure wash decks or the house itself.

What is a Contractor?

Contractors actually come in two varieties: specialized and general. General contractors don’t handle “general” work but instead act as the general manager of a team for a large project. Specialized contractors such as electrical contractors will likely work by themselves or with a small team to handle specific projects.

Contractors have licenses and should carry appropriate insurance for the type of work they do as well. These contractors come with a thorough understanding, and often technical training, on the type of work they do.

Ultimately, contractors are best when they are required or when the scope of the project is large. You can redo a roof or renovate a kitchen without them, but these large projects call for a practiced hand and higher skill level.