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Updated: Jun 24, 2022

A contractor is a licensed project manager who has comprehensive knowledge, oversees and coordinates the overall project, and is responsible for the initiation and completion of a project. While a handyman, is the executor of each step, but some handyman can also manage a project. So, how do you choose between these two?

Clarify the Nature and Scale of the Project. Get to Know the Handyman or Contractor Candidates

In general, not every project needs to be done by a contractor. Regular handymen are qualified for jobs like a replacement of lights, sinks, thermostats, plasters, doors, and windows that do not have high safety requirements. They charge a less hourly rate and more skillful than contractors. For example, the cost to hire a handyman to install a ceiling fan is around $100, while $244 to hire a specialized worker for the same job.

Do Not Try to DIY Project Management

Labor and materials are two major costs in home renovation. There are also hidden costs and upfront fees if you hire a contractor to oversee and manage the project. Some homeowners would try their best to avoid such fees and manage the project by themselves. Whether this is the right decision depends on what type of renovation it is and your experience. If you lack relevant professional knowledge, the costs come along will be way more than what you pay for a contractor.

When Do I Need to Hire a Contractor?

You would see the importance of hiring a contractor if you are on a busy working schedule, but want to have some leisure time during the renovation; if your renovation project requires multiple types of handymen, such as plumbers, carpenters, and electricians; or if your project involves outdoor excavation, removal of walls, stairs, or doors. More and more homeowners choose to rebuild or renovate the home more or less after purchase, especially what mentioned above. A contractor can guarantee the completion within the budget:

  • Hire subcontractors

  • Housing regulations and permit requirements

  • Site inspection

  • Price negotiation

  • Draft contracts

  • Building or project design

  • Ensure material delivery on time

  • Tight schedule

  • Efficiency

Hiring an excellent general contractor can successfully get these tasks done. The contractor is responsible for the planning, removal, and installation of the project and contacts the subcontractors and material providers that have had business relations with him/her for years. These advantages would expedite the building time of the project.

What Projects are Self Manageable?

We strongly recommend you seek professional help before investing more time and money to manage a project than hiring someone to do it. However, there are some tasks you may be able to DIY, we list a few for your reference:

  • Indoor and outdoor painting

  • Door or window replacement

  • Plumbing replacement or electrics repair

  • Basement maintenance

  • Backyard maintenance and trimming

When we talked about the management of the above projects, we meant the material purchase, hiring a handyman, supervise a handyman, and quality control, instead of doing the constructions on your own.


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