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Handyman vs General Contractor – What’s the Difference?

Handyman vs contractor

Contractors and handymen both have a similar purpose. They both focus on construction and repairs of a property; yet, there are a few key differences that sets them apart from each other. The first of the many is that they both hold different licensing and have separate insurance requirements.

Besides license and insurance, they also differ in the type and size of project they handle.

While a contractor has to clear a certain type of educational certifications to get their hands on a general contracting license, a handyman simply needs the right tools, skills & knowledge to perform a repair or maintenance job on a specific residential or commercial property.

Although they perform similar duties, there are a few differences that sets them apart.

Let’s explore what separates them from each other.

What is a General Contractor? 

General contractors are the backbone of construction projects, overseeing them from inception to completion. Their responsibilities encompass hiring subcontractors, securing permits, and ensuring that every undertaking adheres to building codes and zoning regulations.

In the United States, most states mandate that general contractors hold licenses and/or registrations to engage in construction work. There are many local authorities which ask for such prerequisites, even in states where licensing isn’t that mandatory.

To gain a contractor’s license, they have to clear a specific level of education and have enough hands-on experience in the contracting field. Different jurisdictions have different laws in place for issuing a contractor license depending on the scope, nature & geographical location.

What is a Handyman? 

A handyman specializes in tackling minor household repairs and performing the usual maintenance tasks. The projects they cater don’t require any construction permits or licensing.

They usually handle small scale projects and take care of minor repairs.

While state and local governments usually don’t mandate a specific “handyman license,” a handyman may be obliged to obtain a contractor’s license for projects that exceed a certain cost threshold. However, if the project requires specialized work such as plumbing services, electrical services or HVAC maintenance, they may require individual licenses for such tasks or else permits.

Even if a handyman service does not require any type of contractor’s license to perform a job, they will still need to show a business license issued to them through the local government.

Factors That Differs Handyman from General Contractors 

Permits & Licensing – Certain states require a handyman to pass a series of tests and acquire their handyman license; but in many scenarios, it’s not mandatory. A handyman can get the job done simply by acquiring a work permit from a regulatory authority within the region.

On the contrary, a general contractor must have a license and permit to work on a project. Their licensing follows an entirely different set of rules and regulations and without a license, the contractor is not eligible to perform any sort of repair work for any clients.

Cost of the Project – There are different states with a cap on allowing handymen to work over $500 to $2500. The cap simply limits the handyman to take up on any large scale projects.

But with a general contractor, the licensing has rather strict rules and regulations. It allows them to take up on rather large consignments including commercial as well as industrial scale projects.

Experience & Expertise – When it comes to specialty trades, handymen have limited knowledge which makes them bound to only handle medium cost projects.

Whereas, a contractor specializes in only one kind of trade. They hold enough significant technical details which enables them to easily handle complex tasks as well.

Read More: How to Choose the Right Handyman for Your Home Projects?

Concluding Thoughts 

So that’s just about it. Here, we have covered the basic differences between a handyman and a general contractor. Hopefully, it will help you get a better grasp on how they are both different and which one is well suited for your projects.

Are you looking for a professional handyman to take care of some of the mundane tasks? Look no further than Setup NYC where we provide trained and certified handyman experts for your needs. Just dial 212-739-7826 and book your handyman service today!

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