A home repair contractor can specialize in anything that has to do with the configuration of a house — siding, insulation, windows, you name it. Always hire a home repair contractor that has the specific knowledge and experience with the issue that you need fixed.
Contractor vs. handyman: What’s the difference?
A handyman is a type of home repair contractor, and oftentimes, handymen must be a licensed contractor and have a handyman business license. A handyman can also get certified through the Association of Certified Handyman Professionals to further validate their qualifications.
“Just because your Uncle Joey is handy, that doesn’t make him a handyman,” says Horn.
Licensed and certified handymen can perform most minor home repair jobs, but for larger jobs, a licensed contractor who’s highly specialized in a certain trade is a safer bet.
“When we get the inspection report, we show it to our handyman and he fixes what he can,” says Horn. “He’ll tell us what he can and can’t do. If there’s something wrong with the electric or plumbing, he won’t do it because there’s a difference between a licensed plumber or electrician and a handyman.”
To become a licensed contractor, a professional must meet the minimal requirements for the line of work based on local regulations. Depending on the laws in your city or state, if the cost of the job is over a certain dollar amount, a contractor license might be required to perform the job. And in most cases, a contractor license is necessary to obtain insurance, which covers any property damage, injuries, or other liabilities.
Do you need a general contractor or a subcontractor?
A general contractor is the contractor you’d hire for a larger construction project, like remodeling your entire home. They supervise the project, hire subcontractors, and make sure the project complies with laws and building codes.
The requirements for general contractors vary by state, but in most places, you must have a general contractor license in order to perform construction or renovation projects.
The general contractor hires subcontractors to complete the job. Subcontractors — such as plumbers, electricians, or roofers — have a specific set of skills but work in agreement with the general contractor, not the customer.
So, for large home repair projects, you can hire a general contractor to oversee the project and manage the subcontractors instead of doing it yourself.
The cost to hire a general contractor depends on the size of the project and who you hire. You can expect a general contractor to charge between 10-20% of the total project cost, which includes materials, permits, and subcontractors.