Do you need a handyman or contractor?

2016-05-05 06:00
When it comes to home maintenance, many homeowners are not sure if they should hire a handyman or contractor.

When it comes to home maintenance, many homeowners are not sure if they should hire a handyman or contractor.

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THERE are plenty of homeowners and renters who need jobs done in and around the home. Even the savviest DIYers sometimes require assistance with home maintenance, repair or improvement projects, especially if their time is limited and they don’t want to go to the expense of investing in tools they don’t already own.

If you don't stay on top of your home repairs, you’ll find that these soon start to pile up, and delaying certain repairs could result in more damage and increased costs.

When it comes to home maintenance, many homeowners are not sure if they should hire a handyman or contractor.

Both offer a variety of services and the major factor determining which one to call depends on the type of job that needs to be done.

When to call a handyman

A reputable handyman offers a wide variety of services that can include everything from changing a tap washer to replacing a light fitting.

Hiring a handyman who is capable of handling a variety of small jobs is just the thing for those who don't have a DIY bone in their body, or the time to take on home repairs and maintenance.

If you don't have a family member or friend to call on for help, schedule a call out for a local handyman to sort out small fix ups. Before you hire a handyman, however, it is recommended that you check up on previous jobs done and whether or not clients were satisfied with the services provided. Checking references is also a good way for you to feel safe about letting someone into your home.

Since most handymen have a standard call out fee and charge by the hour, try to schedule more than one project that can be done in a day, or compile a “to do” list of maintenance tasks and repairs.

With the exception of in-the-wall electrical and plumbing installations, where a Compliance Certificate is required, handymen are great for general repairs and odd jobs.

It is important to avoid hiring a handyman without first checking references. Also, be wary of any handymen that ask for payment up front. For larger jobs, ask for a written agreement that details the job, the cost and the payment schedule, and make sure to get a written guarantee.

When to hire a general contractor

General contractors provide services for a variety­ of larger, specific tasks. From a homeowner’s point of view, it makes more sense to employ a contractor for a specific job like employing a waterproofing specialist for roof leaks, a building contractor for any masonry projects or an electrician or plumber for home works.

When hiring a contractor, always do your homework, especially considering that you may be spending a lot of money on a project.

It is in your interests to obtain at least three quotations and to check references for previous work done. Additionally, and as with a handyman, be wary of any contractors that ask for payment up front.

While a deposit is acceptable (after checking references), payments should only be given at specific stages of a larger project, and by prior agreement.

Before hiring a contractor ask for full disclosure for any guarantees for the work done. You want to make sure you are covered for any damages or repairs that may occur once the contractor leaves the job site. – Supplied.

Since most handymen have a standard call out fee and charge by the hour, try to schedule more than one project that can be done in a day, or compile a 'to do' list of maintenance tasks and repairs

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