A contractor, handyman or building broker?

A contractor, handyman or building broker?

Every homeowner needs help around the house, from small repairs or spices to renovations. But how can you determine what type of professional to hire? Here are some tips and differences in home improvement professionals to keep in mind.

Contractor vs Craftsman: Often, the contractor’s fees for handling small projects can be prohibitive. A handyman usually handles small jobs around the house and yard for both businesses and homeowners and can provide a practical and cost-effective solution. Some jobs require a specific license or are outside the scope of a handyman. General contractors can handle virtually any major home project. A rule of thumb might be how long the job should take. If it will take more than 2 full days to complete, the general contractor is better equipped to handle the project.

Developing a long-term relationship with a reliable and trusted handyman is a good idea for any homeowner. It’s always nice to tackle those home improvement projects that the house needs from time to time easily and quickly. Before you go out and hire a general contractor to repair a hole in your drywall or paint a room, you can hire a handyman. Contractor fees for handling small projects can be daunting.

There are a few good rules of thumb when considering a home handyman. With a small investment in time, you can save both money and energy in the long run. Here is a list of jobs for which you can hire a good handyman:

* Minor plumbing such as broken faucets, new sink or faucet
* Minor electrical work such as new ceiling fan, added plug or switch
* Repairing a leaking roof or fixing drainage problems
* Various window frames around the house
* Painting a room or garage
* Siding repair
* Build shelves
* Repair or installation of tiles

This list could go on and on, but you get the idea. If you intend to remodel or re-roof your home, you should probably find a reliable contractor who specializes in these areas of home remodeling. Both handymen and contractors should provide you with a free, no-obligation estimate before they take on a project. A homeowner should never hire a handyman until they know the cost of the project, including materials. A good handyman can offer estimates and work either by the hour or by the job, just as a general contractor would.

If you want to work with your contractor, you may be able to. Some craftsmen prefer to work alone, but most will work with you if you just want help getting something done. You’ll probably get an hourly rate if you go this route. On the other hand, once a large contractor has outlined the scope of the work involved and you approve their bid, you should step back and let them work. You are only on the road at this point.

Some thoughts on hiring a handyman:

* Have a list of all your projects handy before you call someone. Once your handyman is on site, have him rate each project individually and then together as a whole. Depending on the work involved, you may be able to save money by having him tackle at least a few things at once.

* Ask for referrals and don’t be afraid to call one or two. There are several good directories that pre-screen local handymen and even do background checks and call their references for you.

* Until you develop a relationship with a master craftsman that you feel very comfortable with, don’t be afraid to get multiple offers. You can sort by searching for “local handyman” on Google and you’ll get lots of great results. Remember, anyone can buy an ad, but someone who ranks highest is naturally very likely a serious business person. Choose from the first 4 or 5 search results and you’ll find a trusted professional. If you receive multiple offers, let your master know that you are receiving other offers. Not only is it polite, but remember that trust is built in two ways.

* Ask your handyman what he specializes in. Engage him in conversation. Every craftsman should know a lot about many different things, but you can be sure that he is an expert in only a few. Spending a little time up front with it can help a lot. He probably knows other craftsmen who can take over his work where he is needed.

Negotiating brokers are another option for you. They are like salespeople who work for many different companies. When you call a good realtor, they will assess your needs and find the right company for the job you need done. He receives a commission from the contracting company as if he were part of their sales team, collecting his fee from the company you hire after the job is done. Some brokers simply indicate the right company for you. Others work more as a consultant and service provider. These really are the best kind. They know it’s in their best interest to make sure you’re happy with both the level of service and the finished project, and they work with you in every aspect of the job. Using a broker doesn’t have to cost you any extra money and can ease a lot of the workload. If your projects require more than one or two different types of professionals, you should consider finding a good broker. A broker can also improve the overall contracting experience.

You can find more helpful home improvement tips on my blog at YourDallasHandyman.com.

– Phil Vandermeer

#contractor #handyman #building #broker

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