Whether your house is in need of simple repairs or you want to bring your dream home to life with a large-scale renovation, there are plenty of scenarios when you might want to hire professional help.

Maybe you don’t have the time or energy to take care of it yourself. Maybe you don’t have the right tools on hand or lack the expertise to care of it yourself. Whatever the case, it’s time to hire someone to help you get the job done.

So, who should you call – a handyman or a specialist tradesperson?

The right answer depends on your situation, budget, and the scope of your project.

When to Hire a Handyman vs. a Specialist

If you’re not sure when it makes sense to hire a general handyman and when the job requires a specialist, you’re not alone. After all, their abilities overlap in several areas, and it’s quite common for people to (mistakenly) use the terms interchangeably.

Despite the confusion, there are several important distinctions you should keep in mind when deciding who to hire.

Here are a few of the main differences you need to know about:

A handyman is generally more affordable than a licensed contractor. They don’t have specialized certifications or abilities beyond being, well, handy around the house. If you only need an extra set of hands to get your project rolling, a handyman is the better, more budget-friendly choice.

Handymen typically work independently or with a single partner if the job requires extra help. They tackle one-off tasks and short-term projects, rather than in-depth renovation work.

A specialist, on the other hand, can take on complete renovations or remodeling projects from start to finish. They might even bring in their own team of workers to assist them, including other specialists – like electricians and plumbers, depending on the problem.

Another difference is that specialists cost more to hire. Therefore, their services should be reserved for significant repairs and challenging renovation projects that aren’t possible without a certain level of expertise.

When in doubt, here’s a general rule of thumb you can follow:

While a handyman is excellent for helping out around the house with things you could do yourself if you had the time, a specialist is the better choice for more complex, long-term, or large-scale projects.

Should you hire a handyman or a specialist tradesperson for these scenarios?

1. Remodeling or renovating your home

handyman or specialist for remodelling or renovating

Source: Moneywise

Thinking about sprucing up your living space? There are plenty of jobs suited for both handymen and specialists if you’re looking to remodel or renovate.

Hire a handyman if you need help with:

  • Small interior painting jobs
  • Hanging a door or putting up shelves
  • Plastering and caulking
  • Filling cracks in wood and plaster
  • Putting together furniture

Hire a specialist if your project involves:

  • Fitting and installing countertops
  • Fitting and installing flooring (wood or tile)
  • Installing kitchen appliances
  • Large painting jobs
  • Removing or moving interior walls

2. Plumbing repairs

Turn to a handyman if you’re looking for an extra set of hands for minor maintenance, but opt for a plumber if your pipes have serious problems that need an expert approach.

Hire a handyman if you need help with:

  • Unclogging a toilet or snaking a drain
  • Repairing a running toilet
  • Installing new water faucets

Hire a specialist if your project involves:

  • Installing or replacing existing plumbing
  • Fixing a burst pipe
  • Shower installation

3. Electrical issues

Complicated electrical problems that require specialized knowledge should be dealt with by a certified electrician. That said, a handyman can still be useful in minor electrical fixes.

Hire a handyman if you need help with:

  • Replacing a light fixture or a fan
  • Replacing light switches
  • Replacing electrical sockets

Hire a specialist if your project involves:

  • Installing new electrical outlets
  • Upgrading a circuit breaker panel
  • Updating electrical in the bathroom

4. Exterior maintenance

From winterizing your home to repairing your roof, many homeowners hire professional help to take care of exterior maintenance on their home.

Hire a handyman if you need help with:

  • General property maintenance or basic yard work
  • Cleaning out or replacing rain gutters
  • Replacing weather stripping on your doors and windows
  • Caulking any cracks in siding, doors, and windows
  • Winterizing your water lines and air conditioner

Hire a specialist if your project involves:

  • Repairing a hole in in your roof
  • Replacing roof tiles
  • Installing or repairing siding

The right choice comes down to project scope

Remember, if the project is in the realm of something you could handle yourself, but you don’t have the time – hire a handyman. However, if the project scope is beyond what you could comfortably do yourself or requires specialized knowledge about electrical or plumbing issues – call up a specialist tradesperson instead.

Whether a handyman or a specialist is right for your job, find a trusted service professional in your area on HomeStars today!

Featured image courtesy of Thumbtack

Posted by Emily Bauer

Emily Bauer is a content writer for the HomeStars Blog.