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Handyman vs. Contractor: When to Call in the Pros

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As a homeowner, you’ve likely encountered various maintenance and repair tasks around your house. While many of these projects can be tackled on your own or with the help of a handyman, there are situations where it’s essential to call in a professional contractor. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between handymen and contractors and provide guidance on when to seek the expertise of a professional contractor like East Valley Handyman.

Understanding the Roles


A handyman is a skilled individual who can perform a wide range of minor home repairs and maintenance tasks. They are typically proficient in areas such as plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, painting, and general household repairs. Handymen are a valuable resource for small to medium-sized projects and tasks that don’t require specialized licenses.


A contractor is a licensed professional with expertise in specific trades, such as construction, plumbing, electrical, or HVAC. They oversee and manage larger-scale projects that often involve structural changes, building codes, and permits. Contractors can work on new construction, renovations, and complex home improvement projects.

When to Call a Handyman

  1. Minor Repairs: Handymen are ideal for minor household repairs, such as fixing leaky faucets, repairing small electrical issues, patching drywall, or replacing a broken tile.
  2. General Maintenance: Handymen can handle routine maintenance tasks like gutter cleaning, pressure washing, and seasonal home upkeep.
  3. Small Renovations: For modest kitchen or bathroom updates, like installing new fixtures or cabinetry, a handyman is a cost-effective choice.
  4. Assembly and Installation: Handymen excel at assembling furniture, installing ceiling fans, mounting TVs, or putting up shelves.
  5. Painting and Touch-Ups: If you need a room painted or minor touch-up work, a handyman can efficiently complete the job.

When to Hire a Contractor

  1. Structural Changes: For projects involving structural alterations to your home, such as room additions, basement conversions, or removing load-bearing walls, a licensed contractor is essential.
  2. Major Renovations: Extensive kitchen or bathroom remodels, whole-home renovations, or adding an additional floor to your house require the expertise of a contractor.
  3. Electrical and Plumbing Overhauls: When rewiring your home, upgrading your electrical panel, or replacing your plumbing system, hire a licensed electrician or plumber, respectively.
  4. Permit Requirements: Projects that demand building permits, such as enlarging your home’s footprint, often necessitate a contractor who can navigate the permitting process.
  5. Complex HVAC Work: Installing or repairing complex heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems should be entrusted to licensed HVAC contractors.
  6. Custom Home Builds: If you’re constructing a new home from scratch, hiring a general contractor to oversee the entire project is crucial.


Understanding when to call a handyman versus a contractor is essential for maintaining your home and completing improvement projects effectively. While handymen are skilled at handling minor repairs and general maintenance, professional contractors are experts in larger-scale, complex projects that require specific licenses and permits.

At East Valley Handyman, we provide a wide range of handyman services for your home maintenance needs. However, when your project falls into the realm of larger renovations, structural changes, or specialized trades, it’s wise to consult with a licensed contractor. Ensuring the right professional tackles your home improvement project will result in a safe, efficient, and successful outcome.