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Find a local handyman

    Builder vs handyman

    What kinds of jobs does a handyman do?

    Hannah | Oneflare

    Sometimes it’s tricky to work out who you need to hire when you need a job done. There are builders, architects, carpenters, tradespeople, handymen, labourers, and everything in between. So how do you know if your project requires the services of a builder or a handyman?

    Builders and handymen do very different things and come with very different skills and qualifications. Knowing what each does will take out the guesswork and allow you to get on with getting the job done.

    What does a builder do?

    Building is a specialised field that requires a high level of education, experience and training. A builder is who you need if you’re looking to do a large project such as building a new home, doing a major renovation or building an extension. A builder’s job is not only to provide a physical structure, they also need to know the legalities and regulations for doing so, and ensure everything is in place before any work is carried out such as plans, applications and permits.

    finished modern open plan home
    A builder is qualified to help with larger scale projects / Source: Jnaid & Sons

    Contrary to their title, builders often don’t do any of the actual building themselves. A builder or building contractor, is generally hired to manage and coordinate a project which may include:

    • Planning and design
    • Checking zoning regulations, local codes and legalities
    • Managing the project budget
    • Coordinating the purchase and timely delivery of materials
    • Determining the schedule of works
    • Liaising with, and coordinating the work of, various tradespeople such as electricians, plumbers and painters
    • Submission of plans to council and gaining permits
    • Liaising with building inspectors
    • Problem-solving any issues that arise with the project
    • Communicating the project’s progress with the client

    When hiring a builder, it’s crucial to do your research and make an informed decision you’re comfortable with. Be sure to check their licenses, qualifications, references and experience. They also need to have the appropriate insurances in place to cover loss or damage.

    What is a handyman?

    There are always jobs around the home that need to be done. Some things you might feel confident in tackling yourself, for others you may need some help, or you simply don’t have time for. For these jobs, hiring a handyman can be a great option.

    Basically, a handyman is a person who is “handy” or “skilful” with his or her hands and is easily available to perform common household projects, repairs, installations, and maintenance. These are mostly jobs that require skill, but not necessarily a qualification to perform. Handymen have a variety of skills and are usually available without much notice.

    white modern kitchen
    A handyman can help with jobs that require skill, but not necessarily a qualification Source: Complete Maintenance & Property Repairs

    You might need to have several things done at once like have a room painted, a broken tile fixed and a piece of furniture put together, all of these tasks can be performed by the one person, in a short space of time at short notice, instead of hiring several different tradespeople to do the different jobs.

    What kind of jobs does a handyman do?

    A handyman can do all the small jobs around your house. Some examples of what most handymen are qualified to do include:

    • Painting or patching the exterior and interior of your home
    • Mounting TVs, paintings, mirrors and other heavy objects on your walls
    • Cleaning your driveways, patios, and floors with pressure washers to remove mould, dirt and other debris
    • Gardening work or cleaning out gutters
    • Small carpentry jobs, such as fitting shelves, installing new doors, erecting sheds, changing door handles or locks, and building playhouses
    • Assembling flat pack kit items, such as furniture and cabinets
    • Minor plastering jobs or repairs
    • General maintenance
    • Windows and door repair
    • Minor welding
    kids playhouse in backyard
    A handyman can do a variety of odd jobs, including erecting kids’ playhouses / Source: Inner City Property Solutions

    Most handymen have gained a lot of experience in doing a variety of tasks. So, if you need something done, it never hurts to call and ask your local handyman if he or she can do it for you. Your handyman likely has the knowledge to perform many more tasks than the ones we listed above, so if something needs to be cleaned, repaired or installed in your home, pick up the phone and give your handyman a call.

    What kinds of jobs can’t a handyman do?

    If you’ve got a larger job to do and you’re not sure whether you can hire a handyman, always check with your local council first. Different regulations apply depending on which state you live in, and in some cases, you may need to hire a licensed builder depending on the value of the work being done.

    • Plumbing: Generally, plumbing jobs require a licenced plumber
    • Electrical: Only licensed electricians should work with electrical wires
    • Gas Fitting: Like electrical work, gas fitting should only be performed by licenced professionals

    This doesn’t mean that your handyman can’t work with appliances at all. A handyman, for example, can install a home theatre system and TV mountings and thread cables through your wall. But, if you have work that deals with altering your home’s electrical wiring, gas lines or plumbing lines, you will need to hire a licensed professional.

    Tips on choosing a handyman

    Different handymen will have different skills. Outline exactly what you need done and ensure they have the right skills and experience for the job. Get several quotes to ensure you’re getting a good price and make sure the quote outlines all of the specific details of the job. Whilst tempting, remember it’s not always the best choice to go with the cheapest quote. Check if they have a satisfaction guarantee and ask to see any references from previous clients for added peace of mind.

    They should also have the appropriate insurance to cover any damages, so check your local guidelines before having anyone onto your property to carry out work.

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