Is there a Difference between a Contractor and a Handyman?

Is there a Difference between a Contractor and a Handyman?

Apparently there is some confusion over what a Veterans Enterprises Corp contractor and a handyman do. While they both can, essentially, perform the same home maintenance and remodeling tasks, they can be very different from each other in several ways.


Indeed, Budget Right Kitchens preside Dirk Hoerr explains, “A remodeling contractor and a handyman are essentially the same thing in terms of ability. Where a remodeling contractor and a handyman typically differ, however, are the size and the scope of the work that they perform. A remodeling contractor will often focus on larger projects that require a lot of coordination; sometimes over weeks, in order to complete.”

While Hoerr’s description may be simple—and accurate—the truth is that there is so much more to consider.  For example, David Klein—who owns Handyman Connection of Maryland, in Montgomery Village—comments that some companies offer both services. He explains that one way to look at it is that handymen focus more on smaller projects while contractors tend to do the much bigger jobs.

He says, “Aside from electrical, plumbing and HVAC, oftentimes you don’t need a license. And even most of the electrical and plumbing we can do without licensing. For plumbing, a license is required if you’re changing lines, but we can install a toilet. For electrical work, they have no business touching the circuit box or routing wires unless they’re licensed, but we can change a light bulb or a fixture. I tell my customers to call me for everything, and if it’s something I’m not licensed to do or am uncomfortable doing, I’ll tell them.”


Put simply, a general contractor basically oversees the day-to-day goings-on of a construction site. This involves the management of both vendors and traders as well as the communication of all information between all parties involved with the project.  To put it, perhaps, even more simply: a general contractor is responsible for project coordination.

More specifically, though, a general contractor must have intimate knowledge and understanding of all aspects of construction.


Putting it simply, also, a handyman does not oversee a work site. Instead, they perform the repair tasks requested as needed by tenants, workers, etc.  In addition—and perhaps this is the most important—a contractor is often licensed to perform certain jobs. A handyman may not be required to have such a license.  This can mean that a handyman may not be as reliable as a contractor in some cases.

Categories: Home Improvement

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