Even though their abilities may sometimes overlap, Acknowledging and understanding the difference between a handyman and a licensed contractor is essential for any homeowner who wants to do renovation work on their home. When it comes time to hire one of these professionals, it is always best if you know which one is right for the job. You may spend more than necessary to get a job done if you don’t choose the right professional.

Below, M.C. Painting & Renovation has outlined the jobs (that each professional is best at) to help break down and simplify the important decision you are considering. The simple fact is that a licensed contractor should never have to perform the work of a handyman, and a handyman should never be performing the work of a licensed contractor.



The term ‘Handyman’ is the most appropriate name for a “Johnny on the spot” fix it up, person. With no formal qualifications, licenses, or certificates needed, a handyman is simply someone who is skilled at performing certain tasks around the house. The main factor to distinguish a handyman is that he will typically take any job, no matter how small.

Typically, a handyman will be an individual, have a few assistants, or work for a handyman management company. Regardless of where you find your handyman, just keep in mind that it is best to screen candidates to make sure they can do what you need done and fit your expectations. Ultimately though, a handyman should be able to tackle just about any small job you throw his or her way.

These professionals are used to doing anything from painting a room to patching a hole in a wall to changing a hard-to-reach light bulb. Ultimately, the handyman is like the utility player on a baseball team. They may not be the best at any one thing, but they will be good at a large variety of small jobs, a sort of “jack of all trades”.

The bottom line is that a handyman can be a relatively inexpensive asset to help you overcome of the basic household problems that arise. Larger renovations or major overhauls should be referred to a contractor. A handyman will rarely work with more than two people, and large projects are not normally performed by a handyman.


Licensed Contractor

A licensed contractor acts as a director for larger construction projects for your home. If you want to remodel a kitchen, bathroom, or basement, a licensed contractor is the individual you will contact to get the job done. Unlike a handyman, these professionals have to keep up with licensing requirements and consider the big picture and all aspects of a construction project. This is what M.C. Painting & renovation specialize in.

In most cases, licensed contractors will have the assistance of a team of people, which varies depending on the project. For example, if the contractor needs to work on a kitchen renovation, they would need to have a plumber, electrician and a cabinet installer/carpenter at the very least. Most likely The contractor will also have a tiler and some general labourers. On the other hand, if a home entertainment center is being installed for a basement renovation, the contractor will probably just need an electrician, a builder, and a floorer.

When it comes down to doing the actual work, the licensed contractor will typically be on the sidelines managing. Think of the contractor as a kind of coach, and the formation of his team depends on the project that he needs to work on.

The bottom line is that a licensed contractor is really someone reserved to performing full projects or renovation jobs rather than single tasks. They will usually carry much larger insurance policies and give you a much more detailed plan. At the same time, the service of a licensed contractor is understandably a bit more expensive than those of a handyman.



Ultimately, the easiest way to decide whether you need a handyman or a licensed contractor is to look at the scope of your project. If you are considering a simple task that you could perform yourself, you definitely do not need a contractor. If you are looking to do a major renovation, a handyman will typically not even be qualified to help with your project.

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