Home Repair Pro or Handyman? Which should you choose
Home repairs are par for the course when you are a homeowner. Whether you are dealing with a leaky kitchen faucet, a faulty electrical socket, a clogged drain or a busted sewer pipe, it’s not easy to know who is the best person to call for help. Search Google or the Yellow Pages and you’ll find results/ads for handymen, home warranties, disaster recovery home services, and service plan companies. There are plenty of options and people offering services for a variety of different home repair issues including electrical, plumbing, septic/sewer, heating, and cooling. But you want to choose the right professional – the one best suited to the job. Not to mention, you want to avoid overpaying for something that could be a quick, inexpensive fix.
See below for our hiring advice on who to call and simple hiring tips for your home repair job.
Plumbing IssuesEvery home has a complex interior plumbing system. If you are just dealing with a running toilet or a leaky faucet, doing it yourself or calling a handyman should suffice. Alternately, leaks and cracks behind your walls and above your ceilings can go undetected. Pipes and drains can get blocked due to sediment build up, clogs can occur from grease and other materials, and plumbing fixtures can corrode and become brittle with age. When a home repair like this occurs, you need qualified plumbing help before extensive water damage may happen, so you should contact a licensed plumber for the best home repair service.
It’s also important to consider exterior home plumbing. As your home gets older, so does the exterior water service line that brings fresh water to your house. Leaks and breaks are usually caused by aging of the pipe, corrosion, extreme temperatures, settling or shifting of the ground. If this line fails, repair or replacement can be expensive and most basic homeowner’s insurance won’t cover repairs. It’s a complex job and one that’s best left to the home repair professionals who have the right tools to diagnose and fix the problems.
Electrical ProblemsElectrical issues inside a home can run the gamut from a simple replacement of an electrical fixture (for example, ceiling fan or overhead light) to upgrading circuit breakers, installing an outlet, or replacing electrical wiring. If it’s a simple installation, calling a handyman is a choice. However, electrical issues can be complex and can lead to bigger problems if not done by a professional electrician. For example, when old or faulty wiring is an issue at your house (things such as failed electrical outlets, sockets and fittings, breaker panels and fuse boxes,) then it calls for a more specialized type of home repair service. In addition, some of these issues can be potentially dangerous if not taken care of right away. Our advice is to err on the safe side and call a licensed electrician.
Many homeowners seem to forget that the exterior of a home has complex electrical systems as well. Things such as exterior lines coming into the home with high voltages are dangerous and shouldn’t be attempted by a novice. In addition, attachment wiring, the outside meter box and the wiring from the meter box to the electrical panel can all experience problems that need a professional to fix. Our advice: it’s best not to try to fix them yourselves. Find a professional, qualified electrician.
Heating and Cooling BreakdownsNothing is worse than going without hot water or heat in the winter and conversely without the cool comfort of air conditioning in the summer. As a homeowner, if your heating system fails unexpectedly, you could face long, cold winter days and nights. Plus, you are responsible for the repair and maintenance of all the complicated parts that keep your boiler and furnace functioning. Similarly, your AC system has components that can break down, and like your heat, falls under the responsibility of the homeowner to repair or fix. Because many average homeowners aren’t skilled enough to fix a leaky boiler, an A/C condenser, or a busted water heater, it’s best to call a licensed AC home repair professional.
Ultimately, hiring the right person for the job is the most important factor when it comes to your home. Here are 6 simple hiring tips:
Hire a Handyman for:
- Simple repairs
- Jobs which don’t impact multiple systems
- Jobs which don’t require licensing or special training
Hire a Home Repair Pro for:
- Jobs which require special training
- Jobs which require licensing
- Jobs which require specialized tools
Finally, a good solution to taking the homework out of some home repairs is to protect yourself ahead of time with a home repair service plan. This can help alleviate the stress of having to deal with a covered unexpected home emergency. It can also help alleviate the stress of trying to manage the daunting task of researching repair pros and having repairs completed in a timely and efficient manner.
To find out how you can sign up for a home repair plan in your area, enter your zip code here.