Home improvements can be expensive, time-consuming, and stressful. A lot of homeowners embarking on a major home improvement may look for ways to help save money or just alleviate some of the stress involved, sometimes by opting for the least expensive Pro to do the job. Unfortunately, this may mean that you aren’t using the appropriate person. While a handyman or a general contractor may be the right person to take care of small projects, they aren’t the right people to use for every job. There are a lot of reasons why it’s essential to use the right person every single time, whether the job is as small as building a platform for a window air conditioning unit or as big as a whole house renovation. In fact, using the right person can actually save you a lot of headaches and hidden expenses down the road.
State Laws and Regulations
Depending on where you live, you may be constrained in who you hire based on state regulations. For example, in the state of Florida, if you hire an unlicensed contractor to work on your home, you could end up having to pay a hefty fine. At the same time, if you use an unlicensed contractor and have an issue, you will have no recourse or legal standing to hold this person responsible.
In other states, the size of your project may dictate who may or may not work on it. In California, you can only hire a handyman or Journeyman to work on projects that cost less than $500. So trying to hire a handyman to finish your bathroom may not be an option.
One reason why you may want to hire a Pro who specializes in the type of job you’re doing, rather than a Jack-of-all-trades who may be cheaper, is the familiarity with local building codes. Any time you have work done on your home, you should be pulling a permit with your town, which will necessitate an inspection once the work is done to ensure that it meets local, state, and federal building codes. Not all Pros are going to be familiar with codes. A plumber will understand plumbing codes, for example, but he may not be able to assist you with ensuring that your electrical codes are up to date in the bathroom as well.
Architects, builders, and room-specific designers like kitchen and bathroom designers are going to be more familiar with specific codes than general contractors may be. If a permit is involved in the job, you want to ensure that your project will pass on the first go round. Otherwise, you could end up spending more money on correcting issues when your home fails the inspection.
Another reason why you may want to hire a Pro who is experienced in the type of work you’re having done is the specialized knowledge that Pro can bring to the job. For example, what if you wanted to have a performance shower built in your bathroom. A handyman or a GC may be able to do the work physically, but would they know to check the size of your hot water tank or to find out if you have well or town water? A performance shower emits roughly 2 gallons of water a minute, which means that a 25-gallon hot water tank will give you a 10 minute hot shower, while a standard well will not be able to keep up with the supply, resulting in a trickle of water from each source. If you don’t have a Pro who can tackle these issues, you could end up spending twice as much money correcting them after the job has been done, than if you had hired the right person to begin with. A bathroom designer, a design firm that deals with bathrooms, or a builder who specializes in them would have this knowledge and information, and could save you a lot of headaches early on in the process by merely asking the right questions.
It can be hard to find the right Pro for the job, which is why so many homeowners end up using the wrong one. If you don’t know where to begin looking, or what kinds of stipulations your state may require, you won’t necessarily make the right choice. That’s where we can help. We do the hard work, so you don’t have to.