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Remodelers, Handyman, and Contractors: What’s What!

What is a remodeler? If you Google the term “remodelers” that is the first question that usually pops up. And it usually describes someone that takes on a variety of tasks to transform a space. Kind of generic wouldn’t you say?

And that’s our concern. Are remodelers and a handyman the same thing? And what about contractors? Or do they all refer to the same kind of service? Our feeling is that people have specific things in mind when they use these terms.

What Can Remodelers Do?

When you want to call a remodeler do you expect that they can do anything? Or do they specialize in something in particular and that is your expectation. After all, can any one person know everything there is to know about construction and remodeling? Probably not, but then again, general contractors are very knowledgeable in a variety of areas even if their own special skills are geared toward one craft.

And even if they are very skilled in one area, does that mean they are the best at everything? Again, not likely. Some will specialize in an area such as kitchens or bathroom remodeling and this makes sense.

A roofing company doesn’t often use the term remodelers to label themselves. Nonetheless, Ace Construction and Remodeling is the leading roofing contractor in East-Central Indiana.

Contractors vs Remodelers

But then, is there a difference between a contractor and remodelers? This might really depend on who you are asking. So ask yourself this question. Is a remodeler the same thing as professional contractors? We feel like there is a difference, even if they use the same term like remodeling.

Isn’t it true that anyone can call themselves a remodeler? If someone regularly does renovation projects on their own home they can say they are a remodeler? Right? Yes, of course they can. But that doesn’t make them a professional contractor. And so there really is a difference. The contractors just by the name alone imply professional and hopefully licensed workers.**

** Note: It may be interesting to you that when the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) creates the survey Remodeling Marketing Index (RMI) they use the term remodelers for respondents who were either owner, president or CEO of their companies.

Remodelers vs Handyman

On the other hand, consider if remodelers are different than hiring a handyman. Again, we believe there is a difference. When someone uses the term handyman for the service you need it is important to ask lots of questions. Some handyman workers are “self-proclaimed” and just looking to get started in their own business. Often others are former employees of contractors and remodeling companies. Usually they have a particular skill set and have left the company to work for themselves. The challenge is they can also be very limited in their skill set and take on more than they can handle.

In fact, often a sign of a handyman is they work by themselves or perhaps with a side hand helper. This may be true of remodelers also, so you will want to ask about their background, experience, licensure, and insurance.

A Company vs Individual Remodelers

And one of the most important points you may not have caught in the last section is the individual working for themselves. We are not against individuals working as remodelers, we are just making the point of buyer beware. Ask questions so that you are assured you are getting what you hoped for.

Consider the differences. It would be very rare to find an individual who can have the expertise of multiple areas and that of say, five different contractors. You might call an individual to your house to repair some rotted wood at your foundation. Will they have the skills and training and they eye to know and see a bigger problem? What if there are cracks in your foundation or slab. Will the individual know enough to guide you to the proper steps? We say, not as likely as if you have a team on your side like Ace Construction and Remodeling.

Even companies are considered remodelers. And so the terminology is not always clear. So we think it’s best to ask questions about their team and their specialties. You should also realize that when a company is hiring it’s contractors they actually are trying to cover a variety of skills and specialties. And that is a big advantage for you as a consumer.

Remodelers that “Do it All”

Have you ever heard someone say “we do it all.” It can be a turn off when someone says that because it sounds like they’re bragging or over confident. But what’s the chances that an individual really can do it all? With QUALITY and EXPERTISE? We will let you answer that one yourself. And now compare that to a whole team of individual remodelers – a remodeling company. So when a company says “we do it all” we are more likely to trust that then when a handyman says so.

So when you start looking for remodelers, handymen, or contractors, you will have better success with certain terms and conditions. First, we would avoid the term handyman. The term contractors probably will get you better results. But if you use remodelers in your search, vetting your responses is important and we suggest you go with the advantage of a company. 

Looking into Remodelers

By now you get the idea. Sometimes the names are used interchangeably, but there is a definite difference in performance and services offered. So here are a few things to consider.

First, are they certified? Do they hold certifications for their specialty. It would be difficult for individual remodelers to hold certifications in many different areas. Whereas a remodeling company has many individuals that can each be certified in their different areas. Now you may consider certifications as a bonus, because not all trades have accessible options, and they are usually not required by states.

Second, you want to find out if they are licensed. This will almost be an automatic for everyone you encounter. But if they aren’t you are better off moving on to the next company.

Next you want to ask about insurance. It is important that remodelers be insured to protect you! That’s right. What if someone is injured on the job? You should be protected because they have liability insurance to cover the claims.

And what about guarantees? Some remodelers may have insurance to cover their mistakes, but this would be expensive. Individual remodelers may not have this and we heard of these types just walking away from jobs leaving a mess. A remodeling company on the other hand usually has the resources to guarantee and make sure the job is done right.

When looking for remodelers be sure you know what you are getting. A handyman might be good for yard work, or a small project, but when you take on big projects that usually require permits, it’s best to go with professional contractors like Ace Construction and Remodeling. And if you just favor the term remodelers, then go with professional remodelers – or we could say professional remodeling contractors.