What Is The Difference Between A Contractor, A Sub-Contractor, And Handyman Services?

If you're considering a home renovation project in the North Vancouver area, you'll want to start by hiring a general contractor. A General Contractor will likely have licensed tradesmen employed, however, in some cases, they may bring in a sub-contractor to do some of the work such as plumbing or electrical.

A General Contractor will also be able to help you with a wide array of home improvement projects. Whether it be basement renovations, kitchen or bathroom renovations or a home addition in the North Vancouver or West Vancouver area, they can help you get started. They will even help with a new home being built.

If you're considering a smaller project, you may wish to think about hiring a handyman service or a contractor that does drywall or roofing only. Many contractors and handyman services specialize in one specific task.

This article examines the differences between a general contractor, a sub-contractor, and a handyman and the role that each may play in a home renovation project.

What's A Contractor?

In general, a professional renovation company or trade that helps with renovations or home improvements is typically called a contractor. When you hire such contractors to do any work on your home, you're hiring them under a contract between you, them, and the company that they work for.

When considering home improvement, there are many different contractors that provide a variety of services for your home renovations projects. From roofing contractors, plumbing contractors, painting contractors, electrical contractors, concrete contractors, landscaping contractors and more, there is a contractor for nearly every project that you can think of. Regardless of whether you require a North or West Vancouver contractor to build or renovate your deck, fence, plumbing, bathroom, kitchen or something else, you can hire a contractor to take care of any part of the project that you need to have done.

When you're hiring a renovation contractor, the company that you sign a contract with, is the company that is responsible for delivery of services that the contract states. A good example of this is that when you sign your contract with a drywall contractor, that drywall contractor is the person or company that is responsible for all of the drywall materials including the installation of the drywall and the clean up as stated per the contract. No other managing contractor is going to be involved in that project and all of the communication regarding that project is going to be done between you, and the drywall contractor that you hire.

However, in some cases, the drywall contractor may work for a managing contractor that is called a general contractor. In this case, the drywall contractor is a sub-contractor and you hired the general contractor who hired that portion of the job out to a sub-contractor.

What's A General Contractor?

A general contractor is a project manager for a remodel or renovation project. They are the ones who will manage the entire process of the project from start to finish. Typically, a general contractor will sub-contract the project out to interior designers, plumbers, electricians, drywall, painting, and more. They will ensure that everything is done on schedule and that each and every portion of the project is done by a professional. They will ensure that everything comes together seamlessly for the entire project.

You won't have to worry about hiring any of the sub-contractors, that will be the responsibility of Heilman Renovation to hire the sub-contractors and pay them for the work that they do in your home. The cost of paying the sub-contractor is factored into the quote and the specific contract that you sign with the general contractor. The general contractor is also the group that you'll deal with should there be any changes required in the sub-contracted work. If you don't hire a general contractor, you'll be the one to go over any changes with the sub-contractors. In many cases, the general contractors are the ones that are doing the renovation work on your home themselves. It's not unusual to see a general contractor demolishing old cabinetry, framing, or working alongside other workers. It's very common for a general contractor to have worked their way up the ranks and be capable of doing all of the tasks themselves. They may have done electrical along the way, they may have learned plumbing and other tasks such as cabinet making as well. Larger projects may employ enough employees that they have someone who specializes in all of the above and more. A general contractor will explain the process of the renovation to you and have a project manager that delegates each task to the right employee for the task at hand.

What Are The Advantages To Hiring A General Contractor?

Regardless of whether you're embarking on major home additions, remodels on bathrooms, kitchen's or basements, there are a lot of great advantages to hiring your project out to a general contractor.

Design Inspiration

You're looking for changes but you don't know where you should start. That’s where hiring a professional interior designer will really help you out. When you choose to hire a general contractor, you'll have full access to their designers. You'll have the opportunity to meet with their designers and go over your ideas. They'll be able to help you by filling in the blanks and making suggestions that will help you to delineate the space for your family and your lifestyle.

Save Time And Eliminate Stress

We know you're busy. So save yourself the time and the stress of doing the research, checking the references and hiring and scheduling the renovation of your home. When you choose to hire a general contractor we'll take care of all of this for you. A general contractor can protect the customer as they work with licensed and reputable sub-contractors and already understand and know the type of quality and work that is expected. They know when to have each trade come in and do the task at hand and can ensure that each task is completed in a timely fashion and efficiently.

Experienced And Knowledgeable

Embarking on a major home remodel project alone means that you're relying on your own abilities and experience from start to finish. While you may be a great DIYer, a seasoned general contractor will have been doing this for years on a professional level and have the know-how of construction and renovations that need to last for years to come. Should a problem arise, they are prepared to deal with the issue quickly and efficiently. They'll know what will and won't work and how to plan out the entire project from start to finish. By choosing a great general contractor, you'll have fewer roadblocks and reduce your stress levels. This will ensure that you're job is completed in a timely fashion without any errors.

General Contractors Will Get All The Required Permits

In addition to understanding all of the regulations and codes, the general contractor will be responsible for getting and obtaining all of the required permits so that the project can go forward without any problems. They will ensure that all of the renovations are done to code and ready for inspection.

Stay On Budget

Hiring the right general contractor will help you to stay on budget. When you're doing renovations by yourself you risk going over your budget by over purchasing materials and buying the wrong materials for your needs. You also risk damaging materials but not understanding how to properly work with them. A great general contractor will reduce this risk and help you to maintain your budget. They can go to the supply store fewer times and come back with the right products without having to make extra trips. This can save you a lot of money. They can also find ways to buffer your budget and help you to have more wiggle room. They understand what things cost, what you need and the required tools and leave less room for error.

Kinds Of Renovations That A General Contractor Can Assist You With

A qualified general contractor will offer a wide range of renovation services. You can hire a general contractor to assist you with your job from start to finish, even on a brand new home. Here are some other renovations that a general contractor can assist you with.

Renovate Basement

Basement renovations can practically double our useable living area and help to increase the value of the home. A new basement can add in much-needed bedrooms for a growing family or guest area. It can house a home office, a fitness room, recreation room, kids room or even a home theatre. It's the ideal solution for a man cave or a personal retreat. If you decide to sell the house, it will add value to the home and increase the sale price of the home. A finished basement is often coveted by buyers and will give you a leading edge in the selling market.

Some of the more common issues with a basement renovation are that when upgrading an older home with a retro basement finished many decades ago, it may also have a few unanticipated surprises. These may include the fact that the basement was finished by a DIYer who really didn't know what they were doing. It may be nearly impossible to tell what exactly was done, or it may be glaringly obvious.

There are many things that may show up behind the walls of a DIYer renovation. These include such things as faulty electrical work and wiring, plumbing woes, mold and mildew, moisture damage from water seeping into the basement, and older building materials such as asbestos that can cause serious health issues to everyone in the household. For this reason, it's wise to hire a quality general contractor as they can quickly and easily spot the errors and help to rectify them before they become a serious hazard. They can ensure that the basement is up to code and safety.

Renovate Bathroom

A new bathroom won't only upgrade the aesthetics, it will help to increase the enjoyment of the room by creating a more relaxing and functional area. You can convert the tub to a shower with modern tile and fixtures, you can change to glass doors or change out the complete layout of the room to create more space and utilize the space more efficiently.

Well-planned out bathroom renovations can help to improve the energy efficiency of the entire home. Choosing energy efficient fixtures such as low-flow shower heads, low-flow toilets is an affordable way to upgrade your home's energy efficiency. You'll save money on both your water bill and your electric bill on a monthly basis when you select low-flow fixtures. When these first hit the market, they were more costly than regular fixtures, however, now that they've been on the market for a time, they are much more affordable and a quick trip to the home improvement store can leave you with plenty of inspiration to help you in saving energy and creating and designing a beautiful and efficient space for your dream bathroom.

Renovate Kitchen

Renovations in the kitchen are by and far one of the most popular renovation projects for homeowners and buyers. They deliver an excellent return on investment when compared to other renovation projects on the home.

Minor kitchen renovations may include such things are refacing kitchen cabinetry and updating the hardware. It may involve replacing countertops or laminating them and installing more efficient lighting, appliances. Mid-range sinks, new more efficient faucets and replacing the older flooring with more resilient flooring are also options when renovating a kitchen. A renovation like this may cost anywhere from $17,000 to $20,000 and it may increase the value of the home by as much as $17,000 to $20,000.

In addition to increasing the asking price of a home, experienced realtors will tell owners that updated kitchens are going to make the home more marketable and improve the speed of the sale. Additionally, current homeowners will be able to enjoy the newly renovated kitchen in the meantime.

Because of the various components to renovations in kitchens, it's wise to hire a quality general contractor. They can assist you in the selection of countertops, backsplashes, cabinets, and the flooring. The general contractor can ensure that everything flows together seamlessly in regard to design. A knowledgeable manager will help keep the project on track and save the homeowner a lot of time and money.

Handyman Services VS General Contractor And Sub-Contractors

There are times that homeowners prefer to hire a handyman for their smaller tasks. These may include such things as upgrading floors, small bathrooms, small paint jobs and the like. A handyman is a person that assists with a wide array of home repairs in and around the house. These are typically minor projects that may not require any special permits or inspections. It may be as simple as repairing a small portion of drywall or hallway. They are the ones that do the odd jobs in and around the house that don't typically require any permits. They may install a new appliance, build a fence or install a door.

There are many benefits to hiring handyman services for such jobs. Most homeowners wish to get their “to-do-list” done in a timely fashion. Life goes fast and sometimes they need it done now. Even if a homeowner has the time, they may not have the know how to accomplish the task. A handyman will get the task done often with skill and efficiency.

Choosing handyman services in the North Vancouver area can sometimes be more effective than hiring a general contractor. If you need minor roof repairs, light fixtures installed or if you wish to replace some flooring they can often complete the task. Depending on the size of the project they can often help to check things off the “to-do-list” quickly. It can be an affordable way to go in lieu of dealing with several contractors.

While major renovations such as the bathroom, kitchen, basement and other areas of the home will often increase the value of the home, you don't have to set out on a major renovation in order to get a return on your investment when you're doing home improvements. You can easily hire a handyman to complete the more simple projects to recoup the cost and improve the value of your home without having to replace the entire kitchen. You can simply replace a front entry door to get a 90% return on your investment and update your curb appeal. It will also help to improve energy efficiency which will in turn, also increase the value of your home. There are many great home improvements that you can do that won't break the bank and will give you back a huge return on your investment. Things as simple as updating the paint and building a deck are all relatively easy steps to take to improve your home's curb appeal and increase the value of your home.

Many handyman companies will even allow you to supply the materials for the renovation project. They will also have their own tools so you won't have to stress over needing to rent or buy tools that you don't have on hand. This can all help you to stay well within your budget when you're renovating your home.