In this article, learn when to call electrician vs handyman and why the difference is important no matter what type of electrical work you are dealing with.
Why Would You Call an Electrician? Your Handyman Is Cheaper…
There are three main types of electricians that are recognized by their level of licensing. These are the apprentice, journeyman, and master electricians; each requiring tested coursework and apprenticeship training to acquire, in many states. (1)
A handyman might have a construction license and be knowledgeable in what they do, but they haven’t gone through this specialized training and should never handle your electricity work.
Each state has its own requirements regarding licensing, so check your area’s rules before hiring an electrician. In most cases, electricians will need formal education, on-the-job training and an apprenticeship before they can practice on their own.
It isn’t a matter of the right professional for the job, but a matter of safety. In the long run, there are many shortcuts that a handyman can take in home repairs and improvement without any real consequence. The electrical work, however, is one major exception to this rule.
Dangers of Having a Handyman Do Electrical Work
Whether it’s intentional or not, a handyman often cuts corners when doing electrical work. Electrical fire is the main concern whenever the wiring is modified by someone who isn’t a certified electrician.
Especially since much of the wiring is not visible once the outlet covers are on and the walls are finished, you might not know about the damage until its too late.
A certified electrician is the best candidate for hiring someone to modify the electrical work in your home. Not only will they be aware of potential issues that can cause electrical shock or fire hazards, but they can provide you with additional safety information and education about your new wiring system.
There’s a Difference Between Licensed Electricians and a Handyman
A handyman is a jack-of-all-trades, able to figure out physical puzzles in the home and come up with solutions that might work from a purely function and aesthetic standpoint. In the realm of safety, however, they’re no expert.
Even handymen who hold a license in construction or a similar field aren’t experts in electrical safety. On a construction site, electricians are brought in to handle wiring, while the construction crew continues to put up drywall, frame doorways, and finish flooring.
An electrician’s sole expertise is in electrical wiring, safety, and preventing fire hazards from live circuitry. A licensed electrician must, in many states, go through a minimum of four years of trades school and hands-on experience to work on jobs without a supervising mentor.
This level of experience is worth every penny they can charge for the work done, as it translates to the future safety of anyone residing in the building.
Only a Certified Electrician Knows Electrical Codes
Once the electrician acquires a masters license, they can then move on to specialized electrician work, such as power grid operations or industrial systems. There is no limit to the number of specialties that an electrician can acquire, but it can help them move forward in their career in a specific direction.
Electricians may also choose to take on jobs that suit their experience and level of comfortability, with some choosing primarily residential jobs, while others choose commercial jobs, or industrial work. Each area comes with a different kind of challenge.
Even early in the electrician’s experience in trades school, however, they quickly learn that electrical codes are imposed on new home builds for a reason. These new codes are meant to minimize the risk of fire and accommodate new power demands as technology improves and appliances require more energy.
An Electrician Can Guarantee the Work
One big advantage to hiring an electrician to take care of the work that they are experienced and insured for is that they can guarantee the work. If anything goes wrong or if wiring proves faulty, you have recourse through their insurance or company policy to have it fixed. This isn’t something that you can typically do with a handyman.
Furthermore, an electrician’s reputation depends on their reliability and quality of work, so they are more likely to provide extra care, especially with something that could become a safety hazard with any shortcuts.
You Cannot Legally Hold a Handyman Accountable
Should something with the electrical wiring go wrong after having a handyman work on it, you cannot legally hold the handyman accountable, especially if they do not hold a license in electrical maintenance.
Typically, however, most handymen will hold a license in construction or another type of physical labor, as well as basic liability insurance. In rare cases, however, the handyman may not be required to have any kind of licensure or insurance.
Insurance Can Refuse a Claim After Handyman Work
If something happens to the home due to work that was done by a handyman, such as a fire or electrical damage, the handyman isn’t likely to be found at fault. In fact, unless the handyman holds a license in electrical maintenance, they may refuse to claim entirely, as work was not performed by a specialized party. Hiring a contractor who is performs work outside their field of expertise may void the policy as it is considered partly your responsibility as the hiring individual.
Handymen Often Cut Corners on Electrical Work
Even the most reliable handymen cut corners to get the job done a little faster, or a little under-budget. No matter what, it’s important to never take shortcuts when it comes to wiring. Everything should always be wired in properly so that it doesn’t pose a fire hazard in the future.
What Does a Handyman Usually Do?
Instead of electrical work, consider keeping your handyman around for the type of work that they are better experienced in.
Depending on the handyman’s personal experience, they can be experienced in a wide variety of home renovation techniques, or just naturally inclined to being handy, able to take care of a range of problems around the house. Common jobs for handymen include drywall repair, flooring, framing, door replacement, and many other household tasks.
It isn’t bad to hire a handyman to help you with your next home renovation, but it is important to make sure that you home is built or improved with safety in mind.
Electricians’ services are low-cost enough to where many people can afford the expense, and the electrician may be able to work with you on scope or services to do the work over time.
What is the Importance of Electrical Installation and Maintenance?
Proper electrical installation and maintenance is critical to any home’s basic functionality.
Older homes that have outdated wiring might not be able to plug in anything with a ground plug, which is meant to safely disperse stray surges. Old wiring may also be faulty, frayed, or unable to handle the demand modern appliances place on the circuit. This is where proper maintenance is important, which can include installing a new wiring system based on updated codes and regulations.
New installation of wires and circuits is common for areas of the home that see a lot of electrical use, but don’t have enough outlets to support the appliances. Instead of using an extension cord, which can become a fire hazard, it’s recommended to install a new outlet in the designated area. In most cases, installing a new outlet is only a little more expensive than buying a heavy-duty extension cord, and it is far safer than alternatives.
Let Us Find You a Professional Electrician
At Same Day Pros, we help homeowners across the United States find professionals ready and wiling to work on their jobs. Fortunately, that means that we can help you find an electrician near you as well.
No matter what type of work you need, all it takes is a few clicks and you’ll find a professional ready to help you in no time. Before you know it, you’ll be comparing quotes and talking to electricians about their professional guarantees and references while your friends are still looking for word-of-mouth referrals from neighbors.
Finding a professional electrician to do the work doesn’t have to be so hard; and many of them are comparable to what the handyman will charge. All it takes is a little price comparison and shopping to see great results in your home improvement projects.
Give Same Day Pros a try today and see why so many of our users come back time and time again to find new professionals whenever they need them.
- Forbes, How to Hire an Electrician, https://www.forbes.com/advisor/home-improvement/how-to-hire-an-electrician/