In an effort to save money, some Albuquerque-area residents have employed handymen for electrical and HVAC repair and maintenance services. But what is the difference between a handyman and a licensed contractor? Is it really necessary to hire a licensed contractor to perform simple electrical work or repair an air conditioner? Read on find out the pros and cons of hiring a handyman versus a licensed contractor.

What is a Handyman?

A handyman (or woman) is a jack-of-all-trades who can handle lots of smaller jobs around the home. In New Mexico, a handyman is not required to have a license, however, there is a voluntary certification that handymen can obtain that restricts the type of work they can perform and the amount of compensation they can earn each year. This certificate is very different than a contractor’s license and it does not require handymen to take exams or enroll in training programs.

Why Hire a Handyman?

A handyman is a great choice for small jobs. If you need a doorknob replaced, some interior painting done or the knobs nailed down on your cabinets, you can save a lot of money by employing a handyman. Keep in mind that every handyman is not the same, and because there is no licensing process, there can be a huge amount of variability in quality or service provided by one handyman compared to another.

What is a Licensed Contractor?

In contrast to a handyman, a contractor is a licensed professional in his or her line of work. They have gone through an apprenticeship, passed qualification exams, and are insured and licensed for a specific type of work. A contractor generally deals with trades that require special training, like electrical, HVAC and plumbing. If your contractor isn’t licensed for a specific part of your project, they will contract it out to a licensed professional—they will not perform a job they are not licensed for. Licensing involves passing exams and meeting certain criteria to prove reasonable competency in a trade.

Why Hire a Licensed Contractor?

A licensed and trained electrician or HVAC contractor will not only have the proper education, but they will also be up to date on all local regulations and laws that ensure safety compliance. The Electrical Safety Foundation International strongly recommends leaving electrical issues to professionals to avoid the potential for electrocution and fires. A licensed electrician who is trained in safe electrical work will leave your property safe and up to code.

In addition, a licensed contractor will be registered with the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department. Licensed contractors employed by Harder Electrical & Mechanical are also fully insured, unlike most handymen, who are unlikely to carry any general liability or workers compensation insurance because of the high cost.

The risks of hiring unlicensed and uninsured handyman are great. Using a handyman’s services for an electrical or HVAC job can leave you and your family exposed to inadequate workmanship, fraud, and potential danger. It is important to do your research to protect yourself and always hire a licensed specialist when the job calls for it. When you do choose the right contractor, their reputation is at stake if they are not following all safety standards and procedures. The trained professionals at Harder Electrical & Mechanical have corrected many deficiencies caused by handymen over the years.

While it might be tempting to hire a local handyman, only a licensed contractor—like the electricians and HVAC contractors at Harder Electrical & Mechanical—are Journeyman, trained, insured and provide warranties for labor.

About Harder Electrical & Mechanical 

Founded in 2003, Harder Electrical & Mechanical Services provides residential and commercial heating, cooling, and electrical services. We have proudly served the Albuquerque, Tijeras, Edgewood, and Moriarty areas for over 15 years. Locally owned and operated, Harder Electrical & Mechanical Services is open five days a week and on-call Saturdays.

Harder Electrical & Mechanical was founded with the philosophy of providing quality services for a fair price. With extensive training in electrical, mechanical, and refrigeration, Harder Electrical & Mechanical not only stands behind the work we do – we guarantee it.

Our experienced technicians provide residential and commercial heating, cooling, and air conditioning services. We can repair, replace, and install all brands of equipment, and we provide a 1-year warranty on labor along with any manufacturers’ product warranty.

Harder Electrical & Mechanical is your one-stop-shop for all your electrical, heating, and cooling needs. Call us today at 505-281-4807 for a free estimate.