Here Is Why You Should Choose a General Contractor over a Handyman for a Basement Job


If you are looking to spruce up your basement, choosing between a handyman and a general contractor can be a natural predicament. While both are professionals and perform repairs and renovations, they specialize in different tasks and should be capitalized upon accordingly.

From licensing requirements to job expertise, there are many factors that may dictate this choice. Let’s look at the two and understand why general contractors may be the best choice for a basement job.

Differences Between a General Contractor and a Handyman

Although the distinction is blurred depending on different states, it mostly revolves around the type and scope of work.

Handymen possess an assorted skill set that is suitable for a wide range of minor home improvement tasks and simple repairs.

In contrast, general contractors are known to oversee and manage large-scale projects. They usually boast multiple years of qualified experience in a specialized field. They deal with specialized machinery and tools and handle tasks requiring licensing (rewiring or plumbing installations).

To present a fair picture based on the degree of intervention required, a handyman may be more suited to patch up a clogged sink, whereas a general contractor would deal with replacing the sink or remodeling the kitchen altogether.

Why General Contractors are a Better Choice

Since finishing up the basement requires uncompromising precision and expertise, hiring a general contractor to facilitate plumbing overhauls requiring special licensing is best.

GCs overlook the execution of the entire process efficiently by bringing in licensed specialists such as plumbers, electricians, and/or carpentry experts. Moreover, general contractors are in tune with the ever-changing real estate laws, building codes, and regulations, avoiding the chance of an unpermitted finished product.

Also, setting up the basement involves considerable planning, which falls out of the scope of work of a handyman. Requirements like flooring replacement and refinishing, remodeling, tiling, and so on can be best managed by a general contractor.

When to Hire a Handyman

Broadly stated, if the scope of work falls below the $500 mark, hiring a GC could result in unnecessary overruns on the bill. Fixing water drips, installing tricky appliances, sinks or light attachments,, minor electrical repairs, and so on are chores that a handyman can handle.

Tasks like paint touch-ups and installing shelves are trivial fixes not requiring special licensing and, therefore, fit right down the alley of a handyman.

It is advised to check your state’s laws for a more precise demarcation of what a handyman can legally do.


Basements make for a critical part of the house. Meticulous planning ensures efficient usage of the space and streamlined ergonomics.

Therefore, hiring a general contractor who can oversee the hassle of on-ground implementation with specialized professionals makes sense.

Also, it is advisable to check the legality of operations regardless of whether you hire a handyman or general contractor. Look into the licensing rules, contact the contractors’ board investigator, and conduct further research to avoid violations, penalties, or cease and desist warnings.


Head over to ElkStone Basements for a free, no-obligation estimate for your Colorado basement finishing project. Submit a form on the website or call at 303-656-9006 for a free estimate today!