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Rental Property Repairs: What are the Differences between a Restoration Professional, General Contractor, and Handyman?

Repairs on a rental property in Charlotte

Wondering whether your project needs a restoration professional, a licensed general contractor, or a handyman? Knowing the difference between the three is essential for you to make the best decision for your investment property repairs.

If your rental property has water damage, mold damage, or fire damage, you might be faced with questions of who to hire for repairs.

You will be working closely with the company over the course of a week, a month or even a year if the damage is serious.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the difference between all three professions.


What is a Licensed General Contractor?

A licensed general contractor is licensed and registered by the state they perform the work in. A licensed contractor has the knowledge, background, and training of building structures and the building codes required by the state.

Handyman measuring wall

General contractors are accountable for supervising the entire repairs process of the project. This can range from a new home, home addition, garage, house remodel, shed or any other project.


What is a Restoration Professional?

Restoration professionals specialize in home and business disaster restoration services. They offer services such as fire damage restoration, water removal, mold remediation, and fire repairs.

A restoration company explicitly has unique and specialized equipment, training, and experience when it comes to fire, water, mold damage repair. They are well equipped in this and all other aspects when it comes to getting you back your home or business to normal and as fast as possible.


What is a Handyman?

A handyman is not required to keep up with the regulations of any state. They are not licensed or insured. Some of them may be insured and this is something you must confirm as a homeowner.

Drilling holes

These handymen are skilled individuals who cater to a range of home repair tasks. Typically, a handyman will work on the smaller repairs and maintenance needed in your home.

Some examples of small repair tasks could be repairs for cabinets, flooring, closet, fence, railings, light fixtures, or any minor home repairs.

When you have more significant or more specialized projects that need to be done, you will likely need either a licensed general contractor or a specialized contractor such as a restoration company.


Here are some of the advantages of restoration professional for disaster restoration services over a general contractor or handyman:


1.   Quick Response

In the case of water or fire damage, a rapid response is a critical step in mitigating the damage. The restoration professional will respond to your call typically within the next 24 hours.

They will immediately perform the cleaning, drying and repairing process in a faster timeline as compared to general contractors and handymen. This is the prompt response required and is important so that the chances of salvaging your rental property and any belongings are high.


2.   Professional Damage Advice

In the event of a fire, water, or mold damage, it is often challenging for property owners to determine whether the drywall, furniture, carpets, and appliances are salvageable or has to be torn out and replaced. A restoration professional can expertly assess the property and damages. They will offer advice and solutions specifically for the cleanup process after damage to a home or business.


3.   Dealing with Insurance Claims

Most of the fire and water damage restoration professionals have years of experience in dealing with insurance companies and adjusters through the claims process.

This means that the restoration company is familiar with the industry jargon, pricing and has pre-existing relationships with most, if not all, adjusters.


Because of this experience, the restoration professional will also know how to document the losses better than a general contractor or handyman. They are aware that insurance companies rely on proper documentation to determine coverage and paying out a claim.

A restoration professional will use the same pricing program and will supply all the estimates in the appropriate format the insurance requires.


4.   Reducing Damage & Cost

When you hire a restoration professional for water or fire damage cleanup, they help you reduce secondary damage and total cost of cleanup and drying. If you or a contractor doesn’t act fast, you run the risk of causing additional damage.

If not addressed immediately, water will saturate more of the structure and can lead to mold and further damage. A restoration company understands these issues and is proactive in preventing further damage which will end up being costlier.


5.   Specialized Equipment

If you’ve had a fire in your property, you are going to have smoke, soot, and charring of the structure. All of these damages require specific techniques to restore the property.

specialized equipment

Some of the equipment that might be needed are hydroxyl machines, SteraMist, deodorization fogger, Vapor Shark, ice blaster, and more. Most likely, no general contractor or handyman is going to have this equipment in stock or have the experience using it

For water or mold, there is other additional specialized equipment that’s needed to restore the home properly and quickly. Some of that equipment needed to do this might be commercial dehumidifier, trailer mounted DEHU, Air Scrubber, portable/mounted water extractor, containment, Anti-Microbial solution, and much more.


6.   Unplanned Disruptions

One of the most significant differences in working with a restoration professional, general contractor, and handyman is the fact that water, fire damage is unplanned, and you are always working in an occupied space.

No homeowner likes having their kitchen torn apart while they are living in the house. Alternatively, a business needs to close a portion of the building while repairing water, fire or mold damage.

A restoration professional works every day inside businesses, alongside homeowners and knows how to keep a clean work environment and be as unobtrusive as possible. All this while also knowing how to communicate with the occupants of the building.


7.   Employee Credibility

Because restoration companies work with insurance companies on a daily basis, all insurance companies’ programs have strict guidelines when it comes to employee backgrounds and business insurance.

This means that if you hire a restoration professional who works with your insurance company, the insurance company will vet them thoroughly.

This typically entails background checks for all employees and they will also check whether they have the correct insurance as well. So, as a property owner, you can hire a restoration professional with confidence.

Overall, a licensed general contractor, handyman, and restoration professional all have specific benefits for hiring them. As a homeowner, property manager, or facility manager, it is essential to understand these differences so you can make the correct decision in hiring the best professional for the job.

Posted by: dawsonpropertymgt on February 14, 2019
Posted in: Uncategorized