The Difference Between A Handyman, General Contractor & Building Repair Specialist: How to differentiate?

We frequently see areas where repairs have been attempted when we are called to provide a quote for a job (we’re talking hastily patched concrete, a coat of paint, a new flashing, and so forth), but we learn from the strata manager or owners that the problem has persisted and they are unsure of what to do. To our trained eyes and over time, we’ve realized the causes are frequently straightforward; while different trades may be skilled enough to complete a nice surface job, they either lack the knowledge to diagnose the problem or opt to take the easiest route and complete the problem quickly.

In light of this, we decided to take the chance to go into more detail about the differences between the work we do and that of general builders and handymen, as well as the situations in which each may be best suited to provide you with the full benefit of their expertise. After all, we know you won’t always need us. In the end, we want to assist you in understanding what to look for, how much you are spending over time on anything, and whether the size and expertise required would be acceptable for a handyman, builder, or a building repairs specialist.

If we had to summarize it: –
  • A handyman may typically aid with little repairs and regular maintenance. Their skill set includes tasks like hanging and painting a new door, fixing a cracked tile, cleaning out gutters and pipes to prevent overflow, and fixing broken items.
  • You might need a builder (general contractor) for larger projects where numerous different specialty trades may be necessary. Similar to this, hiring a builder may be necessary if you are creating something new. In comparison to a handyman, we’re talking about things like extensions, moving a doorway and re-hanging/painting doors, removing the entire bathroom tile from an apartment and remodeling, or planning the installation of new electricals.
  • When structural repair is involved, a structural repair specialist is required. As remediation experts, some of the work we do includes figuring out why a door might no longer be plumb and fixing it, figuring out why water is seeping into an interior space even though the gutters all appear to be in good shape, repairing cracked concrete that keeps reappearing no matter how many times it is patched, or replacing defective waterproofing.

What does a handyman do?

In general, anyone who has a flair for fixing things can refer to themselves as a handyman. Being a “catch-all” phrase, it can literally refer to ANYTHING, but it typically has to do with property and involves chores like improving, maintaining, and repairing property.

What does a general contractor do?

Even though there are various kinds of building contractors, they all share the same qualification: a builder’s license. They may have diverse areas of expertise (such as remodeling, new construction, apartment building, pool building, and so forth.), but they always work as competent and independently confirmed tradespeople.

In general, “a builder” may be in charge of a project, but will employ specialised sub- contractors to finish some tasks. These may include, for example, air conditioning experts, roofing companies, electricians, and plumbers. However, in general, the builder will be in charge of giving you access to the site, supplying the necessary hardware (such as scaffolding), and managing the administration needed to complete your project. Builders and subcontractors collaborate to complete a development project using pre-approved plans to make sure the work goes according to schedule. This is in contrast to a handyman, who would need to adapt while working.

What does a building repair specialist do?

Builders are excellent at creating new structures—either wholly new structures or the addition of new sections—but they are not always as skilled at fixing problems. This means that while they (should) be excellent at producing things, they struggle to see problems as they arise and then take appropriate action to address them.

We step in to help with it. We understand that issues can arise for a variety of reasons, so we won’t just try to fix the obvious symptoms like a handyman might, nor will we try to build over them or replace the defective item like a builder might. Instead, we’ll try to find the problem, figure out the best solution with the least amount of disruption to the neighborhood, and then create a plan that we’ll share with you so you’ll know what we’re doing.

We concentrate on large residential (apartment complexes), commercial (office buildings), industrial (warehouses and production facilities), and tertiary (universities, hotels, schools, and similar) buildings because these types of structures frequently have more extensive repair needs than a handyman would realize.

What to aim for getting a building repair specialist?

  • How long has the contractor been in operation?
    It’s a good idea to evaluate a commercial contractor’s length of operation and reputation maintenance while making your decision.

    Example: The contractor A with 30 years of experience can grant a 10 years of warranty period for their application of waterproofing system with a price of RM100,000.00, whereas the contractor B with 2 years of experience can grant a 10 years of warranty period for their system with a price of RM80,000.00, How to evaluate? Which to choose?

    The contractor B may grant a 10 years warranty, but how if you cannot get his after-sales service anymore after the work is completed with leakage problem?
  • Does the contractor have a good reputation in this area?
    Example: What do the reviews on their website say? Or recommendation from trusted peer?
  • Does the contractor is the approved applicator of the product?
    Example: Do the contractor certified by the manufacturer or supplier? The product proposed by the contractor is it reliable? Do they have the knowledge for the application of method? Some products come with product warranty (by supplier) and performance warranty (by contractor).
  • How important is safety in contractor selection?
    A commercial specialist contractor’s decision-making process should always prioritise safety. Seek out specialised contractors with a set strategy for managing safe job locations. Choose contractors who are recognised by ISO 9001:2015 & ISO 45001:2018 for their devotion to safety and dedication.
  • Quality
    The calibre of their work and workmanship may be clearly attested to by previous projects and repeat customers. Look for examples of past work on the website or other internet presence of your potential contractor.

Key Takeaways

Structural Repairs Sdn Bhd is a specialist contractor with expertise in Engineering Assessment / Condition Appraisal, Structural Repairs & strengthening, Waterproofing, Protection, Facade Repair and Conservation in the construction industry. We constantly provide our honor clients with innovative, quality and latest technology products, systems and services.

Structural Repairs (M) Sdn Bhd has been established since 1985 with the vision of becoming an industry leader with total ability in building repairs, protection and restoration. And in year 2009, we expanded our business into east Malaysia and formed Structural Repairs (EM) Sdn. Bhd. Since its inception, we have been carrying out various sizes and types of projects for public and private sector.

If you’re interested in finding out more about us and our services: –
  • Structural Repair and Structural Strengthening
  • Waterproofing and Water Leakage Repair
  • Flooring Work
  • Façade Repair
  • Expansion Joint Installation and Expansion Joint Repair
  • Restoration and Conservation Work for Buildings
  • 3D Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS)
  • Structural Integrity Investigation and Structural Assessment
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require more information. Our team will be happy and glad to assist you.

Kindly visit to our website at or contact us at Tel: +603-91731728/29 Whatsapp: +60 12-334 9113
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