Professional Plumber or Handyman?

One thing about Singapore that is different from other country is that Singaporeans tend to lack the ability to do home repairs themselves. This is usually because:

  1. We do not have the tools to do so as most of us would be staying in a flat where space is already limited unlike say australia or america where most people would have their own garage or tool shed.
  2. Lack of time as our work and family commitment is already leaving us with little time to breath.

As such when there is a minor problem such as flush leak or tap leak, we tend to engage a third party to do the work. The question is whom should we outsource this work to? A plumber or a handyman?

What is the difference between a plumber and a handyman?

To break it down to simple terms, a plumber is a technician whom specialise in water works only. They only do repair work related to your piping, toilets and sinks. Nothing else.

While a handyman is someone whom is a jack of all trade. You can get them to do the work of a plumber and yet also get them to do other repair work such as minor electrical repair or carpentry work.

The main difference between them is the proficiency at which they are able to do the respective work. A handyman is a professional whom can be said as someone whom is a jack of all trade but master of none. In this we can see the issue. Should your problem be complicated, a handyman may not have the necessary skill set to complete the work required.

How to differentiate between a handman and a plumber?

The answer lies in their website/advertisement. For example here is a site of a Singapore plumber. You can see that the company on this site only provides plumbing services and nothing more. All their work is related to plumbing such as chokes, leaks in pipe, changing of sanitary ware etc.

Now lets compare this site to that of a handyman. As you can see on the site, they offer a wider range of services with plumbing being part of it. They also provide work such as door repair as well as many others.

The crucial point to note:

When engaging a handyman, you can get a 1 stop solution for your home problems yet at the same time if your work is complicated, they may not be the best option.

Taking for example:

Case 1 – repairs needed at home includes a flush leak, light flickering and minor carpentry work.

Case 2 – Leakage in ceiling.

For case 1 a handyman can probably solve all your needs. As you are giving all the job to 1 person, the price should also be lower than that than you calling a plumber for the leak, a electrician for the light and a carpenter for the carpentry work. This is because you have to take into account the travelling time. For example if i am to ask you to buy lunch for 30 pax all from say macdonald compared to i am to ask you to buy lunch for 30 pax at macdonald, burger king, pizza joints etc. The job at the first option is going to much easier than the 2nd option and that is why business charge more for travelling time too.

For case 2, a handyman may not be able to handle the job as such a plumber might be more suitable.

As such after weighing the pros and cons of each, can one decide on which technician to hire for the repair work in their home.

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