Handyman vs. Contractor – Who Should You Call?


If you’re planning any kind of home renovation or maintenance, you’ll need to decide whether you call a local handyman or book a specialist renovation contractor.

Both professionals provide essential services, but they cover different jobs around the home. Booking a contractor for smaller jobs would result in cost overruns that aren’t necessary. Calling a Des Moines handyman for large scale renovation wouldn’t be ideal.

Learn the difference between the two and find out who to call for some popular projects around the home.

The Difference Between a Des Moines Contractor and Handyman

This often gets confusing for homeowners, because both handyman services and general contractors often cover the same areas of work.

It can be a struggle to find the right company to call, but there’s actually a simple way to look at it.

  • Most handyman services offer general improvements and fixes around the home. They work on small projects like repairs and maintenance. While you could remodel with a handyman, they would generally only take on small scale jobs that could be completed by a single person.

  • Des Moines contractor services work on large scale projects where specialist machinery and tools would be required. They also handle projects where licensing is required (such as complete rewiring or plumbing installations). If the project will take more than a couple of days or if it requires the work of more than one professional, a contractor would be the best fit.

Think in terms of scope. Small scope fixes and improvements suit a handyman. Anything larger should be referred to a contractor.

Take a look at some examples and you’ll know when to call the right professional for any work around your home.

Call a Des Moines Handyman for These Home Improvements

  • Interior or Exterior Painting – A great paint job can increase the beauty of your home. Whether you need painting performed inside or outside, a handyman should be your first choice. There is an exception if you want to paint your whole home inside or out, which would be better suited to a general contractor

  • Furniture Assembly – If you have just moved into a new home and need to construct furniture and other smaller items around the home, a handyman will be able to complete the work. They have the experience and skills to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

  • Sheetrock Repair and Installation – Sheetrock (drywall, plasterboard etc.) is featured in virtually every modern American home. It’s a cost-effective building material that allows for beautifully smooth walls that will last for many years. If you need to install sheetrock or repair damage in a single room, a handyman will be the best person for the job.

  • Installing Light Fixtures – You don’t have to go with big home renovation projects to get impressive results. If you want to quickly transform the look and feel of a room, consider replacing the light fixtures. A handyman can complete this work in a limited amount of time.

  • Minor Carpentry – If you want to install shelves in your home, repair kitchen or bathroom cabinets, turn a closet into an organized storage space, or even turn a room into a walk-in closet, a handyman will be able to complete the work in most cases.

  • Plumbing Fitting and Minor Repairs – You don’t need to call a general contractor to install a bathroom vanity, repair a leaking faucet, or install a toilet. A handyman can take care of all these tasks relatively quickly and easily.

  • Security Installation – Is it time to upgrade your home security? It has become more affordable to get advanced security around your home. You can install camera systems and sensors that are connected to the internet, allowing you to check your home and receive alerts if suspicious activity is detected. Installing a system can be difficult and time consuming. A handyman could help to mount and connect all your equipment safely.

  • Minor Electrical Work – Short of rewiring your entire home, a handyman service is ideal for minor electrical work. Repairing or installing outlets and switches can be performed by a local handyman.

Call a Contractor for Your Larger Projects

Going back to the concept of scope, it’s easy to see the projects where a general contractor would be a better choice than a Des Moines handyman.

Examples include:

  • Complete flooring replacement and refinishing.
  • Whole home painting (interior and exterior).
  • Complete kitchen remodeling or bathroom remodeling.
  • Major home additions and finishing projects.
  • Siding or roofing replacement.
  • Deck building or extension.
  • Changes that go beyond cosmetic, e.g. removing a wall or installing interior paneling.
  • Large scale tiling projects.

Anything that would take more than a few days and that would require several talented professionals is best managed by a general contractor in Des Moines.

Talk to HomeWorx for both Handyman and General Contractor Services

If you’re still unsure about some of the projects you have in mind, HomeWorx Iowa can help. We offer home improvement services for any job, big or small. We can provide a local Des Moines handyman service for minor fixes and improvements. Or, you can take advantage of our complete design and general contracting service for whole home renovation and remodeling.

Being able to take care of everything under one company will streamline your next project. If you’re ready to make your home the best it has ever been, talk to the team at HomeWorx today.

5 Great Home Renovation Materials and Their Benefits

home renovation

Material selection is an important part of whole home renovation planning. The materials you choose today could last for decades or even the lifetime of your home if you focus on quality and durability.

With all the options available, some homeowners can get stuck in the selection process. To make your next project easier, you can get inspired with five outstanding remodeling materials and the benefits that they bring.

1: Glass for Bathroom Remodeling and Renovation

Bathrooms haven’t changed a lot in the last few decades, but some popular materials have. Tiles are still preferred in most bathrooms for walls and floors. You can bring even more beauty when you make use of glass for shower and bath enclosures.

Modern tempered glass can last for the lifetime of your home, and frameless panels look great with modern bathroom designs. Glass is practical because it won’t stain and it’s easy to clean. It will also never deteriorate in an environment that is constantly exposed to moisture.

Glass has another benefit, in the way that it can improve the sense of space. A small bathroom could feel cramped once the shower and bath installations go in. Glass enclosures and doors will allow you to see the true size of the room, making it feel larger and brighter.

If you do use glass enclosures in your bathroom, try pairing with highly polished stainless steel, brass, or gold-plated hardware. The reflective surfaces will perfectly complement the sheen of clear glass.

2: Engineered Wood Flooring for Complete Home Renovation

For decades, hardwood has been one of the best materials for luxury floor finishing. A whole home renovation will see you tearing up your old flooring and installing something new. It could be time to consider a material designed for modern convenience.

Engineered hardwood tackles moisture and maintenance problems that solid hardwood has always suffered from. With natural timber planks, your floor will be susceptible to moisture damage, warping, and movement. As the climate changes throughout the year, a hardwood floor will suffer.

Engineered hardwood is more stable, and you won’t see it move or warp during the year. This can make your flooring look more consistent, and, ultimately much nicer overall. Like natural wood, you’ll be able to get several different material choices at much lower prices than solid planks. From exotic Brazilian tigerwood to scraped hickory and white oak, the choices are vast.

The cost of maintenance is low, and you can even refinish some engineered hardwood floors at the higher end of the quality range.

Use this material in your kitchen if you want the look of natural wood without any of the moisture downsides. Hardwood can also be used in your bathroom for the same reasons. In fact, this is a material that you can use throughout your home if you like the aesthetic, making it an excellent choice for whole home remodeling or renovation in Des Moines.

3: Insulated Windows for Every Room in the Home

Windows are amongst the most important elements in your home. Sadly, they are often overlooked when beginning a project. If your home is over 20 years old and hasn’t seen significant remodeling or renovation, then your current windows probably aren’t giving you all the benefits that modern replacements can.

Insulated windows come with several advantages that aren’t found on older installations.

By installing insulated windows, you will enjoy more versatility with different designs and coatings that add efficiency and long-term value. Low-e glass coatings are used on insulated windows to increase energy efficiency and reduce heat transfer from direct sunlight. You’ll still enjoy a brighter home from large windows, but you won’t lose heating or cooling energy from your HVAC system. Insulated materials can be combined with the frames of your choice for whole home renovation. Whether you prefer wood, aluminum, vinyl, or fiberglass, the best contractors in Des Moines will create a solution that works.

Insulated windows can also reduce outside noise factors. Lawnmowers in the neighborhood, noisy neighbors, or even general environmental noise can all be blocked out, making your home feel quieter and more comfortable. Insulated windows will also keep sound inside, so you won’t disturb your neighbors during your next dinner party or movie night.

4: Ceramic Tiles for More Creative Flooring Designs

Engineered wood is a great flooring material but it’s not the perfect solution for every homeowner. If you want floors that are even more durable, ceramic tiles could be the perfect fit.

Ceramic tiles are often used in warmer climates, but they can also work great in areas with temperature extremes throughout the year, such as Des Moines in Iowa.

Patterned tiles use high DPI inkjet printing technology to create elaborate designs that can give any room in your home a bespoke look and feel. You could create a Mediterranean inspired bathroom, a traditional tile kitchen, or even a living room that has a little more color and creativity than usual.

Ceramic tiles can also be used to replicate the look of other materials in complete home renovation. The printing technology can make tiles look like wood, slate, marble, natural stone, granite, and virtually any other material that you can think of.

The best thing about tiles is that they are affordable, even if you choose high end options. The only real upkeep comes in the form of sweeping and cleaning, which will be minimal considering that tiles are completely solid and impervious to moisture. You could use a static mop to keep your floor looking great, and any spills can easily be wiped away.

Tiles will need the grout to be cleaned and sealed once a year, which will protect the substrate and grout from deterioration. With regular maintenance, grout will last for up to thirty years, or even longer in areas with low traffic.

Overall, ceramic tiles are amongst the longest lasting materials you can use in a home renovation, and the endless design options make them perfect if you want a home that reflects some of your own personality.

5: A Natural Touch of Timber with Crown Molding

There’s a unique look that comes from wooden crown molding that can elevate any room in your home. Finishing your walls with crown molding and baseboards will give an elegant aesthetic that is hard to ignore.

Think of crown molding and baseboards as a final touch for any renovated room. You can customize molding to suit your sense of style, with larger pieces becoming more popular in modern and transitional homes. This small investment won’t add a lot to your final remodeling bill, but it will help to tie the aesthetic of any room together, giving you a fit and finish that exudes quality.

Get Your Home Renovations Right with HomeWorx Iowa

Is it time to bring a new aesthetic to your home? If your interiors are tired and dated, you can perform a complete home renovation that will bring back the pride that you once felt for your living spaces.

We’ve talked about five excellent materials that can be used for remodeling and renovation, but there’s a lot more to think about as you work through your improvement checklist. If you are looking for a team that can take you through each room, step by step, then it’s time to talk to HomeWorx Iowa.

We are a complete home renovation company and can assist you from design to completion. Our team will even 3D model your major improvements so that you can see exactly how materials and layouts will work together.

With the best materials and Iowa’s best contractors, you can create a better home that is suited to your needs today and in the future. Contact us for a no-obligation consultation today.

Don’t Hire a Remodeling Contractor Until You’ve Asked These Questions


If you plan to remodel or renovate at the end of this year or early in 2020, you’ll need to find local Des Moines contractors who you can trust to get the job done.

Choosing a contractor is just as important as your remodeling plans.

Get the wrong contractor, and you could find that project management and daily progress are seriously compromised. Take your time to find the ideal fit for your home, and you’ll be rewarded with a stress-free process without unnecessary setbacks. Your choice of contractor will also influence price, the home improvements that are available, and the quality of workmanship.

Before you sign anything, follow this checklist of questions that you need to ask a whole home remodeling contractor in Iowa.

How Long Have You Been in the Home Remodeling Business?

Experience matters in the Des Moines Home Remodeling industry. With experience, contractors and their teams can deal with on-site challenges, prepare a better workflow, and provide more consistent results with the highest quality.

Learning the length of time that a contractor has worked in the industry can give you confidence for your next project. Unfortunately, there’s no magic number here. The length of time a business has been incorporated will not necessarily reflect the experience of the general contractor, carpenters, design professionals, and other people on staff.

In addition to asking about experience and time in the industry, ask to see previous projects. When you combine a portfolio with the contractor’s experience, you’ll get a feel for whether they’re the right option for your complete home remodeling.

Are You Licensed and Insured?

Credentials can inspire confidence. You should seek contractors that are licensed and accredited with well-known industry organizations. Your choice of contractor should also be fully insured. Workers compensation and liability insurance should be specific to the type of work that is being performed.

You can ask your contractor for a breakdown of their insurance coverage and any other credentials before you commit to their services.

Can You Help with Permit Application and Inspections?

Permits aren’t required for every odd job around the home. A Des Moines handyman can typically perform minor or moderate home improvements without seeking approval from local authorities.

However, any major improvements, such as whole home remodeling, will likely need permits and inspections before the work is signed off. Ask your contractor how they will deal with the application and inspection process. The more they can help here, the more time you will save.

What’s a Realistic Timeframe for the Project?

Modern project management and construction software allow contractors to determine job specifications and timeframes to a high level of accuracy. While a project timeframe will never be 100% correct, you should be able to get a confident estimate from your contractor.

If you find a contractor that is cagey or in any way reluctant to commit to a timeframe, then they might not have the necessary resources to manage and complete the job to your expectations.

Find a contractor that is transparent and communicative. They should be able to provide an itemized breakdown of each stage of the project, allowing you to see an approximation of how long the work will take

Will I Have a Dedicated Project Manager/Point of Contact?

If you can’t easily communicate with your contractor, you’ll have a hard time getting through your whole home remodel. Your general contractor may act as the project manager, and this should make them your point of contact. If the contractor expects you to ask questions and seek updates from the staff and subcontractors on site, then you’ll usually end up with communications problems and a lack of accountability.

Don’t ever work without a dedicated point of contact on a whole home remodeling project. It’s simply not worth the stress and uncertainty. The best contractors in Des Moines will make themselves available throughout remodeling, and you will always know exactly who to talk to for updates or any problems.

Can You Describe Your Working Process for Whole Home Remodeling?

You’ll feel more confident in your choice of contractor if you know what their daily working process is like. You should know exactly what to expect whenever someone is in your home doing demo, installation, or finishing etc.

Key points that need to be covered include:

  • Agreed start and finish times on workdays.
  • Any steps that you need to perform so that contractors can get to work.
  • Expectations of noise from demo, ongoing work, power tools etc.
  • Authorized personnel that will have site access and whether you (or a family member) needs to be home.

In addition to the basics, there are other items that should be covered when discussing the process. Parking should be addressed, and you shouldn’t be afraid to set out any rules for workers on site. Restroom access and areas of the home that are off-limits should be covered.

You also have some responsibility in this area. If you have any special requests or important points that workers need to know, then these should be raised as early as possible. Pets at home should be secured, and minors should not be left unattended while anyone is working on site.

How Do You Protect My Property?

The general working process and practices should extend to how your Des Moines contractor will protect your property. What steps will they take to mitigate dust and debris? What is their daily cleanup process? How will they store tools, materials, and equipment that will be left in your home?

What’s Your Process for Cost Overruns and Change Orders?

The same technology that allows for accurate and efficient planning can also result in more accurate cost estimations. However, it’s important to remember that estimations are exactly such… and they’re subject to change.

Experts recommend that homeowners budget at least 10% for emergency costs and overruns. Some say that up to 25% provides a better safety net.

The better your contractor, the more accurate the estimate will be. You should also aim to start work as soon as possible after the planning stage, so that material price fluctuations won’t impact the final bill.

In addition, ask your contractor what their process is for communicating extra costs. You also need to ask how they handle change orders generated by you during construction. Generally, you want to limit or completely avoid change orders to prevent time and cost overruns. Spend more time in the planning stage and you’ll be less likely to want to adjust things on the fly.

Does Your Home Remodeling Come with a Warranty?

Want to know if you can trust your Des Moines contractor? Ask them if they stand behind their work.

Warranties come in different forms, covering workmanship, materials, and fixtures/hardware. The more extensive the warranty, the more confidence you’ll have knowing that you’ve found the right whole home remodeling contractor to work with.

Get the Best Answers to These Questions from Iowa’s Leading Contractors

Now that you know what to ask your contractor, it’s time to meet a local Des Moines team that can provide the right answers, and the work that will improve your home.

HomeWorx Iowa is your partner for complete home remodeling, handyman work, and minor improvements inside and around your home. We go to great lengths to provide a stress-free service that will leave you completely satisfied when you perform the final walkthrough.

Some of the ways that we inspire confidence include:

  • We offer an extensive consulting service with professional designers. 3D modeling is utilized so that you can see your potential improvements before they take shape. This allows for more accurate cost estimation and eliminates surprises.
  • You’ll deal with a dedicated point of contact, making it simple and stress-free to ask questions, get updates, or raise concerns.
  • The team at HomeWorx has extensive experience in the industry and a portfolio of hundreds of local jobs completed. Our customer satisfaction is a point of pride.
  • We guarantee our work and will explain all warranties prior to work commencing. We’re also fully licensed and insured.
  • We manage timeframes and costs with extreme attention to detail. If anything is likely to change, we’ll keep you in the loop and look for solutions to keep your budget under control.
  • We are fully transparent and communicative. We want you to feel at ease as we work, and we always honor our agreements.

For the easiest way to remodel your home in Des Moines, talk to contractors that you can trust. The team at HomeWorx is ready to take your concept and create a home that you will love to live in. Contact us today to meet the team and discuss any project that you have in mind.