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What is a Home Improvement Contractor?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are many reasons why people remodel their homes. Some do it because they want to live in a better place and others do it because they want to make their homes more salable. Although do-it-yourself projects have become more popular, in many instances, people still prefer to employ professionals. Those professionals are often home improvement contractors, individuals who can usually complete a variety of jobs such as installing windows, changing countertops, or installing hardwood floors.

Many people are familiar with the term “general contractor.” Most recognize this title as referring to a person who tends to accept various types of building jobs. A home improvement contractor is a bit more specialized but he can also be considered a general contractor. It is likely that there are some limitations of what he can do, but in most cases, this individual should be able to perform a wide range of jobs. The difference is that a home improvement contractor does not generally build entire structures from the beginning.

Many of the jobs a home improvement contractor accepts involve bettering some part of the home that already exists. A person may, for example, want to replace a bathroom sink with a more modern sink or she may want to replace old, inefficient windows with new ones that will promote energy savings. This is not always the case. Sometimes, a home improvement contractor will build or install something that was not previously present, such as a pair of kitchen cabinets.

A home improvement contractor can usually take jobs that are on the interior or exterior of a dwelling. Many can even perform some landscaping tasks. Some do, however, specialize in certain areas of the home. For example, there are those who only take kitchen improvement jobs or bathroom improvement jobs.

Sometimes, homeowners want to have work done to their homes but do not know exactly what they want. A home improvement contractor can often assess a place and make suggestions and plans for changing it. He may be able to offer computer-generated images of what the outcome of a potential project will look like. Such an individual is also likely to know which improvements should be made for those who are considering selling their homes.

Although his duties may be limited to remodel and repair tasks, this individual should be licensed as a contractor. There are some tasks for which he may need other licenses or certifications. Some home improvement contractors are members of civic or trade associations which help to ensure that they maintain a certain level of skill and professionalism.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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