A lot of people believe that hiring a general contractor for their home repair or improvement project will be too expensive. They think that if they do the work themselves, or they coordinate the work themselves by hiring various subcontractors for the components of large projects, that they can avoid what they see as the added expense of hiring a general contractor, GC. The thing is, when you decide against a GC, you may actually incur greater expenses in the long run, especially in the form of “hidden costs” like your time.
One of the things a general contractor does, for larger jobs, is coordinate the efforts of all the subcontractors who do specific parts of the work. For example, an electrician is not a plumber is not a mason. Depending on how extensive your project might be, you could need the work of several specialists. They can’t all show up at once and, in some cases, shouldn’t all show up at once. Certain tasks have to be done in a specific order. (You can’t do the wiring after the drywall is up, for example.)
As you can imagine, it can be difficult, if not exhausting, to coordinate the work of all these people. Thus, you’ll end up using up a lot of your time trying to act as your own GC. That is time you could spend doing almost anything else, and there is a cost associated with that lost time. Also, it will probably take you longer to coordinate the job than it would take an experienced GC, so your project will drag on longer and you’ll have to wait that much longer for its completion.
The other thing you have to understand is that projects can sometimes be complicated. Some are so complicated, in fact, that they give even experienced general contractors cause to worry. If a problem comes up, how likely are you to know what to do to deal with it? If a subcontractor does his or her job poorly, will you know how to address that? What if some of your assumptions about the nature of the job turn out to be incorrect? What then?
An experienced general contractor will know how to handle all of these things and will be able to bring his or her years of experience to bear. That’s what I do for my clients. It’s my job to coordinate all of the issues that can, might, or do come up… and in the long run, the greater quality of work and greater efficiency that results will pay for themselves.
The reality, then, is that when you don’t hire a GC in order to “save money,” you often end up costing yourself that much more in the long run. Especially for complicated jobs, but even for smaller ones, you’re much better off with a general contractor in your corner. Contact me today for help with your project.
August 4, 2017 @ 1:11 pm
Great article. Also, the GC usually does all the jobs in between the contractors that the homeowner may be unaware of.