When Should You Hire a General Contractor?

Every project needs an overseer. That’s exactly what a general contractor does. You can hire an overseer, or you can do the job yourself. There are several benefits for each side.

The knowledge that a professional contractor brings to your project is valuable. Understanding building codes, local construction mandates and the management of a construction team are just a few of the things hiring a contractor can add to your project. The contractor in charge makes sure everyone on the crew understands their role and can operate in an efficient manner.

While hiring a contractor seems like it would inevitably cost more money, it might actually end up saving you money. A good general contractor can draw on the relationships he or she has fostered with subcontractors to get you the best deal. If something goes wrong, having someone else to take on the financial responsibility of the problem can keep your insurance premiums from going up, since the claim would be made against the contractor’s liability policy.

There are also many reasons to take the lead on your custom building project yourself. Obviously, you save yourself the money that you would need to pay the contractor, since you are doing the work. You also have more control over the project. As the client, you are sometimes on the outside looking in when a contractor leads the way, but when you act as your own general contractor, you get to see everything that happens up close. Finally, being your own project leader can be a valuable learning experience that may come in useful the next time you decide to sell this home and build another one.

Ultimately, you must decide whether you want an experienced general contractor running the show or if you want to test your ability to do it yourself. Whatever you decide, it is important to have a person in charge to make sure everything runs smoothly and according to schedule.