If you want to improve living conditions for yourself and your family, need to make the necessary repairs before selling your old home, or you have found out how to obtain an abandoned house to put it on the market later, you will need a general contractor.
With tons of affordable do-it-yourself projects to choose from, becoming your own general contractor seems like a tempting option. It is a perfect solution for those who love to have everything under control, no matter the subject they need to address. Moreover, handling home renovation by yourself often proves to be a more comfortable way than dealing with a contractor.
Nonetheless, being in charge of your home remodel is not without disadvantages. Sometimes, the project you want to complete can be too complex for you to finish alone, while other times, you may lack the network of connections of a seasoned contractor. Besides, dealing with time management and all the different aspects of the remodel is a stressful experience not all people can handle.
To not get too ahead of yourself, you should consider all the pros and cons that come with being a general contractor. Here is a list of things that you should consider:
1. Control Over Every Aspect of the Project
You will have complete control over every aspect of the project, from selecting the materials to hiring the subcontractors. There are no limitations, and you can make sure that everything is done according to your standards. It means that you will have the final say on all the details.
There is no doubt that hiring a professional general contractor costs you money. If the company is a good one, you can expect to pay top dollar. However, when you decide to become a general contractor yourself, money is not an issue.
Thanks to such a high level of control, you will be able to save a lot of money. With no middlemen involved, you will only pay for materials and subcontractors. Moreover, all the materials will be purchased from suppliers with lower prices than retail stores. These savings will ultimately result in a budget-friendly home remodel.
3. Sense of Accomplishment
As the main contractor, you will enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing a home remodel. You may even decide to start another one!
4. More Flexibility and Freedom
Many people go with general contractors to save time. It is true that hiring a contractor may take less time than doing all the work yourself. However, when you hire a general contractor, it is more likely that they will do things their way. They will be following their vision of how things should look and feel in your home.
On the other hand, if you do everything yourself, you can make sure that every little detail is perfect and matches your vision and needs. The DIY approach also allows you to take more time to finish your home renovation project. While some contractors may not want to wait for you, you can take plenty of time as long as you make sure that everything is done according to your standards. This is a great way to get creative. There also won’t be problems if you change your vision.
1. The Necessity to Learn New Skills
Although this is a generally positive thing, it can quickly become negative, especially if you are in a hurry or have other daily responsibilities. Additionally, if you do not enjoy learning new things and trying something new, you should steer clear of becoming a general contractor. However, if you love to learn new things and improve your skills in the process, you will have a great time being your own boss.
When you are a general contractor, you become the person responsible for everything in the project. This includes planning, managing schedules, managing workers, and paying for the supplies. No matter what happens, whether good or bad, it is your responsibility to see that it gets corrected immediately.
3. Dealing with Your Contractors Yourself
Being in charge of your home remodel means that you must constantly communicate with everyone involved in the project. You will have to manage all the workers and coordinate their work, so they do not overlap. In addition, you will need to explain your vision of the project to everyone involved, from your contractors to your family members.
4. No Expert Guidance
Even though you will have complete control over the whole process, there is no expert guidance that comes with it. This is why you should know what you are doing before taking on such a project, especially if it’s your first time around. If you are inexperienced or don’t know much about home remodeling, then you should consider hiring a general contractor instead.
5. Time Management Problems
Being in control of a project means that you have to manage your time well and always be on top of things. And having a busy schedule makes it difficult to do and work on your home remodel project consistently. This is why you should avoid becoming a general contractor if you don’t want to spend too much time on the project or you simply don’t have it.
6. Inexperience or Lack of Knowledge in Certain aspects
Another disadvantage of being a general contractor is inexperience or lack of knowledge in certain aspects of the project. For instance, if you don’t have much experience with electrical work, then there is a chance that something might go wrong with your wiring system. Something similar can happen with plumbing and other areas that are not within your expertise.
If you don’t know what mistakes to avoid or how to fix them when they occur, then things can get pretty complicated pretty fast. In fact, many people don’t realize their lack of knowledge until it’s too late, and they end up spending extra money on fixing mistakes they made during the remodeling job. This is why this isn’t an option for everyone.
While being a general contractor is no walk-in the park, it can be a lot of fun if you are prepared to learn new skills and manage your project. As long as you’re ready to sacrifice that much of your time and attention, it will undoubtedly become a beneficial and memorable experience.
Moreover, you will have the opportunity to completely customize your home remodel and save some money as well. Just be sure to choose your subcontractors with care so you do not end up with a wrong product or a bad contractor. Do your research, and good luck!