Should I Hire a General Contractor or Serve as My Own?

The perils of home remodeling or construction are never-ending. The endless delays and surprises prove that. Hence, having the final say in your project can be tempting.

You want to be the one to hire contractors, double-check figures and costs, inspect materials, and make and enforce the rules of a project. In this case, you’ll be acting as your own general contractor. But is it the right call?

Before deciding, it’s important to note that there are pros and cons to acting as your own general contractor or hiring one. In this guide, you can weigh the benefits of each and make your decision. First, let’s look at the responsibilities of a general contractor.

What Is a General Contractor?

A general contractor is a person that manages, coordinates, and completes a remodel or construction project. They’re responsible for overseeing the entire project so that it’s completed on time and on budget.

They also hire and manage sub-contractors such as plumbers and electricians and pay for materials. Generally, a general contractor facilitates the communication and relationship between the project manager, the client, and the architect.

Acting as the General Contractor

Hire a General Contractor

First, as a project manager, hiring a general contractor means more money out of your pocket. Usually, general contractors add an up-charge to all the services they oversee and procure, which can adversely impact your bottom line. Therefore, acting as your own general contractor can save you money.

Second, serving as your own general contractor gives you experience in the construction and remodeling business. You’ll not only understand and learn how a general contractor operates, but will be able to use this experience in future projects.

Lastly, being your own general contractor gives you more control over a project. Many general contractors often make decisions without asking the client, and repairing them can be costly. Luckily, being in charge of your project means the details are up to you, leaving no room for mistakes.

Hiring a General Contractor

In contrast, hiring a general contractor can be a great asset to your major home project. Here’s why:

  1. General contractors understand what permits are required. However, you need to hire an experienced and reputable contractor to ensure they can deal with building codes and inspectors.
  2. General contractors are your best bet at getting the job done as efficiently as possible as they have prior experience in construction and understand the process.
  3. Any good general contractor has insurance to protect individuals when they get hurt. Hence, the liability won’t be placed on you but on your general contractor.
  4. General contractors have established relationships with subcontractors and suppliers and can get better prices for materials.

Ultimately, your decision boils down to your needs and goals. For big money projects, it’s wise to hire a general contractor, so the money you pay a general contractor is worthwhile.