Affiliate Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We may also earn commissions if you purchase products from other retailers after clicking on a link from our site.
You’ve watched several home renovation videos and even completed a few simple projects. You’d like to do a full renovation, and you have an idea of what you want to be done. If you want to renovate your home, do you need a general contractor?
You need a general contractor to renovate if you don’t have any experience with construction or renovation work. You’ll want to hire a professional if you want things done right or have complex engineering needs. They’re necessary if local contractors can’t deliver the expected results.
Read on for detailed discussions on why you need a general contractor, the pros and cons of getting one, and tips on finding a good general contractor.
Do I Need a General Contractor To Renovate?
If you are considering a full renovation, then you will need a general contractor. A general contractor’s expertise will help you visualize the impact of your proposed changes and choose better décor choices from among what’s new on the market.
A trustworthy contractor can work with architects and other professionals to ensure that everything passes local building codes, which is another critical consideration in this type of project.
A word of caution: Before deciding on a designer or company, request bids from several contractors. You’ll want to also spend some time with potential contractors asking them detailed questions about their previous projects so that you’re comfortable with their experience level and know whether or not they’ll be a good fit.
When To Hire a General Contractor
If you are planning a small project like resurfacing your buildings’ bathrooms or kitchen flooring, researching the process and doing it yourself will save time and money. If you choose this route, I recommend that you read Be Your Own House Contractor by Carl Heldmann from Amazon.com.
It explains how to set your ideal budget and schedule and identify the resources you need for your project.
However, hiring a general contractor may be more practical for larger projects that require renovations of multiple rooms. Specifically, you should hire a general contractor if you’re facing a large project like a complete remodel, exterior rehab or if your remodeling needs exceed the capacity of local contractors.
Also, if you have special needs such as high-end finishes, hard-to-find materials, or complex engineering, it’s best to hire a general contractor.
A general contractor plans out all work to be done with some estimating. They’ll then hire subcontractors to do the actual labor, such as plumbers for bathroom fixtures and subs for electrical work.
It’s worth mentioning that General contractors are also a good idea when:
- You’re not sure what you want to do, but still need some guidance from someone experienced with different ideas for solutions based on their experience and expertise.
- You want to make sure you’re getting a fair price for your renovation project. You don’t want to overpay because you’ve hired an inexperienced contractor who doesn’t know how to do their job.
Reasons To Hire a General Contractor
There’s no better way for homeowners and businesses than by investing in an experienced company that can handle all aspects of their remodeling needs from start to finish.
By working with professionals in every step of the process, you can avoid mistakes that would cost you time and money down the line. Besides, it’s a way to ensure everything goes smoothly according to plan without surprises along the way.
In a nutshell, general contractors offer their clients:
- Experience in all different areas of construction renovation.
- Knowledge of local building codes and best practices.
- Peace of mind in the execution phase of your project.
- Help with planning, design, budgeting, purchasing materials, hiring subcontractors who specialize in specific areas such as plumbing or electrical work.
The Cons of Hiring a General Contractor
Despite the benefits, hiring a general contractor comes with its cons. These include:
- High prices: Generally, general contractors charge high fees for their services.
- It isn’t easy to find trustworthy contractors: Although there are many contractors on the market, it’s not always easy to find one you can trust. This is more challenging if you’re picking one for the first time!
- The risks involved: If something goes wrong during the project, such as an accident on site or theft by workers, then you might be left without recourse but to pay whatever amount was remaining owed under any contract with them.
Tips on How To Find the Right General Contractor
Hiring a general contractor can be an expensive, time-consuming, and risky business. But if you take your time and do your research, you can get a worthwhile deal from a reputable contractor.
Let’s take a closer look at some guidelines that will help you get your work done right at a reasonable cost.
Research the Company
You should research the company and look for any disclosures about them. By disclosures, I mean any negative reviews, lawsuits filed against them, or any other type of information that you find about them.
Be sure to check not only the company but also their employees. Many companies hire people without conducting a background check, which can lead to liability on your end if you hire someone with an arrest warrant.
Check Multiple Companies
Find out if other companies do what you are looking to get done. This way, you can see who is more reputable in this field before deciding which one to pick.
Talk with someone from each company and ask them questions about their experience working with their colleagues or anything else related to your project specifically.
This enables you to know who would be the best fit for it.
Talk to Previous Customers
Ask for references from the company or people they have worked with before and then call those references to ask questions about their experience working together. If necessary, ask the previous customers to send you photos of the projects these companies managed for them. This enables you to determine if their quality meets your expectations.
Get Bids From Multiple Companies
Get bids on your project from more than one contractor, but make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. For example, don’t compare prices without considering the difference in scope, materials needed and expected workmanship.
For more information on what to look for when choosing a contractor, I recommend that you watch this video:
When it comes to the construction or renovation of any commercial property, you want a general contractor who has experience in this field and can provide the expected results. Also, you should consider hiring professionals if local contractors cannot deliver what you need.
But before making any decisions, make sure that you get at least three bids from different companies and compare them based on their reputation and past projects they’ve worked on.
Then, make your choice wisely – renovating is an expensive process, so don’t rush when picking a company!
- The New York Times: How To Avoid a Renovation Nightmare
- CHBA: What Type of Contractor Do You Need?
- HowStuffWorks: Why Hire a Contractor if Subcontractors Do All the Work?
Share this Post
Giovanni Valle is an architect, designer, internet entrepreneur, and the managing editor of various digital publications including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place. He is the founder of BuilderSpace LLC.