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Why Use a General Contractor to build a new home?

Build a new home the right way

So with construction plans in hand, let us build a new home. 

A General Contractor (GC) is someone you hire with experience in residential construction/home building/home improvement and all design build projects. Typically, General Contractors have people on staff to handle the various aspects of building a house including framers, plumbers, electricians and others. For other aspects of a new home build, those aspects where they do not have the appropriate skills on their own staff, they will hire various subcontractors with whom they have established relationships. 

How much does a General Contractor Cost? 

While you could “sub” the work out yourself on the construction of a home, and many do this with varying degrees of success, the “true” cost of a GC needs to be considered. While the costs associated with GC averages from 10 – 20 % higher than a “do it yourself” plan, many times the actual finished cost of an owner controlled build can far exceed initial expectations. Keep in mind that a GC has many years of experience, has well established relationships with other trades, (and can get multiple bids for sub trade work) etc.

Other advantages of a General Contractor 

• One of the most important responsibilities of a general contractor is to control costs. By using his expertise in securing multiple bids for the different aspects and skills needed, a strong competitive environment is created. In addition to this, a GC has the ability to generate additional saving buy using his credentials in bulk purchasing. 

• Securing all necessary permits

• Vetting of construction plans

• Experience in overseeing other sub trades to ensure that the finished product meets YOUR design build project specifications and desires.

• A GC is your main point of contact throughout the build process and will be able to explain any activity or step that is currently going on as well as communicate your dreams/desires/ideas for the project to the specific vendor or sub trade.

• A GC pays all the bills including sub trades, verifying these against contracts and change orders.

• Experience in coordinating the entire project. This entails knowing what has to happen and in what order, when to get permits/insurance/licensing/bonds etc.

• A GC is the main point of communication with the trades working on a project freeing up your time and preventing potential frustrations

• A good GC typically also has longstanding established relationships with vendors and sub trades. Having done a great deal of business for the GC, a sub trade can quietly bump up their schedule to complete their portion of the project sooner than required in an ongoing effort to maintain close working relationship with the GC and to help ensure a long term, ongoing relationship.

• Long term experience in residential construction

As you can see, a General Contractor can make a dramatic difference to the completion date and financial burden of your project. If even one of the above mentioned items falls apart during a “self-build”, project completion dates and the financial burden can balloon out of control quickly.

If you decide to use a general contractor make sure you interview him or her thoroughly. See the following tips for that process.