Being your own general contractor has the potential to save you thousands of dollars on home-building or remodeling costs and help you gain valuable experience along the way. However, if you aren’t prepared for all that becoming your own contractor entails, there is great potential to lose money, become stressed, and assume risk.
Here are four of the biggest pros and cons to being your own general contractor.
Potential Cost Savings – the primary reason homeowners choose to self-contract is to save money. It is standard for a general contractor to charge 10 to 15 percent.
Project Control – taking on the planning and execution can ensure you are in complete control of your vision. As a general contractor, you will be constantly watching project progress and be involved in every step.
Sense of Accomplishment – there is great pride in taking on a challenge and working hard to accomplish the goal.
Flexibility & Freedom – though most professionals intend to execute your wishes, you lose some control when handing the project over.When you are the general, the project becomes your own and you will determine the outcome.
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Time Commitment –a significant amount of time (likely more than you think) is required to organize, plan, research and oversee a build. Unexpected events will occur which will require your attention. Professional contractors are familiar with construction timelines. Lost time equals lost money as interest continues to grow on money borrowed.
Resource management – a good general contractor comes with a wealth of knowledge and a skill set that is often hard-won. This includes established relationships with subcontractors, which will save both time and the headache of hiring sub-par work.
Responsibility – General contractors are tasked with putting out budgetary and logistical fires on the jobsite. When you are the boss, you get the call when things don’t go according to plan.
Significant Learning Curve – hiring a professional contractor who adheres to codes and regulations will give peace of mind in knowing the most efficient and cost-effective job will be done.
There are obviously pros and cons to both situations. Whether you go through a general contractor or decide to become your own, it is essential to be informed.