Barrington One Construction, LLC
Why Should I Hire a General Contractor?
Have you thought, should I be my own general contractor? You are not alone but in deciding to manage your remodeling project yourself and going it alone without hiring a qualified general contractor, it’s important that you know all of the required tasks.
An experienced general contractor oversees and manages the entire remodeling or renovation project ensuring that the work is done to your satisfaction. While it’s not unreasonable to think that a homeowner could act as their own contractor and save on some costs, it’s a difficult role that requires professional skills, years of knowledge and a lot of time on the job.
If your construction project requires substantial framing and structural modifications to hold new roof loads for example you will need an engineer who will calculate for these new stress loads. A good engineer will find the best solutions and back it up with his certification and stamp.
I have seen cases where the engineer over calculated and ordered the 2nd floor of a home to hold the weight of a semi-truck which is not easily explained to the customer upon final inspection and costs but a good remodel contractor will have a good engineer who makes good decisions and will add value to the project and not spend resources that are not needed.
Architects and Designers
If there’s an architect or designer involved, our company will work with that person(s) to guarantee the project is implemented as planned. The architect and company will review the plans together before any work begins. If problems do arise, the architect and designer look to the experienced company for advice to solve workable solutions. It’s a receptacle relationship that all parties have been involved in for many years and can be difficult for most homeowners to replicate.
Gather and Evaluate Bids
Every company has a network of trusted crews that allows the company to gather accurate bids quickly. If you act as your own residential contractor, accomplishing the same things will require more time and effort. For every trade; framing, electrical, foundation, plumbing, etc you’ll need to get bids.
If one crew shows you a different way of doing something, you’ll need to communicate that to all the other crews and have them re-bid the remodel so that all the estimates are the same and lastly you’ll need to know the products and techniques used by each crew to determine if all are of equal or greater quality and value.
Running the Construction Crews
Coordinating a project with the busy schedules of multiple crews is a challenge to most homeowners. When a good company is on the job his crews are willing to commit to tight schedules. If an inexperienced homeowner is managing, however, those crews will often request more time, which can add weeks to the completion date of your project.
A well-managed home contractor completes the needed tasks efficiently that’s why projects managed by a professional rarely run behind schedule. We answer questions and resolve any issues. The remodeling contractor has to be on the job regularly, overseeing and inspecting the work as it’s completed.
Permits and the Associated Inspections
To ensure a safe working environment for the homeowner and community, city permits, when needed are required before demolishing, building or enlarging most remodeling construction projects.
Even if you do not think you need a permit for that very small room addition most cities will check with Google maps as they are updated to find new rooflines and improvements and check if that homeowner has pulled a permit, you do not want to get that knock on the door after the fact, the city has been known to have structures disassembled to the point that they can be inspected and in some cases with concrete slabs they require them to be removed.
A good remodel contractor will know which project will require permits and which don’t and have the knowledge to work with the city to get the right permits for the renovation. The construction company meets with the city inspectors at the job site and works with any inspector and staff on any needed changes or new requirements should they arise.
The best intents do not add up if there is a default in either the manufacturers’ product or a trade’s wrongful installation. A qualified home contractor will know how to follow up on the manufacturer and the installation would not be a problem. Insurance protects your family and investments, not having insurance is something you can’t go back and fix. You have it or you don’t. Fortunately, you can ask for insurance coverage before you hire the trades, look for the actual certificate and check to see if it’s current and registered with the city you are in.
Most of the requirements are listed, but there is so much more to being a good contractor. You have to be available at all times to quickly respond to the homeowner’s requests and concerns. It requires a lot of scheduling and communication to meet with the needed professionals on their schedules to truly implement a great customer experience and complete a new home remodeling or commercial remodeling project every time.
Do you have what it takes to be your own residential contractor? Only you know for sure. Before going all-in with your final decision you may want to interview a couple of residential construction companies to get their opinion of how easy or difficult your next remodeling or renovation project will be.