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Could You Be Your Own General Contractor?

Planning and managing a large home construction or renovation project can seem like an impossible task for the layman, most will opt to hire a professional to oversee the project. A good number of people have chosen to attempt to run these projects themselves with varying amounts of success. If you are a motivated and detail-orientated person with good people management and logistic skills you may be more than capable of managing this process yourself. Before you consider this option it is essential to understand what tasks a professional and experienced general contractor completes and ask yourself whether you could accomplish these tasks yourself.

A general contractor is often the manager of their own construction company or an independent business owner who subcontracts more specialist work and labor to others. At the start of project they will liaise with the architect to understand the specific requirements of the design and file the necessary construction permits with your local municipality. Once the plans have been approved and permits granted they will negotiate and contract the specialist tradesmen, plumbers, electricians, carpenters that are necessary to complete any large construction project. 

Negotiating and hiring subcontractors requires careful planning, once you gather a list of possible subcontractors it is essential to thoroughly research their reputations, if a particular subcontractor has a poor reputation within the industry then a general contractor will often be aware of this and not consider them for a job. With the increase of online professional review and rating services it is easier for you to seek recommendations and testimonials from previous customers. Once you have created a shortlist of subcontractors you will want to be certain you understand the requirements of the job as much as possible so you can receive an accurate estimate of price and time.

General contractors are also responsible for calculating the amount of materials required and then sourcing and ordering those supplies. This is one particular area that you may find yourself at a disadvantage over an experienced professional contractor, their years of dealing with suppliers will often allow them to negotiate lower prices based on repeat custom or purchasing in higher quantities than that required for a single job.

Other benefits of an experienced general contractor are that overseeing a large project can be an time consuming task, if you are unable to dedicate a considerable amount of time to the job then there is a chance things may go awry. The most important benefit however comes if there is an area of construction in which something unexpected occurs. A professional

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, knowledgeable contractor will be able to asses the situation and recommend and implement a solution in a more timely manner than the average person would be able to.

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