Saturday, November 1, 2008

Do you really need a contractor for that home project?

Some things to consider, how big is the project and does it involve some different trades such as an electrician or a plumber? If so then yes it might be a good idea. A licensed contractor will have subcontractors who do these other trades and will be responsible for their work performance and quality. Another reason may be you don't have the time or just want the job done from start to finish without any hassles. A contractor will also do all the leg work for permits, inspections and keep the job going on a schedule. This does require doing some research on your part and finding a good quality contractor and even then you may end up with a bad experience.

Consider the project carefully. Have a clear vision of the job. I would venture to say most people are on a budget and do want some hands on approach. Hiring a contractor for the whole job often times is quite expensive and you may want to consider a different approach. This will be more work but also may come at a considerable lower cost.

One approach is as simple as talking to a good carpenter. A good carpenter not only can handle the whole building process but a lot of times have a good understanding for the permits and inspections necessary for the job. A carpenter however is generally not licensed or required to be licensed but as a sub contractor are required to carry certain liability insurance and work comp policies and certificates. Ask for some references from this carpenter and be sure to ask for proof of these certificates before hiring a carpenter for your project. Ultimately you are responsible for the building codes and regulations involved in the building process, however it is easily obtainable with a little research.

For the other trades needed for the project it could be as easy as looking in the yellow pages for a company that does this work. Again a little research on the company is advisable and if you are happy with the results then get on their schedule.
Your carpenter may also be able to suggest some people or companies for these trades and at a lower cost. Again check them out.

Is all of this research and responsibility worth it? From a financial stand point, yes it may be, from a time or headache stand point may be not, it depends on where you want your savings to be. There are vast amounts of information out there to answer your questions. Whether you hire a contractor or contract yourself, things don’t always go smoothly and unexpected things can happen. Be ready for potential problems and stay positive.

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