Author: [email protected] (HigherEdJobs)
Author: [email protected] (HigherEdJobs)
If you decide to do some remodeling on your existing home or are having a new residence built from the ground up, you have a few different types of contractors to consider. Different ones have their own specialties, and you can save money by hiring a smaller-scale provider for redecorating jobs rather than paying for a large company. Plan out and budget how big your redecorating job will be in order to choose the right professional for the project.
If you are dreaming big and would like to add an extra room or floor to your house, a residential general contractor is the best person to consult. They have experience with larger projects that involve architecture and design aimed at improving the living standards of the homeowner. Just under these specialists are home improvement contractors, who work on smaller tasks such as installing new windows or cabinets. In the construction field, they are called subcontractors and work under the residential general contractors.
Once you have planned out how large and intensive your home improvement project will be, you can start to narrow down who to hire. If you are simply remodeling one room of your house, it makes more sense to hire a home improvement specialist because that is their area of expertise. As long as you are not knocking down any walls or rewiring the whole room, a home improvement expert will be perfectly able to fulfill your requests. These providers are very knowledgeable on where the best place for any installations in the room, and can sometimes even offer decorating advice.
If your redecorating plans involve major demolition or addition of walls or rooms, a residential general contractor is the best way to go. They will be able to organize the schedules and workers efficiently and keep the project on time and moving forward. These experts can also offer advice when hiring contractors and make sure that everyone is doing their job correctly and with the right materials. In general, if the project is going to take more than a week or it requires several different specialists, you will need a residential general contractor.
Home improvement projects are complicated and sometimes stressful, and it helps to have the right professional overseeing the process to ensure quality work. Plan ahead to figure out how much work your proposed job will require, and how extensive the construction will be. This way you can avoid overspending on a specialist you do not need and will have the best person for the job.
What's the difference between a general contractor and a skilled worker in carpentry, electrical, plumbing or one of the other construction trades? One answer is "a contractor's license."
Another answer is that a general contractor is a tradesman who at some point asked him or herself the question, "Why am I giving a big portion of my salary to the general contractor when I could BE the general contractor?" They get their license and bingo, a general contractor is born.
Well, there's probably more to it than that, but the fact is that many GCs did begin as tradesmen and tradeswomen and at some point decided they wanted to run their own business.
In a big construction company, there is a "project manager" that deals with the day to day details of one or more projects. A project manager may or may not be a tradesman but usually does have business management skills. A big company must run several jobs at a time to meet its expenses.
A general contractor who came up as a tradesman probably only has one or two jobs going at any given time.
What do these differences mean to you as a homeowner, you may be wondering.
Depending on your preferences, the size and scope of your home improvement project and your budget, the difference between hiring a small company (essentially a licensed tradesman who is also a general contractor) and a larger construction company can be great.
Each type of company has its advantages and disadvantages.
As a rule, larger companies have greater capacity. They probably have tradesman in all of the various fields on salary. As a result, when it's time for a particular phase of your construction or home improvement project to begin, that phase is more likely to begin and finish on or closer to schedule.
On the other hand, smaller companies with a reputation for doing good work often have salaried staff as well, or at least, an available pool of skilled tradesman at the ready to come to work on reliably short notice.
Are smaller companies with their smaller overhead more likely to give the lower price?
Although larger companies do sometimes have more leverage on materials pricing and labor costs, in general, it's probably more likely that a contractor / tradesman will be more inclined to bid lower, especially in tough economic times.
Larger companies have staff, departments and department heads. Bigger organizations, if they are run well, usually lead to a more efficient process. But often, efficiency can be in place of the personal touch.
Contractor / tradesmen, on the other hand, are used to dealing with homeowners. They may be more patient, amenable and even economic with regards to changes you may have over the course of your construction or home improvement. But are they effective managers of time and resources or just good tradesmen? Maybe yes, maybe no.
The bottom line is that when you're planning a construction or home improvement project, and you begin your search for a general contractor, meet both large and small companies.
Think about your needs, interview a number of prospective companies, large and small, and get a feel for what's right for you.