HOME IMPROVEMENT: BEING YOUR OWN GENERAL CONTRACTOR CAN COST YOU
IT WILL BE LESS EXPENSIVE TO DO THE WORK YOURSELF — REALLY?
One of the most common misconceptions about home remodeling is that it will be less expensive to do the work yourself or act as your own general contractor.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE DOING A DIY HOME REMODELING PROJECT
There are many things to consider before beginning a home remodeling project on your own.
SUBCONTRACTOR LICENSE VERIFICATION
First, you need to verify that every subcontractor or tradesmen you hire has the correct license and carries insurance. If a person does not have Worker’s Compensation Insurance, or an exemption, then you are liable for their lost wages and medical bills if they get hurt while working on your home.
WHAT IF THE TRADESMEN DAMAGE YOUR HOME?
What happens if one of the tradesmen damages your home? Your homeowner’s policy will not cover the damage caused by them. A general contractor carries both general liability and builder’s risk insurance policies to protect you.
PERMITS… PERMITS… PERMITS
Although you can typically pull a building permit for your job if you live in a single family home, will the subcontractors you hire be able to pull their permits? If you live in a multi-family dwelling, you will not be able to pull your own building permit.
Failure to pull a permit can cost you three times the original cost of a permit if the building department catches you.
If you decide to pull your own building permit, you will have to schedule your inspections, may need to take time off from work to meet with building inspectors, and you will have to take responsibility for all the work performed on your home.
WILL YOU BE AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTIONS? – TAKE A VACATION DAY
You may have to rely on the electrician, plumber, mechanical contractor, and roofer to pull their own permits and schedule their own inspections. You still may have to take time off from work to make your house available to them and their building inspectors.
How much is your time worth? When you schedule subcontractors and inspectors to come to your home you must ensure access to your house
BUILDING CODES… HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW?
Do you know the latest building codes? If you do not build to the current codes or hire subcontractors who do not build to the current Florida Building Codes, you could end up wasting money having to redo work.
PRICING… YOU WILL PAY RETAIL FOR YOUR SUBCONTRACTORS
You may think you are saving money by contracting with trades directly, but they have multiple sets of prices. One for contractors they work with all year long, one for the occasional contractor, and one for the public. The public pays the highest price.
WHICH COMES FIRST… THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG?
It is critical to know the order in which subcontractors need to perform their work. If you get the order wrong, you may need to remove a subcontractor’s work. This will not only cost time, but money as well.
These are just a few of the potential issues that you may run into if you decide to act as your own general contractor. Before following this path, consider the risks, the time you may waste, the monetary losses you could face, and the added stress of completing your home remodeling project.
Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.
Leading Edge Homes, Inc. specializes in improving your lifestyle through room additions, bathroom renovations, kitchen updates, hurricane-resistant screen enclosures, and more! In business since 1991, they demolish your stress by building your trust.To ask Todd a question, contact him at 561-795-2551 or visit the Leading Edge Home’s website to discover how they can help you with your next home remodeling project in Palm Beach County.