Yes, hiring an experienced, top quality, professional general contractor or full-service remodeling contractor to manage your home’s remodeling project saves you time, effort, and money.
But doesn’t hiring a general contractor add an “extra” expense to your project? Yes and No. Yes using a general contractor adds one type of cost. However, a good general contractor can actually save you a significant amount of money. How much?
For now, let’s take all the time savings out of the equation, although your time is also money. Let’s just do the math on other dollar savings a general contractor can achieve for you.
Ways a Good General Contractor Saves You Money
- A general contractor is your single point of contact. Can you negotiate effectively with carpenters, roofers, electricians, plumbers, flooring installers, cabinet suppliers, and appliance stores to get favorable prices? Do you even know who are the best subs and suppliers for your project? Probably not. Plus since you don’t have the relationships or the buying power of a good general contractor, you will most likely pay more for each subcontractor – maybe 10%-25% more. Right there, that typically covers the “extra” cost of the general contractor. Plus, if you don’t like the way something is installed, you could end up having to pay for the rework.
- A reputable general contractor pulls permits and builds “to code” or above. If you pull permits yourself, you are responsible for seeing that your project passes inspection. Building permits and code violations generate revenue for the county, so count on inspections! The Northern Virginia area has strict building codes for everything from zoning and HVAC, to plumbing, truss layout, structural factors, and electrical loads. Fines can range upwards of hundreds of dollars with additional fees assessed daily until the problem is re-inspected. If a permit expires before a project is inspected, that’s a violation. If a violation isn’t caught during construction, it can hurt you when you go to sell your home and you either have to fix the violations or sell “as is” and risk a citation and court appearance. Do the math on fines and your home’s resale value. It’s crystal clear that working with a general contractor can save you a small fortune.
- A reputable general contractor’s insurance policies can save you money and more. A reputable general contractor carries insurance for liability and workers’ compensation. They also sometimes carry other types of insurance as well. Without their insurance, you can be on the hook for damages and liabilities caused by, or to your, subcontractors and others harmed by your contractors’ work or negligence.
- A general contractor keeps your remodeling project on schedule. Talk about “extra” costs! Running behind schedule can cost you plenty. In fact, many price quotes are valid only for a certain time – and delays can mean having to renegotiate with tradespeople and suppliers. Plus, remodeling is like dominoes: if one team is late, the entire schedule can be derailed and you end up paying (extra staff, weekend or holiday work) to get the necessary work done so the project can move on to the next step and the next team of subcontractors.
The bottom line? The “extra” cost of a good general contractor is not a cost it is a cost-saving investment. What your contractor is paid is offset by the contractor’s ability to negotiate more favorable rates from subcontractors. From there, you can see additional savings in terms of avoided costs (like fines) and unexpected costs (like having to pay for rework). Plus, hiring a reputable, experienced, and trusted general contractor repays you with a smoother design/build experience, a solid-quality remodeling project, and far less frustration, worry, and unexpected expense.
And They Save You Time, Which is Money
And, all of these savings don’t even include the time and headaches you save. If you live in Northern Virginia chances are your time is very valuable and you have precious little time already to spend time with family, friends, and enjoying yourself. Working with a quality general contractor for your remodeling project will let you focus your time where it will do you the most good.
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