Should we hire a general contractor??

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by heather, May 12, 2005.

  1. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

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    Help!

    I have been acting as the general contractor on our house-building 'project'

    I feel like I'm drowning in phone tags & building codes & drawings, etc....

    I have the basement (superior walls) in the works
    I have the heating (radiant floor) in the works
    I have the shell (Deltec) in the works

    But there's so much more!!!!

    We originally thought it would save us money to be our own general and maybe that's still true

    I knew when I started that it would be stressful, but this is getting crazy

    I think I found a guy who can do or organize a lot of what we still need done -
    I'm just wondering if I should go ahead & hire him as the general.

    How much will it cost me - anybody have a clue?
    I'm thinking I'll ask him for a quote - or is that a bad way to do things?

    Help!
     
  2. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    I would ask what he's going to cost you. probably a percentage of the total
     

  3. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    Hire a general contractor..

    I am in the construction industry... (excavating) when I price work, I charge a homeowner at least 25% more then I would a contractor I do regular work for.

    A GOOD general contractor will SAVE you money. He has the contacts and knows how to do the job. Working for homowners is a nightmare, 9 times out of 10.

    Pete
     
  4. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    Yup, you are in over your head and need to hand it off to a professional. As Pete points out, a good general will get better pricing from subs because he is experienced at scheduling subs, material delivery, stay on top of insurance requirements, inspections, PLUS dealing with the homeowner.

    Same with materials. Because of the volume of work a general does, they'll save at least 10% on materials, save tons of waste and make certain that it's on the job site when it needs to be there.

    The hard part is going to be to find a good general willing to take on your job at a reasonable rate this late in the game.

    Shop around and get lots of references from anyone you know, don't take the first contractor that says he is a general.

    Expect to pay 10 to 15% of the total cost of the job but try to negotiate the generals' passing along some of his trade and tradesmen discounts to you. Also specify in writting who gets the scrap material if you think you might ever have a use for it.
     
  5. DAVID In Wisconsin

    DAVID In Wisconsin Well-Known Member

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    A good general contrator will save you money. Not to mention months of aggravation. The general is familiar wth permits as well as local contractors and going rates. I have seen too many folks being their own contractors to save money then after it's all said and done find out it cost them more, delayed their project by months and was a huge headache.
     
  6. NWSneaky

    NWSneaky Well-Known Member

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    IMO --- hire the pro.
     
  7. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

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    THANKS everyone -
    I hadn't thought that he could get better deals on labor & materials - I'm sure you're right -

    you have me convinced! (now I just have to convince my husband!! :rolleyes: )

    We are meeting with this guy in the morning at 8 am -

    as I've talked to him on the phone, he seems pretty sharp

    he was recommended by a good friend of ours, so we'll see!

    THANKS for the advice
     
  8. FolioMark

    FolioMark In Remembrance

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    Well guess I will play devils advocate, but I wouldnt hire a GC now. You got your feet wet, sure its lot of work, but you should be able to finish it. Plus there is nothing like the satisfaction of saying you did it yourself when the house is all done. Sure you dont have anyone to blame but yourself when its done and there are mistakes, but think of all the experience and things you will have learned on the way.As long as it stands up and keeps you warm and dry, everything else is gravy.
    After all the First Rule of Homebuilding is " THE TRIM WILL HIDE IT." And its a dandy excuse for hanging around the building site every day. It all depends on what you want out of the experience of building, but I know Im glad that I did it all myself with help from others now and then. Good luck. :)
     
  9. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    One of the most important things missed by home owner builders is the requirement of all subs to remove their construction debris. Make it part of the contract, also require a release of lein before paying them their last draw. Failing to gain a release of lien could have you paying for the materials twice.'

    Also know that if the subs answer to you, the final source of money; you have more clout conserning how things are done, but also know that they know their jobs and if there is something you don't understand, just ask, don't order.