Yes, hiring a general contractor to manage your remodeling saves you time and effort. But it also adds an “extra” expense to your project. Or does it? In our experience, having a good general contractor can actually save you a significant amount of money. How much? Well, let’s take all the time savings out of the equation and just do the math on dollar savings.
- A general contractor is your single point of contact. Can you negotiate with carpenters, roofers, electricians, plumbers, flooring installers, cabinet suppliers, and appliance stores to get favorable prices? Since you don’t have the relationships or buying power of a good general contractor, you might expect to 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 general contractor pulls permits and builds “to code.” If you pull permits yourself, you are responsible for seeing that a project can pass inspection. Building permits and code violations generate revenue, so count on inspections! Denver 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 either have to fix the violations or sell “as is” and risk a citation and court appearance. Do the math on fines and home resale and it’s clear that working with a general contractor can save you a fortune.
- 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 trades people. 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 sub contractors.
Bottom line, the “extra” cost of a good general contractor can be 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 general contractor repays you with a smoother design/build experience, a solid-quality remodeling project, and far less frustration, worry and unexpected expense.