Use a General Contractor, Not DIY

General Contractor, Part 3 of Your Core Four

Your Core Four is composed of a Realtor, Lender, General Contractor, and Property Manager. A general contractor is a piece that can save you a lot of time, money, and headache on your renovations. A good general contractor can give you an accurate budget and time schedule that may be a wild guess on your part when you walk the property. 

General Contractor, "What is it you say... you do here?"

A general contractor is a contractor that manages the big picture of a project. They look at the entire project and subcontract out pieces to trusted companies to do the actual work. General contractors maintain the schedule, organizing when each subcontractor needs to perform their part of the project and making sure the timing is optimized. You don’t want the drywall guy coming in before the electrician has run their conduit, right? Also, they do the quality checks to make sure the work is done correctly. In essence, they are your eyes, ears, and brains when it comes to a large renovation.


General Contractor Will Save Time and Money

Just like a mortgage broker, you may be thinking that you can do everything a general contractor can do. So, why hire them? Well consider them like a banquet planner. Yes, you could hire the caterer, the florist, and the DJ yourself, but do you really have the time? Do you know the best companies in the area? Or, have you seen some of these companies first hand to see the quality? Probably not. The added expense of a general contractor will save you time and headache in the long run with just the scheduling alone. The access to their subcontractor registry can save you even more, especially if they have discounts with these companies for the repeat business.

Time and Money

General Contractors Know How to Make Your Vision a Reality

An experienced contractor has been around the block when it comes to renovation projects. The good ones can walk onto a project site and know what issues will likely arise when they tear down walls, change the landscape, or add the new bathroom for the kids down the hall. They can set clear expectations on what will need to be done to make your dream a reality. Also, unless your style is very unique, they have probably seen the style you found on Pinterest. Perhaps they know of good alternatives to save you money, or have discount deals for exactly the tile backsplash you wanted. 

Not All General Contractors Are Equal

Top of the line contractors are not the easiest to find. Also, the best of the best can be quite expensive. This is because they have great subcontractors, meet project timelines, save customers money, and guarantee top quality work. One the flip side, there are cheap general contractors out there that are more of a risk. Maybe they’re just starting out and trying to make a name for themselves. In this case, the subcontractor registry may be lacking or not vetted. And, they may not have that vision experience. Even worse, they may be scammers that provide horrible work and make you spend months in legal battles to get your money back. 

Get a general contractor

Like Everything Else, Research is Key

When looking for a general contractor, the best thing to do is shop around. Ask your realtor or mortgage broker (if they’re local) if they have recommendations. If you either of the two are local investors, they may have recommendations, or who to avoid. Another great way to shop around is to join a local investing group. There are tons of groups like this on Facebook or Meetup made up of investors like you. Ask for recommendations and I’m sure you’ll be flooded with names. 

Research is key


Once again, I am not a financial advisor. These tips are some things I have validated with my own personal experiences. If you feel you need more personal advice, please consult a professional financial advisor.


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