Home Improvement – Should You Be Your Own General Contractor?

For those planning a home improvement project for which keeping the budget modest is a major factor, the question often arises, “Should I be my own general contractor?” Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

First let’s look at what a general contractor is and does.

In a nutshell, a general contractor, or GC, is the person responsible for the overall, successful completion of the project. On a small home improvement project that could mean doing the actual construction work as well as managing the details such as permits and staying on budget.

For a larger project such as a room addition, a major structural remodel or building an entire house, it falls to the GC to hire, manage and pay the sub-contractors (the workers who will be building the moulds, pouring the concrete, doing the framing, etc.) as well as making sure the job gets done on budget, on time and accurately.

If you are thinking of being the general contractor for a large project, having at least an intermediate level of knowledge of the construction process, including pulling permits, local construction codes, contracts and proper insurance is very important.

Also, you need adequate time to supervise the goings on at your site. I don’t know many people with the free time away from a job to successfully manage this type of large undertaking. If you are short on knowledge and/or time, but are still thinking of acting as GC on your major home improvement project, I wish you good luck. This is not to say you can’t do it, but the headaches might not be worth the trade off.

Let’s not forget that the main reason to act as your own GC is potential cost savings. Since professional GCs generally mark up every piece of material and every sub-contractor salary, sometimes by as much as 30% or more, if you can save some of that money by acting as your own GC, by all means do it.

But if you are not familiar with the details of completing your project, those potential cost savings can turn into cost overruns in a hurry. With a smaller home improvement project, however, the stakes are not as high and so the potential benefit is there without the same degree of risk.

But even with a smaller home improvement project, there are qualities a GC should have that are important.

Unless you’ll be doing all of the demolition, sawing, nailing and finishing yourself, as GC, you’ll be hiring, managing and paying the sub-contractors. People skills, knowledge of finances and a healthy dose of common, good sense are necessary.

If you’ve never done a home improvement project similar to the one you will be taking on, a willingness to ask questions – even ones you think are just plain dumb – is vital. Also, having a “can do” problem-solving attitude is recommended. After all, you’ll be the one everyone looks to when a fix, change or solution is needed.

The main argument against being GC on your own job is a big one. If you don’t like the finished job, you have no one to point the finger at (or fix what you are unsatisfied with) but yourself.

The value of a good GC is his or her experience and ability to solve problems. While there will certainly be extra cost involved in your job by hiring a general contractor, in the end the peace of mind might be worth the expense.

Useful Home Improvement Tips

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. A home generally reflects the personality of the residents. Interior designing plays an important role in deciding the form, texture and color that suits a particular home and the characteristics of the owners living there.

There are several useful tips that help home improvement. Look around you. What do you think requires attention? You may not have a designer or decorator and would like to improve on it yourself. Let us start with the entrance to your home. Does your home make a style statement? Do you live in an old rambling home or apartment? There are various styles ranging from Modern, Traditional, and Eclectic, Transitional etc. Choose the style you wish to adopt and hire a good interior designer with knowledge of building materials and styles and work in unison with him or her.

Choosing a theme is a useful home improvement tip. The sitting room generally is the area most frequented by your guests. Therefore, this area should be warm, inviting and care taken to maintain color co-ordination, which harmonizes with the surrounding rooms. Pay attention to the flooring. Decide whether you are going to carpet, tile the whole area, or have a combination of both. Color and design plays an important part here. Go along with the theme, be it Asian, Country, Rustic or Modern. Carpet the actual seating area and tile or board the rest of the floor. Wooden flooring has a charm of its own. Choose from a wide range of Parquet flooring.

Proper lighting plays a vital role in transforming the look of a home. Pay attention to this useful home improvement detailing. Create a bold visual impact with strategically placed concealed lighting or place lampshades in corners and alcoves to mellow the look to romantic or ethereal.

Lighting reflects your mood so plan the wiring detail carefully and make sure you have a few extra points to use as and when you decided to change the lighting moods.

Pay attention to the ceiling. It could be stark plain with a crown molding all around or a false ceiling created with concealed lighting. Chandeliers can hang from the centre if the room is huge enough in which case, make a design with false ceiling only along the sides and leave the central area clear for hanging lights. Staircases, inside the home, should look graceful and go along with the total look.

The benchmark of good designing reflects in the way the bathrooms and kitchen is done up. You can choose from numerous designs and materials from Home stores. Install modular kitchens and bathrooms after choosing the style, color, texture that suit you and the members of your family. Remember, your choice reflects the real you.

Last, but not least, secure your home to protect from burglary and theft. When building your home, use good quality materials and check for durability. Use these useful home improvement tips wisely when moving into your new home.

Know The Best Home Improvement Tips

People will do an assortment of home upgrades for their very own homes. Things are gonna go much smoother when the appropriate things and the right instruments are in place. One of the very first things you’ll need to do should be to ensure that you doing the appropriate thing. Also, even if you do not have the appropriate competencies and experience, you can still make it with the right set of instructions and the proper guidelines.

In one of the comments for the Milwaukee 2410-22 M12 Review post, one individual brought up the issue of home improvement tips and hints. To answer that need, here are some wonderful ideas for someone who wants to start with home improvement.

No must for super pricey products – there are a whole lot over priced products out there. Luckily, doing home improvement will not mean that you need to use those tools.. Just do what you could to find what works for you the best. There are gonna be lots of drills out there that you can use, but going for ones that are under $200 will be fine. The most excellent thing for you to do is always to read some user reviews, be very diligent about this and do not do something on impulse alone. You must to make sure that whatever it is you get is worth what you pay for. And, if you already have something in the home, go ahead nd work on those.

Another good tip would be to take it as slow as you could. It could possibly be tempting to take on the big stuff because this is gonna be your first time out and you have to take it slow. I always advice individuals I know to begin slow but aim actually big. It doesn’t mean that just because you are encouraged to begin small, you no longer wish to have big objectives. Keep your plans and at some point you might have the opportunity to reach them.

A third tip is going to involve getting direction. Find someone to help you, or if you wanted to you will get a self-help book. There are lots of DIY guides on the market and you could surely use these guides, some of them will even have blueprints you will use.

When you do get to deciding that you need to buy something, read this Milwaukee 2410-22 M12 Review to receive an idea of what is going too wok for you. You also can ask a number of your friends on what works for them.