Licensed general contractor versus specialty contractor


You are considering a major remodel of your house; adding a new room. How do you best approach the task? Do it yourself, hire sub-contractors or get a general contractor to take care of the entire job?

The answer to this question depends to a great deal on the size and complexity of the work you are planning to do. If it is a single job, hire only a specialty contractor. Multiple job projects require the assistance of a licensed general contractor. A licensed general contractor can pull the work permit required for the job. But, in most states, so can you as a homeowner.

Benefits of a licensed general contractor

A licensed general contractor will be with you from the start of the project to its completion. He will get the building plans approved and pull the permits. Dealing with building inspectors can be a major headache. Ask anyone who had to pull away the new drywall to correct some code violations by a sub.

A licensed general contractor knows local building codes. He is familiar with building materials and how to use them correctly. His experience tells him when a specialty job is done and it is safe proceed to the next step in the project.

Licensed contractors have expertise in many of the specialties of construction work as well. They know the best specialty sub-contractors for the project from past experience. Bad ones fall by the wayside  rather quickly. That alone saves you money, time and bad experiences. Isn’t that worth some money?

A specialty contractor is a specialist in his field of work. Many are great experts in their own field but lack general experience and insight into a project. If you hired a specialty contractor to do the various steps involved in your project, each one of them would only be responsible for the work he has done.

Specialty contractors are not responsible for the work of someone else. Licensed general contractors are. If things go wrong during a construction project, and more often than not they do, the general contractor is responsible for fixing the problem. On his own expense. That gives a homeowner a great deal of peace of mind.

One more thing is worth mentioning in this context. Whatever work you are planning to do, a licensed general contractor most likely has done it before. There will be few things in construction he does not know from experience. A known enemy is easier to beat then the unknown one.

Consider these benefits when time comes for you to decide on hiring a licensed general contractor.