Should You Be Your Own General Contractor?

Many men and women in Amarillo, TX have the do-it-yourself attitude. It comes from the way we were raised. Why pay someone for something you can do yourself? While it’s possible to be your own general contractor for small, residential construction and remodeling, in the world of commercial construction, it is usually better to stick with the pros. Here’s what might happen if you decide to be your own general contractor for a large, commercial job.

You will find yourself without the necessary permits and insurance. If anything happens on the job, like injuries and property damage, you are liable. It is possible to obtain insurance but it is very expensive. However, not purchasing insurance could be a costly mistake if anything goes wrong. Also, general contractors have the required permits to build in cities. They know the proper zoning requirements and laws surrounding the construction of new buildings. If you wish to be your own general contractor, you will have to learn these laws yourself.

You will have to search out and find subcontractors. The main purpose of a general contractor is to oversee construction and find subcontractors to do the actual work. A good general contractor will already have a list of qualified subcontractors that they trust to do an excellent job. They have worked with them before and know what to expect. Someone who has never worked with various plumbers, insulators, electricians, brick layers, etc. will not know if the subcontractor they’re hiring will do a good job. Cheaper is usually not better. Hiring an inexperienced, unqualified subcontractor is a real risk you take when deciding to be your own general contractor.

You are responsible for every decision. As a general contractor you will have to schedule subcontractors and perfectly time when certain parts of construction will be completed. The subcontractors will come to you with any questions or problems they have. If the weather goes awry, you will need to decide whether to continue with construction for that day or not.

If something goes wrong, the cost will come out of your pocket. If your goal when deciding to be your own general contractor is to save money, be careful. Costs incurred from design changes, mess ups, and natural disasters fall on your shoulders. This could cancel out the money saved from not paying a general contractor and will be a huge headache for you.  

The project will most likely take more time to complete. General contractors know how to orchestrate dozens of employees and subcontractors to get your project finished in a timely manner. Someone with less experience will struggle organizing everyone, therefore creating downtown and a slower construction process. It takes time to learn the ropes. Time will also be spent finding good subcontractors and searching for the right building materials.

After the job is complete, any problems with the building will be your responsibility. If something goes wrong when a general contractor does your construction, you can just give him a call, and hopefully, if he’s a good contractor, he will do everything in his power to fix the problem. If you are your own general contractor, you will have to fix the problem yourself whether that means calling back subcontractors to fix minor errors or redoing the project altogether. It could get expensive very fast.

If this sounds fun to you and have the personality type, the availability, and the willpower to learn how to be a general contractor, then go for it. If you want your project done right in a timely manner with little stress, call a general contractor.