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Why Hire a General Contractor?

Updated: Apr 23

When you're planning a remodeling project that involves more than one trade, you should consider hiring a general contractor (or GC). Hiring a GC means you will be hiring that company to manage your entire project from start to finish. Sometimes people get the wrong impression and think that their GC will be the one completing every single task associated with their project. Just because the GC will be managing your project doesn't mean that they will be personally performing all of the work. As a matter of fact, most of the work in more involved projects such as kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and additions will be performed by specialty subcontractors.

You might ask yourself: "Then what does the GC actually do?" As the manager of your renovation, the GC has many responsibilities:

  • Building the project scope, budget, and timeline with you.

  • Obtaining any necessary permits.

  • Keeping your project on budget.

  • Ordering materials.

  • Scheduling deliveries so that materials do not arrive to the jobsite too early or too late. Trust me, you don't want materials arriving to your home too early!

  • Bringing in their team of specialty contractors to perform HVAC, plumbing, and electrical work.

  • Scheduling the job so that tasks are completed in the proper order.

  • Quality control inspections to confirm that all work is up to the GC's standards, your standards, and local building codes' standards.

  • Scheduling inspections.

  • Managing communications with you to make sure that you are being regularly updated and have a full understanding of where your project stands.

What We Do

Here's what we do at CPR Homes. We are a licensed & insured GC in Pennsylvania. We have multiple crews that make up our in-house workforce. On our team we have laborers, carpenters, painters, and project managers. We typically will personally perform framing, drywall installation, flooring installation, tile installation, door installation, millwork/trim installation, cabinet installation, and painting.

Why We Don't "Do It All"

Just like you don't want your general physician to give you heart surgery, you don't want your general contractor to perform work that requires a very specific set of skills and expertise. Your GC should have a rock-solid understanding of how things are supposed to be, but they couldn't possibly be able to get the practical experience doing all of these things. More importantly, trades such as electrical, plumbing, and HVAC have a strict set of standards based upon education and experience in order to receive their license. You don’t necessarily just want somebody who “knows how to do it”. There are many intricacies in these trades that a handyman-style remodeler might not be aware of when doing the work. Your home is already a major investment and you’re investing more into it with your renovation projects… you want to be sure that all of the work is getting done the proper way in order to protect your investments!

Can’t I just GC My Own Project?

You sure can! Plan your project, find contractors, and get to it!

Here’s The Catch

It's a lot more difficult than it seems. Unless you spent time working in residential remodeling or have been through your fair share of previous home renovation projects, there's a good chance you don't really know the order of operations to pull off a successful (on time, on budget) project. On top of that, you won't have access to the best suppliers - you know, the ones that don't market to the masses, don't have fancy showrooms, don't have to pay salespeople, but have a killer product with better prices than anybody else. Finally, you probably don’t have established relationships with the subcontractors needed for your project. They’re not going to make you a priority on their crowded schedule because your lifetime value to them is much less than that of a GC who gives them dozens of jobs year after year.

Why a Good GC Is Important

Your GC will be involved with your project from start to finish, so it’s essential that you choose a company who has a reliable team of vendors and specialty contractors that they can count on. A great general contractor also:

  • Has negotiated flat rates from specialty contractors.

  • Holds priority scheduling status among their network of specialty contractors.

  • Understands how projects work.

  • Has "The Guy" or "The Place" to get you the best materials at the best prices.

  • Creates reasonable schedules.

  • Has systems in place to make sure everything is ready before bringing specialty contractors onsite.

  • Can provide you with references from past clients as well as specialty contractors and vendors. We recommend interviewing at least 3 general contractors before making your final decision. Do your research and find a GC who has experience in renovations similar to yours. Look them up on Facebook. Browse their website. Check out their Google reviews. Ask for references. Look up their subcontractors. Remember, you're trusting your GC with your home and your sanity... Make sure that they feel like the perfect fit for you and your project!

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