General contractors play a crucial role in construction projects, but are they always necessary?
No. It’s easy to tell when you definitely need one, like when you’re building a house or adding a second story. And it’s easy to tell when you don’t need one, like when you’re putting in new kitchen cabinets but leaving the rest of the room intact.
But when you’re planning a medium-sized project — as most projects are — it can be hard to tell if you need a general contractor.
We compiled a short list of questions to ask yourself to help you determine whether you’d be better off working with one of these professionals.
Will you need more than two companies to complete your project? Suppose you are adding a kitchen bump-out. And suppose you want it to be 20 square feet and you want recessed lighting and floors made out of a particular tile you adore.
This project will involve companies to pour the foundation and do the construction, plus an electrician for the wiring and lighting. And while many construction companies are adept at laying floors, if you want anything out of the ordinary, you’re better off with a specialist.
Hardwood floors should be installed by a company devoted to this task. Cutting tile is a skill, and if you opt for a pricey kind of tile, you won’t want even one lost to breakage.
Are you on a strict timetable? Do you need to have your mother-in-law’s room ready for her when she gets discharged from the nursing home in eight weeks? Did you sell your home and need your new one ready for your family to move into before school starts?
A general contractor can make sure your project stays on schedule. The more components to a project, the more that can go wrong. But even a relatively simple project can be difficult to manage from a distant city, or if you are consumed with work and caring for your family.
Construction projects are notorious for dragging on, sometimes to the point where lawsuits must be filed to get the job moving. A general contractor will not let this happen. They choose subcontractors they know and trust, and if anything goes wrong, they have backup.
But most important, they have clout. Results happen faster when a notable general contractor calls rather than a pleading, desperate homeowner.
Will your project need permits? If you don’t know the answer to this, you probably should hire a general contractor. You likely know that you need a permit for work such as adding a structure, like a garage or large shed. But what about interior work? Do you need a permit for that?
Sometimes. If the work affects the building’s structural integrity, such as when you move load-bearing walls, you need a permit. But what about if the wall isn’t load bearing? Then maybe not, but the average homeowner doesn’t know whether a wall is load bearing.
Further, municipalities can have different rules. In some cities or towns, you need a permit for a fence or a deck or even a carport, but in others, you don’t.
It’s a big, serious mistake to do a construction project without the proper permits. You could be forced to tear out whatever work was done and possibly pay fines on top of this. Use a company that guarantees it will pull the right permits.
Falk Construction has been providing the best in general contracting services in and around the Ogden, Utah, area for more than 30 years. To find out if you need a general contractor for your project, call us today.