09 Feb DIY or General Contractor for your Home Renovation
Hiring a licensed builder can easily increase the speed and efficiency of your home renovation project resulting in a pleasant and potentially more profitable experience.
Your licensed builder is an expert in his field. He can contribute keen insights into your project you may have neglected to consider. Your licensed builder can stop you from executing fundamentally flawed ideas; let’s say you planned to remove a load-bearing wall for a minor cosmetic refresh. We guess most people would rather get a tap on the shoulder to think twice about inconsequential decisions rather than empty their wallets due to poor planning.
Your licensed builder will oversee your project, hire the right people with the right skills for the right job. Most importantly he can meet your deadlines and work to a specific budget. A good licensed builder can financially plan your project, indicating the associated projects costs including materials and labour. An ever better licensed builder can advise you on likely contingencies in your estimates.
Most people don’t have the necessary time or skill to execute a multifloored multi room renovation or the time to spend contracting skilled and reputable carpenters, plumbers, electricians, waste hire professionals, or even deal with council lodgments.
A larger renovation project can take in excess of 6 months to complete. A DIYer’s life could come to a screeching halt as around the clock work will be required just to scrape over the finish line. This limits your earning potential during from your natural strengths and can push you into personal relationship issues caused from project stress, compounded by the inability to escape the situation.
This is exemplified if you’re a property investor renovating to flip. Time delays lock up capital and locked up capital prolongs new opportunities.
Additionally, you don’t want to find yourself fatigued out of your depths, cutting corners or bypassing plans to meet your deadline.
If a DIYer is forced to cut corners he may forget to abide by building compliance standards. You don’t want your property defected for compliance breaches forced to double your project costs.
Although hiring a licensed builder doesn’t eliminate personal burden for non-building compliance, it allows an owner to seek recourse against a builder who carried out shoddy work. Therefore, it’s important to do your due diligence to hire the right person for the job. We’ll explain how to choose the right licensed builder below.
Hiring a licensed builder will cost you, but it will be worth it
Using a licensed builder will cost you more money than doing the project yourself, but it will save you time and money over the course of the project. Having a good, full time manager on site will shorten the amount of time a project will take and cut down on all facets of project waste.
If you happen to be a property developer or a person looking to
sell quickly, expediting your renovation can reduce your tax liability, your
property insurance and your maintenance burden.
Most importantly an efficient renovation with an expert in charge save you thousands in interest payments. If you borrowed capital to fund the project or property, you’ll be slugged with interest until you can pay off the loan.
For these reasons, hiring a licensed builder can effectively reduce your projects costs through the reduction in associated project costs.
How to select a licensed builder
Do your homework before you hire a Builder
Before deciding who to hire, take the time to contact a several licensed builder, get to know them, ask them the right questions and especially take note of;
- Do they have references/results and recommendations?
- Did they have project pictures/videos/case studies or a portfolio to share?
- Was the contractor on time to his meeting?
- Was the builder organised?
- Did he understand your brief?
- Did you feel comfortable with this person?
Ask each Builder you’re considering hiring for a line item bid for the project and a timeline. Compare all of them to each other to make sure you’re getting the same in each bid, with no hidden exclusions or extra charges for service. Pay attention to any personal red flags to help narrow your choices.
We strongly recommended doing reference checks. See if you reach out to existing clientele to get an indication of job performance and sentiment. Ask the references if you can physically see the completed project. This is an excellent way of determining if the licensed builder can execute your desired outcome. You need ensure that you’re hiring someone capable of the size of your job. When speaking to the references, specifically discuss how and when the contractor is paid.
Take note that a reputable licensed builder will often require payment up front to undertake a quote which is a good sign. You’re paying for skills an expertise which a lesser provider lacks. Payment allows the contractor to scope your job and accurately provide his best possible solution for your application.
Time management, reputation and how comfortable you feel are critically important in making your choice. If any red flags pop up, it’s best to move on and find an alternative provider. It’s best to cut your losses over a few hours and couple hundred of dollars than undertake months of misery.
Home Renovation DIY
If you have the skills and time to do a large renovation project yourself, you might want to ensure you have the necessary skills. Some broad questions to know about yourself are;
- Do you usually finish what you start?
- Is your family or partner on board with your time commitment?
- Are your skills at the right quality level?
- Do you enjoy physical work/labour?
- Are you patient when mistakes are made?
- Are you aware of building code requirements?
- Do you understand everything that needs to be done?
- Are you good at delegating work?
- Do you have a plan if things don’t go as expected?
- Is it safe for you to do this project?
- Do you have a contingency budget?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you will need to rethink whether you should be doing the work yourself. Be honest about evaluating your own time, money and skills.
Some of the work needed for your home renovation DIY project will require licensed professionals, such as: plumbers, electricians, engineers, architects, etc. Without a licensed builder, you will need to interview these workers on your own. This should be done in the same way discussed for interviewing a contractor.
It can be very time consuming, but a bad hiring decision can ruin your project. In addition to hiring, you must be there to supervise their work while at the project. You will need to be available before starting a phase of the project that requires professional help. You can’t go on leave after explaining the job to one professional as you’ll need to be present to react to any problems which may pop up.