Saturday, June 16, 2012

Being your own general contractor? Here are the signs to tell.

Have you ever driven past a new home being built, month after month you drive by the home and month after month there isn’t any significant change. The house keeps being worked upon and there seems to be no rhythm or reason to what they are doing. After what you think is double the amount of time that it should take to build a home people finally move in, they move in but the outside of the house is still not complete.

You wonder to yourself why and how?

There is usually a simple answer to the question and the answer in 99% of the cases is that the homeowner decided to act as their own general contractor.

There are certain things that you should look for when you are driving past a build site that will give the warning signs that it is a homeowner managed project and not a professional general contractor;

No sign announcing which company is constructing the home.

Weeks go by with nobody working on the project.

Things being done to the home and then being redone.

Poor quality of workmanship.

Lack of order on the project, lack of cleanliness of construction material and debris.

Lack of safety equipment being employed, especially the lack of safety harnesses and hardhats.

Small quantities of lumber being endlessly delivered to the jobsite.

A man or women standing in the drive way next to their SUV talking on their cell phone and looking very distraught.

The project goes on so long that the house wrap on the outside of the building starts to tear and flap in the wind and is never really repaired.

Multiples of the same trades parked in the driveway over the time the house is being built. For example over the several years that it takes to build the home you see three or four different plumbing companies that work on the project.

Building inspectors are seen arguing with the same person standing beside their SUV while pointing at parts of the house and shaking their heads.

When you see these things remember not to feel sorry for the people building the house, they do not need your pity they brought this torture on themselves. The drive to save the small percentage that  a general contractor will charge you to oversee the building of your new home, drives them to think that they can become a general contractor without ever doing it before and trying to stay working at their normal job.

Building a house is only the largest investment that most people will ever make in their lives, why would anybody bother with hiring a professional!

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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