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When Do You Need a General Contractor?

Even if you're a gung-ho, do-it-yourself sort of person, there's a good chance you'll eventually encounter a home improvement project that's complex and stressful enough to shake you to your foundation-- no pun intended. In fact, for some homeowners, the smallest remodeling job can be unmanageable, especially when you have to find time between work hours, family, and other responsibilities.

Luckily, there are people whose very profession involves taking the proverbial load off your back. They're called general contractors, and their vast knowledge and experience enables them to oversee a wide array of home improvement, remodeling, construction, and design projects from start to finish.

So, how do you know when your special project could use a general contractor? Well, the answer to that question comes down to a matter of personal preference. Do you prefer dealing with a multitude of people working independently from one another, or would you rather communicate with one, central source who oversees everyone else and relays ideas and insights along the way? For most people, this one is a no-brainer.

If your sink has a clog, you probably don't need to go to the trouble of calling a general contractor. Your local plumber or a bottle of clog-remover can tackle that project. But if you're remodeling your kitchen, constructing a new office, or developing a comprehensive landscaping design, a general contractor can guarantee that the job is done the way you want it, by the people most qualified to get it done.

Even if you think you might have the time and energy to devote yourself to overseeing a project, a general contractor does a lot more than just free up your schedule. Typically, general contractors establish their reputations by learning and working within a plethora of different trades, giving them a universal comprehension of every aspect of a job. This is an invaluable trait that, realistically, even the most ambitious homeowner can't compete with.

Whether you need ideas or referrals for electrical work, plumbing, masonry, landscaping, interior design, roofing, heating or any other component of a job, a general contractor will have the answers you need. Even more importantly, they can then work with you and the carefully selected sub-contractors, organizing every phase of the project and acting as an intermediary between all the parties involved.

General contractors also have critical knowledge pertaining to licensing, building permits, and government regulations. No matter where you live or what type of city, county, or state regulations might be in place, the general contractor will be able to secure any necessary permits and schedule proper inspections to adhere to the laws in place, while also ensuring the safety of everyone involved in the project.

Working within a predetermined budget and time table, general contractors take the weight of your home improvement projects on their shoulders. To use an easy sports analogy, the general contractor is the head coach-- choosing the right players, drawing up the plays, and building morale on the way to a successful goal. As the owner, meanwhile, you get to reap all the benefits of your "team's" eventual triumph.

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