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Hiring a General Contractor vs. Hiring Subcontractors

carpenterIf you’re on this page, it’s because you know the home project you have in mind is not one you should attempt as a DIY project. That’s smart thinking at the start. Room additions, room expansions, converting the function of a space, major remodeling, and full house construction are all jobs where the complexity requires planning and the work of different experts, such as electricians, plumbers, architects, designers, etc.

But once you decide to hire professional contractors to handle the project, you have another choice to make. Do you hire a general contractor? Or should you hire subcontractors yourself? The second route may sound less expensive, but there is more to consider.

Not All General Contractors Hire Subcontractors

One of the standard approaches of general contracting is the client hires a general contractor, and the general contractor then hires different subcontractors for specific parts of the project. This can include hiring a designer, a builder, a plumber, an electrician, a team for installing specific elements such as flooring and countertops, a painter, etc. Since this procedure is what people imagine when they consider hiring a general contractor, they think it makes economic sense to “cut out the middleman” and go straight to the subcontractors. Hire a designer, then allow subcontractors to bid on the project.

However… a general contractor may not hire subcontractors at all. Instead, they have their own team in place. All the tasks of construction and remodeling are collected under one roof. In this case, you aren’t hiring subcontractors; you’re hiring a set of employees whom the contractor has already cleared and has worked with numerous times. This style of general contracting reduces the chance for the mistakes that can raise the cost of the project, slow it down, or end with unsatisfactory results.

Consider hiring a general contractor who handles all the work of your project, from initial design and permit clearance to the final touches on construction with paint and cabinets.

A General Contractor Offers Vital Protections

Even if a general contractor hires subcontractors, it’s still preferable to go to the general contractor. Not only does the general contractor allow for overall management that removes many worries from your mind and simplifies the process for you, the GC takes on important liabilities, such as insurance and worker’s compensation. If you decide to act as the general contractor and hire the subcontractors yourself, you take on liability for property damage and injuries workers may sustain on the site.

A general contractor also takes care of building code compliance and the application for permits. They understand how to create a safe workflow. They take a leadership position in the project based on experience and training you don’t have.

The bottom line: We recommend you use a general contractor—preferably one who already has an in-house team—rather than going to subcontractors. We’re the Malibu, CA general contractor who handles everything without relying on numerous subcontractors. It’s one of the reasons we’re an award-winning general contractor for the area with an extensive portfolio.

Advanced Builders & Contractors has served Los Angeles for more than 14 years. Schedule an estimate today.

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