Balancing the needs of your renovation with your available budget can be a concern throughout your project. There is a lot advice and a growing number of professional tips available that allow you to tackle DIY tasks yourself without having to hire external help.
You can save valuable money by being your own contractor. But there will be some tasks that require a professional finish. A contractor can help to organise the workers on site to ensure you remain on schedule. If you are deciding whether to renovate with or without a contractor, we’ve put together some of the advantages and disadvantages for you to consider.
What is a building contractor?
A building contractor manages the various sub-contractors required to complete a project. They are not necessarily tradespeople themselves. It is their responsibility to oversee the project to ensure the jobs are completed on time, within budget and to a high standard.
The job of renovating a house can seem overwhelming when you start to list all the tasks that will be required to complete it. There will also be a number of specialist jobs such as electrical wiring and plumbing that may be beyond your own DIY capabilities. That’s where you may consider calling in a contractor to help with the completion of the job.
Pros of having a contractor or builder
If you are considering hiring a contractor for your renovation project, what benefits do you get from hiring one? Here are a few crucial points to remember:
Years of experience
The main reason for hiring a contractor is they are professionals and spend every day of their working life managing and scheduling tradespeople. Their experience at dealing with tradespeople and ensuring projects are completed successfully makes them experts that can be relied on. It’s not something the average homeowner will know how to do and it will save valuable time and money in the long run.
When you are searching for tradespeople to hire for jobs around the house, you are often doing so from a ‘cold’ perspective. That means you have no relationship with them or real knowledge of their work and experience. A contractor, however, has a wide network of reliable contacts they can call on when they are asked to work on a renovation project. They can call on workers they can trust to do the job well and who can be relied on to be professional.
Their experience makes a contractor fantastic at managing time on the job to keep everything running smoothly. Without it, you could be left to organise a group of tradespeople doing various jobs, while also trying to juggle your own. Renovating is a
stressful and testing time for anyone who undertakes it. A contractor takes on a lot of that stress and will want to finish the job as quickly as you do. If not, they could lose out on other projects they were due to start after your own.
Peace of mind
Knowing the changes being made to your plumbing, electrical wiring, or floor installation are going to be as good as possible takes a lot off your mind. You can leave the contractor to manage things on a micro level which frees up some space in your head to get on with other areas of the renovation. They will give you regular updates on the progression of the jobs, so you are still aware of what’s going on without being bogged down by having to resolve any issues directly.
Benefits of working without a contractor
Of course, not everyone is in favour of hiring a contractor. Here are some reasons why you might not want to hire one:
Renovating a room, let alone an entire property is a costly affair. The main reason most homeowners choose not to hire a contractor is to cut down their expenditure. A contractor often works on commission and when you tally up the total earnings they make from the project you might be surprised to see just how much you can save. Of course, not hiring one will require you to work longer and harder to keep on top of things, but spending less money can be worth the extra effort it will take.
A contractor’s job is to manage and schedule the people working on your property. This means they have to take centre stage and the control that comes with it. Of course, you are still the ultimate boss as you hired the contractor, but because they have first eyes on any problem, you might not be aware of any problems straight away. This can leave you feeling out of the loop in your home which isn’t an easy thing to get used to.
Learn new skills
While you shouldn’t stretch yourself too far, not hiring a contractor will allow you to develop new skills. Whether it’s improving your time management, negotiation or communication, acting as your own contractor will push you to become better at some things you may have struggled with before.