Should You Hire A General Contractor?
If you are planning a major home renovation or a full-scale construction project, hiring a general contractor is the way to go. They are typically a trained, licensed carpenter or a renovation technician and a licensed contractor.
They are the lead project manager and take accountability for the project, ensuring all the tasks are completed to code and to your expectation. They will also assess the project’s scope, hire the sub-trades, specify the materials, organize the work back schedule, and oversee the entire project.
While the general contractor works with the homeowner to decide on the final design and layout of the remodeling, some homeowners may choose to hire an architect or a designer/design firm to design and create plans for them.
Some homeowners decide to take this on from start to finish, acting as their own project managers by hiring each trade on their own.
Fair warning, this could be more time-consuming, as the homeowner is essentially doing the general contractor’s job. This will involve a lot of research. Not to mention if something goes wrong or the work doesn’t meet the code, you will have the added cost of redoing the work and paying more money.
You will also be accountable for filing all the required permits. Remember, having a building permit DOES NOT include the electrical permit. You may need both. Most electrical work needs to be reported to ESA by filing a notification of work or “permit” within 48 hours of when electrical work starts.
DIY Project Versus Hiring a Professional?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Is it safe to take on a DIY project?
Do I have the time to take this on?
Do I have the right skills and the right tools to do so?
Is a building permit or other permits (plumbing, electrical) required?
Seasoned DIYers can take on many home projects, like updating a bathroom vanity, sink, and faucet set or changing door hardware —some of the smaller projects around the home that don’t require tearing down a wall or changing your electrical.
Should You Hire A Handyperson?
Depending on their skill sets and knowledge of the project, you might also consider hiring a handyperson’s services. My grandfather was a jack-of-all-trades, master of none – he did it all.
They have a good general knowledge of simple repairs and renovations. But be careful, and do not hire a handyperson for any job that requires a more specific skill set needed to do a job safely.
Changing a light fixture can be fairly straightforward, but if you are changing the location of the lights or doing anything in a bathroom (a wet zone and a dry zone), I strongly advise you to contact and hire a licensed electrical contracting business.
Other larger jobs that involve structural changes, roofing repairs, drain cleaning, moving plumbing or electrical, or utility lines also require licensed contractors.