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To use or not to use a General Contractor- Part 1

 

If you are doing a property re-model you’ll need to decide whether you want to use a general contractor to manage your project or to take on the role of project manager yourself.  In order to assist in your decision below are some pros and cons of using a Good General Contractor.

 

Pros

 

  1. The contractor will have the experience and skill set to pre-empt issues and reduce rework.

  2. They can efficiently handle the day to day logistics of the job site, and ensure tasks are done on a timely basis.

  3. They will have a solid network of sub-trades who are vetted.  The challenge of finding good sub-trades should not be underestimated.

  4. They’ll have sufficient insurance to cover the project.

  5. They can help keep you on budget through a fixed price contract.  Note they will also handle the payments and cash flow of trades, so you’ll be getting one bill.

 

Cons

 

  1. The contractor will have a mark-up built into your contract price.

  2. You give up some control over the project, including the scheduling of work.

  3.  If you’re not around then the contractor will have to make decisions on your behalf.  Good documentation and instructions are very important.

  4. You rely on the contractor’s ability to meet their financial obligations.  If there is an issue with a sub-trade being paid they sub-contractor can put a lien on your property in Ontario.

 

Using a general contractor is ideal for someone with a busy work schedule or for someone who lacks experience or is not confident in the building process.  Part 2 of this article will discuss the pros and cons of being your own project manager.

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