How to hire a contractor? Should I hire a contractor?
Tiffany B
July 30, 2014 in Design Dilemma
So there are several projects that I"m going to need done around my house. While we are saving money and may end up getting a loan, I've been debating if I should hire a contractor.

The main project is my main bathroom. it would need to be re-sheetrocked, new tub, vanity and toilet and completely tiled. There are several steps to each project, could I just handle them myself, i.e. tear down the exisiting sheetrock, hire a plumber if needed, hire a sheetrock person, hire my own tile person.


Thoughts/suggestions etc.
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PRO
BERT Construction, LLC
ONLY If you have the time to manage the project, hire reputable subcontractors and have some idea of sequence of events then a small job like this shouldn't be a problem for a homeowner. ONLY if you have all three of these things though. Nothing less.
1 Like   Thanked by Tiffany B    July 30, 2014 at 1:46PM
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Tiffany B
Okay Bert Construction - thank you for the advice! If I were to hire..sayyy Oh YOU..what would you charge to handle this job? What exactly would a contractor do in this situation that would be different than what I would be doing as listed aboce? Would a contractor be able to get me a good price on a Kohler bubble jet tub, lol!
   July 30, 2014 at 1:51PM
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PRO
BERT Construction, LLC
I would probably charge 15-20% of the project costs for my time and overhead and profit. I would do a cost plus contract which means cost of work, labor and material, plus the 15-20%.
Some plumbing subs can get a better deal on high priced fixtures but no idea of how much.
1 Like   July 30, 2014 at 2:07PM
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judet6
Definitely hire a contractor. I used Home Advisor and did NOT like their referrals. I then joined Angie's list and will let you know how that works. Have questions. ask for references, make sure that their state insurance licenses are up to date. I talked to at least 3 contractors for every job I did. Pain in the butt, maybe, but so many people are taken advantage of!
2 Likes   July 30, 2014 at 2:30PM
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PRO
River Valley Cabinet Works
This is one of those deals where you could do tear-out but if it's more than a one-out-one-in scenario and if you live somewhere where inspections are required, hire a reputable licensed and insured contractor.

Anybody can rip down sheetrock...right?;-)
1 Like   July 30, 2014 at 8:11PM
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PRO
Mega Builders
Tiffany,
The following is copied and pasted from a short article I posted on our blog "Remodeling University" a while ago (can be found here: http://www.megabuilders.com/blog/page/2/).
It seems to address your question. I hope you find it valuable. Best of luck with your remodeling project!

“do I really need a general contractor on my project?”
Well, in my opinion, the answer depends on your particular circumstances.
Generally speaking, the more complex your project is and the larger it is, the more a competent general contractor is needed. Many homeowners might not be aware of it, but being an owner-builder is a viable option for many remodeling projects. That category (owner-builder) is also recognized by the city for the purpose of securing permits.
As an owner-builder, you act as the GC (general contractor). So let’s say that you live in Los Angeles and Kitchen remodeling is what you are considering. You might decide to do the demolition yourself, have an electrician take care of the electrical work, a handy man patch the walls, you’ll do the painting, the Home Depot would supply and install the cabinets and a friend of yours would install the tile counters. Is that a legitimate approach? It sure is…providing;
Here are some of the challenges you should be aware of:
1. Like for anything else, for this too there is a learning curve. Even if you are a very fast learner, chances are that you’ll have a few missteps the ‘first time out’.
2. Design knowhow: the more complex the project, the more critical the design would be. Unless there is a design professional on your team, yours would be a hit-n-miss experience.
3. Code and construction knowhow: Someone on your team needs to be knowledgeable in the various codes pertaining to your project and in the best sequencing for your particular work.
4. Competent supervision: while a layperson can review finish work and judge it satisfactory (or not), the same does not hold true for ‘rough’ work. As a layperson, can you tell if the plumbing is run correctly, the wires properly sized, the drywall legally nailed, etc?
5. Availability: will you be able to be on site to see that things are done as agreed to or as needed? Was the gravel base placed before the driveway was poured? Was the second coat of paint applied? Were the old pipes abandoned and new ones ran in the wall? Unless you are – A. On site to supervise and note all these things, short cuts are certain to take place and B. Even if you are at home to supervise, do you know enough about construction’s ‘best practices’ to be able to effectively supervise?
None of it is ‘rocket science’. Truly. But there is enough complexity in today’s homes that you need to consider your options; if you have a basic project that does not involve multiple trades, is not too complex and the overall scope and budget are small, I think you can take it on yourself, should you be so inclined. Just take the time needed to educate yourself (endless resources are available online) and stay on top of everyone. If, on the other hand, the home remodeling you are considering is complex, involves structural work, requires design and/or is broad in scope and budget, I strongly recommend that you team with a competent, professional and experienced general contractor. Without a doubt, that would be in your best bet.
Happy remodeling!
2 Likes   July 30, 2014 at 8:27PM
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mfwolfe
One of the things you see a lot of if you follow Houzz for very long are situations exactly like yours where something unexpected happened. Contractors are used to the unexpected. Homeowners are baffled.
3 Likes   July 30, 2014 at 8:29PM
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PRO
GN Builders L.L.C
Tiffany,

Higher a reputable remodeling contractor, he will manage and oversee everything and he will finish the job fast and efficient... He will bring qualified professionals who specialize in its own field and it will be money well spent and all you have to do is enjoy it for years to come.

Good luck.
1 Like   July 30, 2014 at 8:48PM
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libradesigneye
If you have a full time job, or several children below the age where they can help you, or both, hire a contractor. A bathroom is not a room you can live without for long and the duration of your project will more than double in DIY. Follow younghouselove.com for what kinds of tools it takes, what kinds of work it is okay to do in house and know that some smaller contractors will work with you as you describe.

One concern I have when I look at this wall is the black in the damaged and open drywall. If you are dealing with any mold in your wall, you need a contractor. That is not for DIY.
1 Like   July 30, 2014 at 9:03PM
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Tiffany B
Thank you everyone for the advice! I'm thinking I will need to hire a GC mostly because I want it done correctly the first time, I can't afford a lot of lag time (it's my main bath) and I'm worried about what the previous owner did behind the walls!
2 Likes   July 31, 2014 at 4:57AM
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