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Remodeling Your Home As Your Own General Contractor

This is a new partner post, and I agree with every word of it!


Although we’ve already covered the theme of home insurance and décor, let’s revisit the idea from a completely different angle—taking charge of the entire project yourself rather than trusting in the aesthetic sensibility of a general contractor.

Remember the game of telephone you played as a child? By the time the message got around the circle, the last person who heard the message whispered into their ear described a completely different message from the original one. While this, of course, was hilarious at the time, you may not be amused if your general contractor gets a different message from the one you’re trying to convey to him.

Since you have a very clear idea of what it is that you want, it actually might be better to oversee the project yourself. This will ensure that you get exactly what you want instead of having your vision diluted by somebody else’s interpretation.

Besides the advantage of making sure that the work gets done exactly the way you want it done, you will save a tremendous amount of money by not hiring a general contractor. This savings can then be used for decorating your home.

The downside of organizing the work yourself is that you may not know how to hire the tradespeople you need to do the work or you may be a little too lenient to ensure that people show up for work on time, don’t take extended breaks, and work all the time they’re working.

Assuming that you’re fine with hiring and supervising people and can distinguish between good work and sloppy workmanship, then you actually should think of becoming your own general contractor.

How to Hire the Right People

When it comes to finding tradespeople, there are several ways you can go about it:
·  Get recommendations from friends about people whose work they liked.
·  Do a Google search for people in your area.
·  Use the phone book or a local directory for service work.
·  Comb through advertising in the service section of your local paper.
·  Walk on to a job site, speak to the supervisor, and see if you can get some business cards.      

Legal Issues

A lawyer can give you clear directions on licenses, permits, contracts, and so on. Since you’re working on your own home and not running a business, you won’t have to worry about state licensing to determine if you’re qualified to do the job!

Here are 5 tips to help you figure how to get the right insurance:

1. You will probably have to update your homeowner’s insurance policy if you’re doing some major renovations like adding an extra room.

2. Discuss your remodeling plans with your insurance agent to determine what insurance you will need. He or she will probably suggest that you get extended liability coverage and help you figure out how much more property coverage is necessary.

3. It’s important that you speak to your insurance agent before you start any work, and also that you stay in touch as the remodeling progresses to ensure that you’re keeping the right level of coverage. Some homeowner insurance is comprehensive; others will require you increase the amount of coverage. Since you’re increasing the value of your home, you will have more assets to protect.

4. When trying to figure out exactly what kind of insurance package to buy as your own general contractor, follow a tip offered by, an insurance company that specializes in insuring contractors. They recommend “clients obtain insurance products tailored to meet their needs.” By customizing your insurance, you will avoid over insuring.

5. When you hire your carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc, look at each subcontractor’s certificate of insurance to see if they have worker’s compensation insurance coverage. You should also verify this insurance with their insurance carriers.

6. If you’re not hiring subcontractors because the work is simple enough for your family or friends to help with the remodeling, you will still have to make sure that your insurance will cover them in case they get hurt on the job. Usually, your homeowner’s insurance will cover the medical bills, as it would treat these in the same way as if they were guests in your home.

Ultimately, deciding whether or not to become your own general contractor will depend on (a) whether or not you feel comfortable with the job and (b) whether or not you have the time to do it. The legal and insurance aspect of being a general contractor is something that your lawyer and insurance agent can easily walk you through. 

50 Favorites for Fiday #166

Hi everyone! I've been so swamped this week, and will be next week too, so I haven't had a chance to write much. But I'll never not post images. 

I hope you all are well....thank you SO much for continuing to comment and email me even when I am slow in responding!


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