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Home Building - What Every Smart Home Owner Builder Must Know About Subcontractors

By Mel Inglima
When building or remodeling, you need professional help. Rarely does an Owner Builder go it alone. The subcontractor could be the single most indispensable building professional for the homeowner builder.

What is a Subcontractor?

Subcontractors are not builders. They are trades people. They specialize in their craft. They do not manage your entire project nor should they be counted upon to coordinate their efforts with other subcontractors. Whether a plumber, framer, electrician, excavator, roofer, carpenter or other trade, a subcontractor simply provides his unique service.

When you build or remodel, you use whichever tradespersons you need to complete the task at hand. These professionals must be evaluated, hired, and managed throughout the building or remodeling process.

When evaluating your potential hire, consider and determine the following:

    * They should be licensed and bonded/insured
    * Experienced in your market and knowledgeable about local codes
    * Have references that you can easily verify
    * You must get at least three competing bids for each trade
    * You should evaluate the quality of building materials they use
    * Inquire about their availability and time for your project

Homeowner builders can elect to provide some of their own labor to reduce the overall cost of labor or they can hire these subs for every aspect of the job. Either way, someone has to manage and coordinate their efforts.

Managing Your Subcontractors

In a traditional building environment, the General Contractor (GC) hires and supervises the work of the subcontractors. A GC can also be referred to as a builder. You, as an Owner Builder, may or may not be using a GC to help you. If you have not hired a GC for your project, you will be in charge. This can present a challenge to the average owner builder.

One of the bigger challenges you, as an owner builder may face, is the reluctance of a subcontractor to work directly for you. They worry about your ability to pay them, coordinate the efforts of all the trades, evaluate their work, and keep the project going.

These are legitimate concerns and you, as an owner builder should prepare properly to dispel these concerns. I typically advise you to utilize one of the following suggestions:

    * Hire a GC to be your Construction Manager
    * Implement a good building Process Management software program
    * Retain an experienced home building coach

Most of my clients have utilized the second and third suggestions combined. A good home building coach with a proven process management system provides an excellent and low cost solution.

Successful Home Owner Builders

A smart homeowner and home builder will always use talented professionals where it makes most sense. Regardless of the time and experience you may have, subcontractors will likely play a big role in your success.

Take the time to analyze them carefully and always get all agreements in writing.

You can learn so much more about home building and remodeling online. One great option is to take advantage of a very informative yet simple to follow *free* e-course that you can find by clicking here You will also find other tips and tools, surveys, videos, and additional articles by Mel Inglima.***

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