Should I hire general contractors in Western NY or be my own?
In our last article, we discussed some benefits of hiring a residential general contractors in Western NY. But if you’re handy or love doing things on a budget, you’re likely thinking about how much of your home remodeling project you can handle on your own so you can keep costs down.
Most people consider if they really need to hire general contractors in Western NY to handle their home remodel. The truth is: it depends. Today we’ll guide you through everything you need to consider so you can make the best choice for you.
When don’t I need to hire a general contractor?
Any major home renovation, remodel, home addition, or new construction should be overseen by general contractors in Western NY, to mitigate risk and ensure the project is completed correctly and efficiently. But there definitely are occasions when you don’t need to hire one:
- If there is just one home remodel project that needs to get done – For example, you simply want to get new lights installed in your kitchen, resurface cabinets, or put in a new tile floor. If only 1 or 2 contractors are needed to complete the project, it’s unlikely that you’ll need a general contractor to manage the project for you.
- When you have experience managing large home remodel or construction projects in the past – If you’re happy to spend the time and have experience managing similar home renovations in the past, you may decide to spend your time rather than your money. If you’re a retired residential contractor, have managed a similar (or more complicated) home renovation project in the past, and know what you’re doing, then it’s a no-brainer to do it yourself.
- You have time (and energy) – There’s a reason people hire the best general contractors in Western NY. It’s because being your own general contractor is hard. It is about having a high level of knowledge and skill to handle a wide variety of situations and applications, and to coordinate all those parts together.
If you act as your own residential general contractor, be prepared to dedicate a lot of time and even more energy to managing your home improvement project(s) to ensure everything runs smoothly. And be prepared to troubleshoot when things go wrong.
- You already know subcontractors you want to use – Do you have a trusted electrician, painter, or window installer you want to use? If you already have trusted home renovation professionals you’ve worked with and plan to use them again, then it can be reassuring to rely on the existing good relationship you have with the contractors you want to hire.
Keep in mind though that they may not work seamlessly or well together. Have those subcontractors worked together before? Do they use techniques and materials that will go well together? Do they communicate well with each other? Can you ensure there are no scheduling challenges between them?
- You want to be involved and have a challenge – If you’re retired or passionate about home improvements, you may genuinely want to take on the challenge of being your own general contractor or even DIYing much of the project yourself. If you don’t need permits to do the work, there’s nothing stopping you from jumping in and learning as you go.
- Your budget is limited – If your budget for your home remodel is limited, you could save money by DIYing the easier parts of the project yourself. Will you get the same level of finish? Probably not. But if your budget won’t stretch for general contractors in Buffalo, you’ll need to consider how you can DIY your renovation.
Related: 6 Simple Steps: Create a Bath and Kitchen Remodel Budget
When should I hire general contractors in Western NY?
Here are some of the situations in which you should consider hiring residential general contractors in Western NY:
- You don’t want to manage the home remodel yourself – This is the obvious one: if you don’t want to manage the home remodel yourself (which can be like taking on another part- or full-time job), you’ll want to hire a residential general contractor. Experienced general contractors in Western NY like us will be able to ensure the project moves smoothly from start to finish.
- You’ve never DIY’d your home renovations before – If the only reason you’re considering doing the work yourself is the cost, and you’ve never DIY’d your home improvement projects before, you should reconsider. A big home remodeling project like a kitchen remodel or full bathroom makeover is not the time to cut your teeth on DIYing or even managing the project, because you simply don’t have the experience to foresee what may go wrong or what the contractors you do hire will need.
Beginners should start with a small project that you can thoroughly research and use as practice without a huge expense if you mess up, such as replacing old caulk or installing a small backsplash.
- It’s not just a straightforward project – If you’re simply replacing one part for another (ceiling fan, door, wallpaper) you may be able to find success going it alone. Any more complicated home remodel involving multiple types of subcontractors and where sinks, pipes, lights, or walls are moving is best managed by residential general contractors.
- You have the budget to make sure it’s done right – If your primary goal is to make sure the home remodel is done right the first time with all systems seamlessly getting done together, and you have the budget to do so, hiring a residential general contractor will be worth the investment.
In some cases, hiring the right general contractors will not actually increase the cost compared to hiring all your own subcontractors. (Make sure you read part 1 for more on this).
Can you legally do your own home renovation in Buffalo NY?
We do not give legal advice, so you should check the most updated regulations. But as of now, you do not need a permit for:
- Installing partitions (interior walls) between 5’ and 9’
- Cosmetic finishes (painting, etc.)
- Installing portable appliances
For almost any other home remodeling in Buffalo NY on the exterior or interior of your home, you will need a permit. This means you need to work with a registered architect or engineer to explain what work you plan to do.
Make sure you review the Buffalo building permit requirements (not those for New York City) here and apply for the necessary permit. The best general contractors in Western NY should do this for you.
Should I hire general contractors in Western NY for home remodeling and renovation?
Whether it is best to hire general contractors in Western NY or not depends on how extensive your renovation is. If you are doing a smaller renovation with one straightforward task, it makes more sense to hire a specialized subcontractor. If you are trying to stick to a strict budget or want to handle it yourself, you may be able to DIY your home renovation.
If your home remodel means redesigning significant aspects of your home, extending the size, or otherwise making a big change that must be done by a professional, you will get the best results if you hire general contractors in Western NY.
I’m still not sure, what should I do?
If you’re still undecided about whether you need general contractors or not, don’t be afraid to reach out to our team. Here at TBrothers, we help homeowners bring their dream home to life by managing every aspect of the home renovation. So we’ll be happy to help you decide whether you do or don’t need a general contractor.
You don’t need to spend hours researching and finding your architect, interior designer, or subcontractors alone – if a general contractor is necessary for your home renovation, we’ll help you compile a team and get the project done with excellence.
To reach out to our friendly team, simply click the “make an appointment” button on any page to schedule a time to talk to our team on the phone or book your in-home estimate and design session. If you’d like to find out more about the average cost of kitchen remodels and typical cost of bathroom makeovers in Buffalo NY, we have plenty of guides to help you on our blog.