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When You Need a General Contractor

Making major home improvements can be a daunting commitment, and unless you are highly skilled in wiring, plumbing and construction, you should turn to professionals to get the job done right. But finding the appropriate professionals to help you complete the job can be a major job in itself.

If you are considering a major home improvement project, you need to determine what exactly you want done. If your job requires a specific kind of work, like installing a hot tub or building a deck, you’ll probably need a contractor who specializes in the area, like a plumber or carpenter. But if you’re planning a more extensive project, such as remodeling your kitchen or building a second-story addition, a general contractor may be a better choice.

General contractors manage all aspects of your project, including hiring and supervising subcontractors, getting building permits, ordering supplies and scheduling inspections. They oversee all the workers (plumbers, carpenters, painters, etc.) to ensure that the job is done to your satisfaction. General contractors also work with architects and designers to make sure a project is completed to your specifications. They will also act as, or assign a person to be your main contact throughout the project.

Of course, you could try hiring the necessary plumbers, carpenters or painters yourself, but managing a job of this proportion is a full-time job, and chances are you don’t have the time (or the experience) to do it all by yourself. Remember, licensed general contractors have extensive training and experience to handle managing projects. Good contractors have contacts with professionals who can do specialized work properly.

Hiring people with professional experience will save you money in the long run. Professionals may have access to stock products that will give your job the customized look you desire. In addition, if the job is done right the first time, less time and money will be devoted to fixing problems that arise in the future.

Here are a few examples of jobs that a general contractor would handle best:

* Additions to an existing structure
* Remodeling (e.g., kitchen, bathroom, master bedroom)
* Constructing an additional building (e.g., garage, workshop)
* Finishing a basement

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