How to Be Your Own General Contractor

Are you considering taking on a home improvement project? If so, then you have a lot of options for getting the job done. Many people choose to hire a general contractor to complete their remodeling projects.

However, there are a few reasons why this isn’t an option for a lot of people.

  • Hiring a general contractor is pretty expensive. Some general contractors can charge as much as $300-$400 per day or may require a percentage of the total cost of the job. 
  • You’ll be responsible for setting up all of the meetings and scheduling inspections while still paying the general contractor out of your pocket. 
  • General contractors will add an up-charge to all of their services. 

This isn’t to say that hiring a general contractor isn’t a terrible idea. It’s just that it’s not a wise option for some. If you want to bypass the tremendous costs and uncertainty of hiring a general contractor, you can choose to be your own general contractor.

If this is the choice you’d prefer, this guide will teach you how to be your own general contractor.

What is a General Contractor?

A general contractor is the main contractor in charge of the day-to-day operations of a construction project. As far as your kitchen remodeling project is concerned, a general contractor is responsible for making sure that your project runs smoothly.

General contractors also usually have a roster of other contractors and subcontractors that assist them on projects. For example, if you need to reroute your kitchen oven, a general contractor will contact an electrician they have on file.

General Contractor Kitchen Remodeling | Discount Kitchen Cabinets | Cabinet Select

General contractors are highly-experienced individuals that possess the following key traits that are essential for any home improvement project:

  • Construction Knowledge – General contractors are typically well-versed in all types of construction. They know how to create work schedules, apply for building codes, and handle the ordering of building materials. They also have supervisory skills over contractors and problem-solving techniques. 
  • A Network of Proven Subcontractors – With many years in the construction industry, general contractors have numerous business connections with proven subcontractors who can help you put all the pieces together in your project. 

Fortunately, it’s very possible to be your own general contractor. With the right knowledge, you can oversee your own project and ensure that it’s completed correctly and up to code.

What Skills are Needed to Be a General Contractor

Learning how to be your own general contractor isn’t a difficult task. In fact, many people handle their own home renovation projects just fine. If you’re going to be your own general contractor, then there are a variety of skills you must first master.

Skills are Needed to Be a General Contractor | Discount Kitchen Cabinets | Cabinet Select

These essential skills include:

  • Vision – If you want to run a successful project, you need to be able to see the finish and all of the obstacles in the way, while articulating this information to others.
  • Organization – Staying on top of your project means organizing receipts, schedules, and contracts. Delays always occur when key documents are misplaced.
  • Communication – You can’t expect others to read your mind. If you are working with other individuals, it’s best to clearly explain the who, what, when, where, why, and how when you need a job done.
  • Patience – Renovation projects take time, and many things can occur throughout. You need to make sure you have the patience to deal with frustrating issues that arise during your project.
  • Purchasing – General contractors oversee the purchase of all construction materials. This is a time-consuming process that requires pre-planning on your part.

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What are the Risks of Being a General Contractor?

General contractors endure a lot of stress during their jobs. If you want to be your own general contractor, there are certain risks that come with the territory, which include:

  • You face the responsibility of your project getting off course or falling apart. 
  • You can potentially waste hundreds and even thousands of dollars on delays and other mishaps. 
  • You can ruin your project with rookie mistakes if you don’t have prior construction experience. 

Learning how to be your own general contractor has its risks. If you are ready to accept these risks, then you’re well on your way to becoming a great general contractor.

Take Your First Step!

If you decide to become your own general contractor during your kitchen remodeling project, then you’re in luck. Cabinet Select provides an excellent marketplace of the most affordable kitchen cabinets you won’t find anywhere else.

If you’re ready to start, please read our guide on the 8 tools you need to install new kitchen cabinets.

Complete this Kitchen Design Form to design your own custom kitchen cabinets for your home.

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Chris Alexakis

Chris is Director of Product & Design here at CabinetSelect.com. He's certified as a Florida State Building Contractor (CBC1256670) with many years of construction experience. Most important, Chris is passionate about kitchen design – Whether you're building a new home or remodeling an old one, he has plenty of experience and the right tools, ideas and solutions to help create a beautiful kitchen in any space, large or small.

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