If you have ever owned a home, chances are good that at some point in your life you have looked into the possibility of hiring a general contractor. You might have had renovations or repairs that needed to be done, or the thought may have occurred to you that it would be nice to hire out all of your future needs for work around your house.
There seems to be a lot of mystery around the idea of hiring a contractor, with many people having little understanding about how they work or what their job is.
Here are some myths that we have run across on more than one occasion when dealing with home renovation and related projects. It’s good to bust them so you can know exactly what you’re getting into next time it comes up.
Myth #1: Once you hire a general contractor, he/she will tell you what needs to improve your home- whether it’s painting or new flooring or whatever else- and *you* will have no say in the matter.
Truth: General contractors are simply individuals who are hired by others to do an agreed upon set of tasks on the other party’s property. It is true that they are usually more skilled than an average person in one or two areas, but they need input from you to complete your task properly. You can choose to do some of the work yourself if you desire, and tell the contractor what you would like them to do.
Myth Two: All general contractors will rip you off- either charging too much for their work or doing shoddy jobs at best.
Truth: Anyone who has had a bad experience with someone once is likely to think all people in that line of work act like this person did, even though it might not be fair nor entirely accurate. If you take some time to find out the nature of the companies before choosing one (and you may choose more than one contractor for different portions of your project), then it will be easier to weed out the good from the bad.
Myth Three: Your insurance company will not cover any damages done if a general contractor is hired and he/she makes a mistake.
Truth: While this can happen, it’s actually very rare. The vast majority of times when people claim that their insurance didn’t cover them after an accident was due to either false information on their part or because they did not understand how home-based policies worked. Your homeowner’s policy should cover you whether you hire someone else in or do some tasks yourself, but don’t just take my word for it- check your own policy and ask an insurance agent to clarify any concerns that you have.
Myth Four: If you hire a general contractor, he/she will do all the work himself and not hire any other subcontractors to help out.
Truth: This is just flat-out wrong. There are some jobs in which this is true (such as smaller ones), but in larger projects or those with multiple tasks it’s simply not feasible for one person to do them all alone within a reasonable time frame. Subcontractors also cost less than hiring an individual professional for each task would, so don’t be surprised if your contractor tells you they cannot take on everything by themselves and instead need to call in help at times.
Myth Five: All general contractors charge outrageous prices and must be avoided at all costs.
Truth: It is true that some people take advantage of the lack of knowledge most homeowners have when they hire them and charge more than is necessary, but this isn’t always the case. If you think your contractor is trying to rip you off, don’t just go with them- ask around or do some research before hiring someone new
General contractors are hired to complete certain tasks on another person’s property, they need input from you in order to complete your task efficiently, not all general contractors will rip you off (but be careful), homeowner’s insurance should cover the home owner whether he/she hires someone or not, subcontractors are cheaper than hiring individual professionals for all tasks, and some general contractors charge outrageous prices while others are more reasonable.
Are You Looking for a General Contractor You Can Trust?
If you’re considering a whole house, kitchen or bathroom remodel, New Key Construction, based in Walnut Creek California, is here to serve you. Our passion is to be the home for talented craftsmen who deliver beautiful projects to clients throughout the SF East Bay Area! Choosing the right general contractor for your project can be difficult, but we make things easy by focusing on Your Experience, Client Communication, Cutting Edge Technology and Pushing Our Design and Build Limits! If we could have one goal, it would be that when someone you know is looking for a contractor you highly recommend our company because of the experience we deliver for you! Check out our website, our portfolio and our reviews to learn more – or give us a call today.