Remodeling or restoring your own home has become a popular choice with the rising costs of housing. It offers increased equity and ultimate control over a project. There are a couple of ways an individual can remodel or renovate their home: using a General Contractor or a Project Manager. What are the differences between these two options? To answer this question, we must look at what each offers.

General Contractors

General Contractors assume responsibility for the entire project. They handle the permitting process, completing work, and ordering materials. The owner simply secures the financing or pays the contractor at regular intervals. Stress levels are minimal since the owner is not involved in day-to-day operations. However, these services come at a price. It is common to see General Contractors charging up to 20% of the total cost of the project. If you have the financial means to pay or finance this fee, a General Contractor may be the right choice for you.
A General Contractor is responsible for providing all of the material, labor, equipment (such as engineering vehicles and tools) and services necessary for the construction of the project. The General Contractor hires specialized subcontractors to perform all or portions of the construction work. Responsibilities may include applying for building permits, securing the property, providing temporary utilities on site, managing personnel on site, disposing or recycling of construction waste, monitoring schedules and cash flows, and maintaining accurate records.

Project Managers

The second option involves hiring a Project Manager. This individual will have residential construction experience, and will be on site throughout the project. He or she will find subcontractors and schedule them, order materials, and oversee the entire process. They may or may not actually participate in the construction process, but rather manage a group of individuals. They charge less than a General Contractor, but may not have ultimate control the way a General Contractor would.

The Project Manager’s role is to plan, execute, and finalize projects according to the deadline while keeping within budget. This includes coordinating all team members as well as any third-party contractors in order to complete projects according to plan. The Project Manager is also responsible for defining the project’s objectives and overseeing quality control of the project.

So, which one is right for you? It usually comes down to which one you can afford. Hiring a qualified General Contractor is the easiest option, but also the most expensive. Or, you may want ultimate control over the project – so working with a General Contractor may cause tension. A Project Manager is a viable alternative, but they also charge fees for their services. If you have little time to manage a project, a General Contractor may fit your needs best.

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