General contractors, on fair standards, tend to charge 20 to 30% of the actual property construction cost to pay themselves. If you are doing the math and if you have a big project in mind, the charge that should be earmarked for a general contractor might look big. This situation generally forces aspiring to-be property owners to review the following two alternatives:
- To be their own general contractor
- Choose a cheap general contractor
The alternative to being their own general contractor is often ruled out quickly as individuals learn how complex and time consuming any construction project is. Even builders with professional knowledge find it difficult to meet deadlines and the budget.
The option of choosing a cheap general contractor is something that most property owners fall prey to. There are several pitfalls to this option.
Shifting Project Deadlines
Imagine finding a general contractor who gives you a quote and deadline that seems too good to be true. If you come across such a situation, you can be almost certain that you will be promised multiple deadlines throughout the project duration.
We recently took a construction project which started with a one-month deadline and was never completed even after four months. The property owner in this situation found a cheap quote and had to pay big even when the project was not completed on time.
You are Signing Up for the Lowest Bid
Getting multiple quotes for a project and signing up for the lowest bid is a smart move. Even the government sticks to this strategy when placing projects out to bid. This strategy sounds good, right? The answer is no, there are certain things that you are missing or overlooking when signing up for the lowest bid.
This strategy works like a charm when buying a product. All you have to decide on is which product model to buy to perform research to find the cheapest retailer and you’ll get the same model regardless of the price.
But while choosing a construction contractor, keep in mind that you get what you are paying for. The lowest bid comes with several hidden hiccups including inexperienced subcontractors, unlicensed or untrained workers, or even workers paid in cash.
Needless to say, with the lowest bid, you place yourself in a precarious situation, and considering the amount of money involved, you are taking a big risk.
You are Caught in the Turmoil of Customizations
If you can cope up with frequently shifting deadlines, can you find peace with additional changes and fixes? This is exactly what you will come across while choosing a cheap general contractor.
A cheap general contractor often lacks the experience and vision to make the right choices. Judging the project progress consistently while aligning it with the goals and deadlines becomes another challenge.
This is where you will come across the need for backtracking to make changes and fixes to what was already completed. Looking at the initial bid that was given to you and the cost of all the changes that were made along the project will give you a massive headache.
Poor Work Quality
You don’t need experts to tell you that that the lowest bid comes with low quality work. This fact is often overlooked because of the individual’s budget constraint or confidence that they can keep a close eye on everything that is critical.
On most occasions, it is impossible to keep track of everything that seems to be critical for the project to ensure quality due to shifting deadlines and never-ending changes.
By signing up for the lowest bid, you are giving permission to your general contractor to start looking to cut costs from the get-go. Yes, your project might still look as you envisioned post-completion, however, keep in mind that subpar quality of work can always break your bank in the long run.
Signing up a general contractor who is not appropriately insured is another option that people who want to cut cost on construction sign up for.
The construction industry is one of the riskiest and accident-prone industries out there and thinking that nothing will go wrong is a gamble that you do not want to take. Considering the hefty bills and lawsuits that could follow, an uninsured contractor is not worth it.
If any worker gets injured on-site you are liable to pay for it. If your contractor is not insured things could spiral down the wrong direction quickly.
By choosing a cheap general contractor, are you confident that you will literally save ample finance on project completion? If you do, is it worth the time, money, and effort? If you have solid answers to these questions, you would definitely want to look more into the advantages of choosing an experienced general contractor.