Paying a good general contractor for his services should be a win-win; you derive better pricing - as his intimate knowledge of the industry means he gains best prices - a value that is likely to be equal to or greater than his project management fee. An added bonus is that the project comes in on time and at the anticipated quality.
The end result should be a client-builder relationship that is amicable. Too many times we hear of builders who build "quality" homes.....but at what cost? Frequently the client and builder are no longer on speaking terms, yet it is considered the builder did a good job!
Many General Contractors have matured into that role from being a framer. It makes sense...they have excellent on-site knowledge, they have drive and confidence and typically can think well on their feet and fix problems. Typically though they find it difficult to put down the tools and pro-actively plan.
What these ex-framers can also lack is project life-cycle experience in other aspects of a build including contracts, foundations, finishing and cabinetry, tiling, mechanical and electrical etc. Given the continual development with some of these trades, some builders can be at the mercy of whatever those sub-contractors tell them. While there is a place for goodwill, the balance must also be that the client's needs are foremost, making a living should be the motto, not making a killing.
Many General Contractors can also lack a formal planning background and hence the fixing issues becomes their key to success. It is far better to be proactively planning than playing the hero (but possibly less fun).
Finally, don't allow experience to fool you, just because a builder has been building for many years, it doesn't necessarily mean he has been doing it right. What he may have is experience in doing it wrong, or to be more politcally correct, 80% right and 20% not quite right. Remember, at the end of the day the client and builder need to get what they wanted; a home at the right price and a builder who makes a living.
Everyone has to make compromises when it comes to building, regardless how wealthy they are. It is far better to have money at the end of the project to spend on a better range cooker ad a larger hot-tub etc.
If you are a builder that may fall into one of the categories above, consider working with partners like Brecan Homes who can assist in the planning of your the projects, you will be outsourcing a large headache and dramatically reducing last-minute panics. This will allow you to focus your valuable time and efforts on productive and pre-emptive work. Save fixing problems to when it is really needed and don't allow it to become your main activity, you may find you can build houses quicker and either build more or spend time doing the fun stuff in life.
If you are a prospective home owner and are going to work with a builder who has a great reputation as a go-getter and potentially fits the bill as a hero builder, consider suggesting to him/her that he partners with a company like Brecan Homes that can assist in the planning and estimating. It will save you money, guaranteed. If you are considering using a contractor who has a great reputation and experience, make sure that reputation is for cost-effective building.
If you are an experienced and well-rounded general contactor with no gaps in your knowledge or skills ets, then consider talking to Brecan about our competitive package rates. We are confident you will not buy cheaper, period, and we will fix price that at no additional cost.
© Brecan Buildings Supplies Ltd, 13 Kutenai Road Fernie, BC, V0B1M5