Retiring in Sequim or Port Angeles? Many retirees have not found that perfect floor plan in the existing inventory of homes for sale, so they are considering having their own home built. What next?
A homeowner can build their own home or act as their own general contractor, but is that a good idea? Will you save money and get a quality home built the way you want it built? Why can’t a homeowner simply find out who the best subcontractors are and hire them to do the job?
Playing golf looks pretty easy. Why can’t a beginner just beat Tiger Woods? Michael Jordan may be the best basketball player in history, but why can’t anyone tall and athletic go one-on-one with Michael?
What’s so hard about building a house? It’s not exactly an athletic event. The answer is much longer than we have space here. I want to touch on three significant reasons to hire a GOOD general contractor.
Many retirees have been planning their dream home for years, and have looked at hundreds of house plans, options, materials, and compared costs. You can purchase a nice floor plan, or you can hire an architect to design a beautiful home. I’ve worked with both architects and builders, and here are some thoughts worth considering.
1. The first issue is cost. A good general contractor who builds quality custom homes brings a wealth of experience to the table in design and the selection of materials. He can look at a floor plan and suggest ways to make the refinements you want for your perfect home, and he can also help you select materials that might be much less expensive than your first choice while achieving the desired quality result. This is important, because architects are not typically tuned into the cost of materials as builders are who do this work every day. An architect is focused on his design, and he understandably has a lot of pride in his work, but he is not necessarily designing with the goal of saving you every dollar he can on materials or the design itself.
2. The second issue is quality. A good general contractor maintains quality control during the entire construction phase of your home, and that includes quality control over the materials used and the quality of work of the subcontractors and their employees. Without a lifetime of experience doing just that, you would be well advised not to attempt to be your own project supervisor. Without a trained eye, you won’t know what to watch for. One other thought on this issue. Some assume that the county or city building department will be supervising to watch for code compliance and quality, but that is definitely not their job, and they won’t do it. Code compliance is important, but they have checklists on the code and the quality or lack thereof of the construction or the materials is not within their authority or interest.
3. The third issue is honesty and fairness. A general contractor who has built many homes will have a discount contract with the lumber company and other suppliers, and an honest builder will tell you about these discounts and even pass them on to you. These discounts can amount to 10% or 15% off retail you will pay directly if you act as your own general. I should add here that if you do act as you own general and hire subcontractors, there are subs who will take advantage of you, and you will pay much more to that sub or subs than your general contractor would have paid.
There is one builder I highly recommend in Sequim and Port Angeles. He has built homes here since 1981, has an incredible customer satisfaction rate (the highest), does get volume discounts, and knows how to pass savings on to you and keep design costs down. His name is Rick Anderson and he does have a website at Anderson Homes, LLC.
Last Updated on June 15, 2009 by Chuck Marunde