Subcontractors are craftsmen who specialize in one trade like carpentry or masonry. They are called “subcontractors” because their obligation is normally to the general contractor instead of the owner.
If you wanted to have an office building built, you would hire a general contractor to do the job.In the course of home building, he subcontracts much of the work. When you are the owner builder, the subcontractors work for you!
DOING YOUR OWN WORK
Doing some of your own work is certainly one of the ways you can save some money on your home.Just look at the list of things to be done. What can you do? Can you paint? Hang wallpaper? Are you willing to do the necessary clean-up? Can your kids help? Is your brother-in-law a plumber? Do you have any favors due? It’s time to collect!
HAVE A BUILDING PARTY
How about organizing a party with friends and relatives to get you over a big hump . . . like a “help the Jones finish their deck party” or a “help the Jones paint their house party.
”Often, when people know you are an owner builder, they will get behind you and give some support, both moral and physical, that they wouldn’t normally give to someone who is just buying a home. If this is a one time venture for you, milk this technique for all it’s worth - it can save you some big bucks!
However, even if you plan to do some of your own work, you should get quotes for having it done by competent subcontractors. In the first place, you’ll never know exactly what you’ve saved unless you have a completed Cost Estimate. Also, something may come up that prevents you from doing the work you had planned to do. In this case, you’ll have some subcontractors already lined up to call.
The Subcontractor List
Here is a list of work areas that might require a subcontractor on your job.
Masonry (Concrete Block, Brick, or Stone Mason)
Concrete Flat Work (Slabs, Drives, and Patios)
Exterior Siding and Trim
Of course there may be others. And you might not need all of these.
The time to make initial contact with the subcontractors that you’ll be using is when you are tying down your construction costs for your Cost Estimate.
You might as well know right now that here is where you’ll have most of your problems in building your own home - in finding and dealing with subcontractors.