Custom Home Building With a General Contractor

There are a lot of professionals in the home building industry. Many are super knowledgeable and skilled in the various building trades. The General Contractor (GC) is typically the builder in charge of the project. But, how do you use his skills and experience and retain control yourself?People sometimes mistake my writing and advice to be saying that I don’t like GCs but this is not the case. I favor the Owner Builder, yes, but it doesn’t mean I dismiss the contractor.Question: Can we build our home with a General Contractor and still be an Owner Builder?Answer: When you relinquish your project to a General Contractor (GC) you are not being a true Owner Builder. You have decided to turn your project over to a Builder, giving the builder control over your project and this can limit your choices and cost you more.Through my teachings, we support true Owner Builders. We believe that much of the reason for the poor reputations of builders is due to the imbalance of power due primarily to inadequate contracts and agreements. The builders hold all the cards and the home owners or clients often get taken advantage of because of this imbalance. It doesn’t have to be this way.A Better General Contractor Agreement Makes the DifferenceSome Owner Builders, deciding that they want the GC to be involved, will hire them as their Home Building Coach instead of the “builder in charge.”This is an excellent approach that can cost less, allow them to keep more control over the project and still get the experience, expertise, and contacts that a good builder can provide.GC’s can make excellent Home Building Coaches if they accept this concept. Many don’t, however. Because of this, you may need to look elsewhere. Here are some other ideas:
Retired General Contractors who want to stay connected to the business
Architects and home designers who have a system & industry contacts
Subcontractors who are specifically trained as coaches
Other trained industry professionals
You certainly can turn the job over to a GC, but if you want more control as an Owner Builder, and you want to save money and enjoy the process, then hire a home building coach.Even if it is a General Contractor.