Contractors can make the process of completing a home remodeling project quite pleasant…or a total nightmare. So choose carefully. And if you choose to hire unlicensed contractors, be sure to know the applicable laws in your state…as well as the potential risks and liabilities you are assuming.
Even if you prefer to do it yourself (DIY), there will be times when you need the services of outside contractors. One way to save money is to act as your own general contractor and deal with the subcontractors and skilled labor directly — although you should be prepared to handle lots of associated headaches. You can try beating the bushes for reasonably-priced, high-quality workers on your own. It has worked well for me. For example, I learned that our hard-working maintenance gardeners were also competent at simple fencing, plumbing, irrigation, grading, and brickwork. Ask around through your network of friends and neighbors. Also, I’ve met good workers by chatting up the crowd on my trips to the local home improvement store (be sure to ask for references, though!).
However, I wouldn’t suggest doing it this way on large renovations or new construction — it’s just too much for an amateur to handle. But it has worked for me on the smaller updating, upgrading and enhancement projects that I focus on (although I’ve had my share of bad experiences).
Beware that if the workers you hire are not licensed, bonded and insured or if they are not legal residents, you might run the … Read More