This is how most installers handle an issue that arises during an installation. This can happen with any trade. The gas connection must be moved before the electric can be upgraded. Or, the lighting must be removed and drywall repaired before the wall can be tiled. This usually results in the client working with multiple contractors, managing the contractors’ schedules, juggling multiple crew schedules and work days. The client must also deal with call-offs and no-shows which cause delays for the multiple contractors involved.
The difference between an installer and a general contractor (GC) is that a GC has the ability and the skills to manage every trade involved with a project. Also, a GC typically has a list of qualified contacts for every trade. A GC is able to hire, manage, background check, verify insurance, warranty, and pay each trade without the client’s direct involvement. This gives the client a full-spectrum project without the hassle of getting deeply involved in the project.
A general contractor is even beneficial for single-trade projects. For example, a roof may seem like a single-trade project. However, if the roof is removed and rotten rafters are found, you may be headed for trouble. Without a framer in the wings, the roofer must tarp the roof and leave. Meanwhile, the homeowner must find a framer for the rotten rafters and then order materials. The framer may not be instantly available, so the roof may be exposed for a long period of time, risking more damage. Once the framing is repaired, the roofer must then be rescheduled. This may cause further delays.
Replacing countertops can be another risky endeavor. Without a plumber on call, most countertop installers are not qualified to disconnect or reconnect sink faucets or drains. The risk is high for leaks and a qualified plumber is required. I have seen the result of a handyman doing plumbing outside of his skill level and then, consequently, a homeowner incurring costly repairs due to a major leak. The repairs exceeded the cost of having a quality plumber scheduled at the beginning of the countertop project.
Every trade affects another. Every time a homeowner needs a repair or upgrade, he or she should be prepared for unseen and unknown issues which may present themselves.
So, to answer the question…yes, every project does need a GC. Homeowners have two choices for the position: hire a licensed, qualified GC for the project or become the GC themselves. If you are willing to take days off work, spend hours online and on the phone, and take on the risk for each tradesman, then you can definitely save some money by bypassing the GC. However, if you truly want professional, quality projects completed with less issues and less headaches, give me a call.