It’s tempting to act as your own construction manager and general contractor on a remodeling project and to choose individual contractors for each trade.
But while you could save 10% of the project cost up front, the work might be poorly coordinated, take longer and have cost overruns, says John A. Salat, a licensed architect in Orange County, Calif. You also have to factor in the cost of your own time and energy.
A better system is to first hire an architect, then hire a general contractor who subcontracts work out to specialists. Subcontractors have a greater incentive to do their best work under a general contractor because it means getting repeat business, Salat says.
The architect’s designs incur an extra cost, but they help you get competing bids from different contractors, lowering construction costs and the overall project cost. The architect can also serve as a construction manager and oversee your general contractor, and has an expert eye for spotting mistakes. You don’t.