Jan 9, 2015
Building a home or remodeling can be a stressful, confusing process for everyone involved. A number of different parties may be contributing to the project, from designers and architects to contractors and specialists. Learn the roles and responsibilities of different home improvement professionals to find out who you should be looking for when building or remodeling a home.
General contractors companies or individuals who sign a contract with you and agree to manage all aspects of the project, from hiring and supervising subcontractors, to obtaining building permits, to supplying materials and equipment. The general contractor is responsible for pricing the project and ensuring that it is completed in a timely manner, as agreed upon by both parties.
Specialty contractors are primarily responsible for installing specific products, such as cabinets and fixtures. If you are remodeling a bathroom, for example, you probably want to hire a contractor that specializes in bathroom fixtures and plumbing, especially if you’re customizing everything.
Design/Build contractors typically offer all-in-one service, providing design and construction services, and oversee the building or remodeling project from start to finish.
Architects design homes, additions, and major renovations, and are typically responsible for getting the construction drawing completed with proper specifications. Many jurisdictions require architectural drawings to be reviewed to ensure the plans meet local codes, so the architect may also be responsible for applying for and securing permits.
Similar to the chicken and the egg, who should you bring aboard a project first – the architect or the contractor? Opinions vary about which home improvement professional to call first. Some say the architect comes first because you have to design a project before you can build it. An experienced architect is trained to resolve problems creatively, and can help define the project in ways that provide meaningful guidance for the design. The architect can also do site studies and help secure planning and zoning approvals.
It is also important to consider the fact that you will interact with a contractor on a regular basis, and the contractor will likely be in your home every day – possibly for several months – depending on the scope of your project. Many contractors have in-house design services, or work directly with several architects, and can possibly offer better price and integration between design and implementation.
For more information on choosing the right home improvement professional to handle your project, contact the Hilton Head Island Real Estate Brokers. We know a variety of contractors in the Hilton Head area, and would love to point you in the right direction.
If you want to make a little piece of The Island your own, you need more than just a road map and a REALTOR. You need a partner who can make things happen.
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