Can you? Yes. Should you? No. Unless you work in the construction industry and are familiar with contracts and coordination, the perceived savings of going it alone tend to evaporate quickly. While an optimistic "do-it-yourself" attitude is admirable, be mindful that these professions exist out of necessity. Take a quick test and see if you can answer 'yes' to the following questions:
1. Do I have 10-20 hours a week to dedicate to meeting with sub-contractors on site?
2. Am I tenacious enough to communicate effectively with professionals when we disagree?
3. Can I make decisions quickly and confidently?
4. Am I a good planner who remains organized from the beginning to the end of a project?
If you scored a 100, welcome to the world of construction management!
If not, a contractor could help you to save money, even though you are paying him/her 15%-20% on top of construction costs, and also consider that the contractor is saving you an immense, lengthy headache. Financially it’s generally a wash, and mentally, you are saving your sanity, which certainly has value as well!
Clients often ask me: "Can I purchase all the materials to help save on overall costs?" The answer is also yes, but let me add my two cents here. You will save on overall costs because your purchase of materials will reduce the percentage that the contractor tacks on material and labor. However, the contractor can purchase material with his/her trade discount. So where you may spend $5,000 on hardwood flooring flying solo, the contractor may pay $4200, and charge ...let's say... $840 in overhead, for a total of $5040, so you have saved yourself $40. Is it worth it to have to measure and estimate square footage and overage, coordinate the delivery, open the boxes to acclimate the wood to the moisture content of the house, and make any other preparations recommended by the manufacturer? I think most people would answer "not really". If you would do these tasks for $40 because you enjoy it, it could be time for a career switch, and again, welcome to the world of construction management!
BUT! There are some materials we do encourage our clients to purchase on their own, but be sure to review the contract with suppliers and opt for warranties. Some of those items are:
- decorative light fixtures
- plumbing fixtures
If you need help selecting these, our interiors studio can assist with selections and pricing.For more information about my company, Studio BKA, and the many ways we can help you with your project, please check out: www.studioBKA.com! If you have any questions you'd like to see answered in this series, send me an email at kim@studioBKA.com.