Why you might NOT want to be your own GC.

Are you doing housing reconstruction yourself or hiring a mix of contractors? There are professional General Contractors (GCs) to use that can save you a lot of time and frankly, unnecessary suffering.

I recently did my own closet makeover… but in my opinion, that’s about as far as it should go in terms of DIY design and “general self-contracting” in a home.

It’s always a good idea to have a designer look at your project, but you’ll still want a GC, in my opinion. To keep things simple, let a dedicated contracting professional lead the way.

Here are my top 10 reasons not to be your own general contractor:

  1. You need to know how to make sure the work is up to code, done right, and safe for all involved.
  2. You need to know which professionals to use.
  3. You’ll fare better if the partners working on the project have been thoroughly vetted by the GC and/or have worked with the GC before.
  4. Electrical work is not a DIY area today, and trying to do it yourself could actually pose a fire hazard.
  5. Plumbing is not a DIY area today, either, as it requires highly special knowledge and tools.
  6. If you have design related questions, your contractor or subcontractor won’t have an answer, they’re looking to you or the GC for instruction.
  7. The contractors are there to do the work; they don’t necessarily have a design eye.
  8. Building decisions can quickly get overwhelming — think especially about the myriad cabinetry and hardware details as well as the overall layout.
  9. Professional designers work well alongside professional GCs.
  10. General contractors take care of the licenses and permits for you!


That last one is worth its weight in paperwork, for sure.

Whatever you decide, I wish you all the best for your next housing rehab project.