Question: I have recently received a quote of $47,000 to do an extensive remodeling project on my home. An acquaintance, a carpenter, says he can do the job a lot cheaper if he worked for me as an owner/builder. Are there any problems in doing this?
Answer: If you are very well-versed in construction and know how to proceed, this might be a way for you to go. However, I would not advise this for most persons. As an owner/builder, you have all of the responsibilities.
Remember that a general contractor has cost overheads which you do not have. However, many of these are for your protection. The contractor must buy workers' compensation coverage. In certain categories of construction, such as roofing, workers' compensation can be as much as 35% of the payroll of the individuals doing the work.
Also, the legitimate home-improvement contractor will have public liability insurance to protect you against claims that might occur during construction and even afterward. The ability to hire adequate subcontractors and workmen to work on your project may not fall into your realm of expertise.