According to a survey by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were 1,339,000 privately-owned house completions in 2022. Concerningly, only some people who start a house-building project see it to completion. One factor contributing to a project’s success or failure is the service providers and contractors who manage your project.
Further, in the age of DIY, more people are picking home projects instead of hiring professionals. Others opt to manage the project and hire different service providers as the project evolves. That’s why someone may wonder: do you need a contractor to build a house?
A contractor directly manages and engages construction workers; therefore, they are the link between you and other service providers. A general contractor will typically do the following:
- Hire and manage subcontractors and other workers
- Order and manage the delivery of materials
- Match the project with the client’s budget, expectations, and quality
- Obtain appropriate building permits
- Guarantee on-site worker safety
- Act as a liaison between the client and the architect
Apart from being a construction contractor, you will need other services to complete your housing project. In this article, you’ll learn:
- Five reasons you need a contractor to build your house
- Ten services you need to complete your house-building project
Why You Need a Contractor to Build Your House
Do you need a contractor to build your house? The short answer is it’s highly recommended. While some people can shoulder the hefty work of supervising a house-building project, it’s a massive project that needs proper planning and coordination between teams. Therefore, you do need a contractor to build your house. Here are five reasons why.
Ensure Compliance with Local Building Codes: Building a house is a legal process, and you’ll need to gain some permits and comply with government regulations on building codes. A contractor has overseen many projects and thus will be careful to comply with the law.
Further, their reputation and license as contractors depend on them complying with legal requirements so that they will avoid not complying.
Avoid costly mistakes: You could do all the contractor’s work and save some money. However, the probability of a costly mistake is quite high.
A contractor will help you avoid costly mistakes by doing it right the first time, following standard procedures. One study in the U.K. by IronMongery Direct found that it costs about $4145 to repair a DIY mistake.
Ensure the Safety of Workers: Another critical reason you need a contractor to build your house is to ensure your workers’ safety. If you’re not trained in the construction industry or safety protocols, you might not realize when workers’ safety is in jeopardy, but a trained contractor would. Safety failures can cost you thousands in personal injury claims.
To Get Bank Financing: If you plan on getting financing for your home-building project, you might need to have a contractual agreement before a financier grants you a loan. While you could get an option for a self-build loan, most loan providers require you not to name yourself the contractor unless you’re a qualified builder.
To Manage the Mental Labor of Building a House: Building a house is mentally and physically draining. A contractor’s work is to think and plan for your project.
However, if you choose to do the contractor’s work, you’ll have your professional and family life to think about while simultaneously managing a mentally-engaging project. Therefore, do you need a contractor to build a house? Yes, if you want peace of mind.
Services You Need to Build a House
Apart from the general contractor, you’ll need other services to complete your building. Do you need a contractor to build a house? Yes, if you need to have someone manage all the sub-contractors.
Before the house is completely different, service providers from electricians to plumbers ensure it’s a livable and beautiful space. Here are ten services your house will need before it’s complete.
1. Trained Builders
One of the most obvious services you’ll need is custom home builders. According to Zippia, about 48 641 builders are currently employed in the U.S. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about a labor shortage. However, it would be best to have trained builders, not novices joining the field. If you have novices, they should be working under someone.
Your contractor will most likely have deep networks in the home building industry and can get the best-trained home builders for you. According to the National Association of Home Builders, a professional builder has good communication skills, hand-to-eye coordination, and manual dexterity. They are physically strong and good in memory. They also ensure good use of materials to prevent wastage.
2. Professional Roofing
A house is incomplete without a roof. A roof protects you from extreme temperatures and invaders and keeps your home private. Not everyone can do proper roofing.
Do you need a contractor to build a house? Yes, if you want professional roofing. The contractor will act as a liaison between roof technicians and you. They can even guide you on the best materials to use on your roof.
Building a new house would be the best time to pick durable but low-maintenance materials such as asphalt shingles. Research the materials you could use on your roof, then consult with your contractor. They may even use their connections in the industry to get you the best deals in the market.
3. Connection to Municipal or Private Water
Your house needs water to be a livable space. According to the U.S. Department of Interior, an average family uses 80-100 gallons of water. Therefore, you need to have a reliable source of clean water, either municipal or private. Your contractor can subcontract local plumbing companies to connect your house to a regular water source.
Your house will need well-connected water fixtures and appliances such as a water heater, taps, and drain pipes. Proper installation is essential to reduce your maintenance costs.
You might need to do repairs such as well pump repair in the future, but it’s best to reduce the likelihood of failure as much as possible. Your plumber should advise on the best materials for fixtures.
Do you need a contractor to build a house? Yes, if you want a proper connection to energy. You could choose from multiple energy sources, for example, the national grid, power generators, or solar energy.
Your contractor will not necessarily do the connecting work, but they will ensure your house has an energy source depending on your preferences and needs. They’ll do all the paperwork if you need a connection with the main grid.
Once your house has energy, electrical fixtures ensure it gets to where it’s needed. That’s why you’ll need trained electricians. They’ll ensure each room has the right wiring.
It’s essential to get the work done right first because redoing wiring might be challenging once the house is complete. The contractor will ensure the electrician meets the architect’s vision of the house.
5. Heat and Cooling
Your house will be more livable and comfortable with air conditioning. According to a U.S. Energy Information Agency survey, 90% of U.S. homes use heating and air conditioning. Therefore, your contractor might work with a local HVAC company to equip your house with HVAC units.
Proper HVAC installation will keep your house comfortable and save you from high energy bills. According to the U.S. Office of Efficiency and Renewable Energy, you can reduce energy use by 30% by using Energy Star-rated HVAC. A qualified contractor will advise you to use energy-saving air conditioners and even help you buy them from reputable suppliers.
6. Additional Services
Why do you need a contractor to build a house if you can do it yourself? You need a contractor to help you find additional services to complete your house. Once your house is up and running, you’ll need services like chimney sweeping, drain inspection and roofing maintenance. While such services may seem trivial, they’re essential for keeping your home organized and homey.
Other critical services you may need are security and internet services. You may get referrals from friends and family, but a contractor may have helpful connections in the home security industry. Internet connection will make your home smart since you can operate many appliances online.
7. Regular Maintenance
A new house is like a new appliance. Everything works. However, some things may have issues in a short time, and you may need septic system repairs and roofing maintenance. Others require maintenance even when everything is working.
You need regular maintenance for the following reasons:
- To prevent problems from becoming worse
- To save on the costs of more elaborate repairs
- To increase the longevity of systems and house aspects
- To qualify for warranty claims
For example, you may need to do HVAC system maintenance even when everything seems to be working. You may need repairs and maintenance, such as foundation repair service for other aspects of the house, such as walls and pavements.
8. Interior Design and Decoration Services
Why do you need a contractor to build a house? Because they will manage the house’s interior design and decoration. Sometimes the exterior and foundational processes get priority when building a house. However, it’s the small details that give your home a pop.
You could have a sturdy, well-made house but get it all wrong in interior design. The contractor can have both short-term and long-term visions of the house and will sub-contract interior designers who will make the house stand out.
Interior design services will include
- Collaborating with architects and engineers to develop floor and plumbing plans
- Outline specifications for materials used in lighting, water fixtures, and kitchen countertops
- Help in sourcing materials that meet the client’s budget
9. Landscaping Services
Landscaping may seem like a service you only need to make your home look beautiful. However, it plays a critical role in increasing the functionality of your home. Here are some of the reasons why landscaping services are essential:
- To preserve the environment
- To clean the air in your home
- To provide a space for getting sunlight
- To beautify your outdoor space
- To provide a space to relax
A general contractor will help you start landscaping before the home is finished. You’ll need to get a landscape services provider who can do regular landscaping so you can continue enjoying the benefits after the house is complete.
10. Painting Service
Another reason you may answer yes to: do you need a contractor to build a house? It’s because you need painting services for your house. The general contractor will subcontract painting services and ensure they match the client’s and architects’ vision of the house. Here are five reasons your home needs painting:
- To beautify your home
- To protect your walls and interior from pest infestation
- To reduce dirt accumulation on surfaces
- To increase your home’s real estate value
- To brighten the interior of your home
While you could have different services working independently on projects, a contractor will manage all your sub-contractors, including painting service providers. All will be working with a common vision.
Building a house is a mentally and physically engaging project that requires professionalism. For someone asking: do you need a contractor to build a house? The simple answer is yes. While you could build a house without one, the process will be simpler, safer, and cost-saving if you get a contractor.
You also know the other services you’ll need to complete the house. The list is non-exhaustive but covers the most critical services you need to complete your house. A general contractor will manage all the sub-contractors, which makes your work easier.