If you are building a home, you most likely will need to find someone to build it for you. If you are not building the home yourself, then there are basically two options… you can hire a general contractor or hire a builder. While many people may assume that these two are the same, there is actually a difference. In this article we will breakdown the difference between a general contractor and a builder.
What is the difference between a general contractor and builder?
The main difference between a general contractor and a builder is: a builder focuses on additions and new builds and will have more expertise and typically a crew; while a general contractor will typically have to hire a lot of the jobs out and will not have a crew.
What is a general contractor?
A general contractor is often someone who has multiple skills and will work on repairs, remodels, and new builds. Typically general contractors are a one man team and will hire out parts of a job that they cannot do. General contractors are great especially if you build a trusted relationship with them. They are great to have on speed dial incase anything goes wrong.
What is a builder?
A builder generally refers to someone who focuses on additions and new builds. Builders generally have entire crews and focus on bigger projects. Builders are great to use on larger projects as you will have only one company to deal with and gain from their expertise.
Things to consider when choosing between a builder and general contractor:
There are different benefits and ultimately it will be up to you. Often if you have someone you trust and have worked with before, that is the best one to use. Here are some other things to consider:
The type of house being built.
Different houses have different complexities. The more complex the house, the more the expertise of a professional builder will come in handy. Log home kits, which are fairly easier to put together can easily be assembled by a contractor. However, it is important to note that many builders will also have their own equipment. Overall the more complex your build, the more you should use a builder. If you are building something fairly simple and basic, then a general contractor may work the best.
Timeframe for the build.
This can go both ways. A builder will generally have a crew and the expertise to build your home much faster. A builder will also typically work on one big project at a time and may be hard to get an early start date. A general contractor will be able to get started earlier, but will have to assemble a team of electricians, plumbers, and help. You may want to check with both depending on the timeline that you would like.
Expertise and advice.
Someone who is doing one thing only like a builder will generally have more expertise and advice. Builders generally have a vast understanding of blueprints/plans and will be able to spot if something is wrong. They may also have suggestions that will help prevent problems down the road. All of this expertise will come from them constantly building and learning from other peoples mistakes. Someone like a general contractor who often does repairs and remodels may not be as readily to advise on things like foundations and roofing.
Overall using a general contractor or using a builder will depend on your preference. If you consider the things above and who you know, then you should make the right decisions. Another option is to ask the advice of your manufacturer. Log home companies like The Top Log Home Manufactures will often have builder who specialize in log homes to recommend.