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You’re thinking about building a house or gut-renovating an existing one. What sort of professionals do you need–what sort of contractors should you call on?
“There are many types of contractors you can hire to make home improvements or build a new home. For smaller projects, you may only need to hire a single tradesman, such as a plumber, electrician and a roofer,” says Ken Byler, owner of Easy Roof Solutions, a Phoenix, Arizona-based contractor. “When it comes to new home construction, it is important that you find a reputable and experienced contractor that you can trust to deliver on their promises. A construction company that has a good track record and is able to provide references from previous clients is a good place to start.”
You may want to hire a general contractor for big jobs. This person or company will coordinate the entire efforts of various tradespeople on your project.
“In most cases, I would recommend hiring a general contractor experienced in new construction to complete the project. I would look at the contractor’s previous track record of homes sold and, if possible, speak with someone who has lived in a home for several years built by your contractor of choice,” Bill Samuel, owner of Blue Ladder Development, a Chicago-area home buying company.
But if you choose to coordinate the project on your own, this guide provides insight into the types of professionals you may want to employ.
Architects design the structure of your home, concentrating on its size, shape and exterior. They create the blueprints and coordinate with interior designers and structural engineers to finalize the building plans and layout of the property. The documents are then presented to the city to secure the permits needed to commence construction.
Before construction can begin on your home, it’s necessary to prepare the site where it will be built. Excavators are responsible for clearing the land and finishing the lot, so it’s connected to the municipality’s electric grid and water line.
3. Concrete contractor
These contractors lay the concrete slab on which your home will be built. If you plan to add a driveway, sidewalk, stairs, fireplace or any other concrete fixture to your home, you can also use a concrete contractor or mason to get the job done.
4. House framer
House framers come in once the foundation of the home is intact. Their role is to construct the home’s shell with the material you select.
As the name suggests, these contractors install the roof on your new home. The roof installation is usually completed during the framing phase of the construction project.
Before the drywall is installed, electricians install the components to ensure the current flows properly and safely through your home. This includes wiring, switches and outlets used for lights, ceiling fans, appliances and other systems that are powered by electricity.
7. HVAC contractor
HVAC (short for heating, ventilation and air conditioning) contractors are in charge of installing your home’s cooling and heating systems — both the equipment and the ductwork that allows the air to circulate throughout the structure. These systems are installed once the framing of the home is complete.
Plumbers install pipes for water, sewer and drainage throughout your home. These jobs can be done before, during or after HVAC systems are installed.
Drywallers finish your home’s interior and exterior walls and the ceilings once they have been insulated.
10. Flooring contractor
Whether you choose carpet, tile, hardwood or laminate, a flooring contractor will install it for you. The flooring contractor comes in to do their work after the drywall is complete.
11. Finish carpenter
Finish carpenters generally install doors and windows, trims, moldings, baseboards, shelving, bookcases, cabinetry and other interior components of your home.
A painter will prime your exterior and interior walls and apply one or two coats of paint to make them shine. Painting is typically one of the last steps in the home-building process.
Some homeowners choose to install sprinkler systems, plant shrubbery, lay sod, and perform all the related landscaping duties on their own. Otherwise, you’ll need to hire a landscaper to do the work for you.
Home Construction Contractors at a Glance
|Architect||Designs and creates blueprints for the home||$125-$250 per hour|
|Interior designer||Help design the interior layout so it’s functional for the homeowner||$50-$200 per hour|
|Structural engineer||Draft up engineering plans for the construction project||$100-$200 per hour|
|Excavator||Prepares the home sit for construction||$50-$150 per hour|
|Concrete contractor||Lays the concrete slab for the home||$2-$3 per square foot|
|House framer||Constructs the shell of the home||$7-$16 per square foot|
|Electrician||Installs wiring, switches and outlets||$50-$100 per hour|
|HVAC contractor||Installs air conditioning and heating systems||$5,000-$10,000|
|Plumber||Installs pipes for water, sewer and draining||$7,500-$15,000|
|Drywaller||Finishes exterior and interior walls||$5,000-$30,000|
|Flooring contractor||Installs flooring||$10,000-$35,000|
|Finish carpenter||Installs doors, windows, trims, moldings, baseboard, shelving, bookcases and cabinetry||$8,000-$29,600|
|Painter||Paints the interior and exterior of the home||$5,800-$15,000|
|Landscaper||Installs sprinkler systems, plants and sod||$50-$100 per hour|