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What contractors do you need to build a home?

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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.

1. Architect

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.

Average cost: $125-$250 per hour (architect); $50-$200 per hour (interior designer); $100-$200 per hour (structural engineer)

2. Excavator

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.

Average cost: $40-$150 per hour

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.

Average cost: $2-$3 per square foot

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.

Average cost: $7-$16 per square foot

5. Roofer

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.

Average cost: $5,700-$12,000

6. Electrician

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.

Average cost: $50-$100 per hour

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.

Average cost: $5,000-$10,000

8. Plumber

Plumbers install pipes for water, sewer and drainage throughout your home. These jobs can be done before, during or after HVAC systems are installed.

Average cost: $7,500-$15,000

9. Drywaller

Drywallers finish your home’s interior and exterior walls and the ceilings once they have been insulated.

Average cost: $5,000-$30,000

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.

Average cost: $10,000-$35,000

11. Finish carpenter

Finish carpenters generally install doors and windows, trims, moldings, baseboards, shelving, bookcases, cabinetry and other interior components of your home.

Average cost: $5,000-$20,000 (doors), $3,000-$9,600 (windows)

12. Painter

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.

Average cost: $1,800-$4,000 (exterior painting); $4,000-$11,000 (interior painting)

13. Landscaper

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.

Average cost: $50-$100 per hour

Home Construction Contractors at a Glance

Contractor Duties Average cost
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
Roofer Installs roofing $5,700-$12,000
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
Written by
Allison Martin
Allison Martin's work began over 10 years ago as a digital content strategist, and she’s since been published in several leading financial outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, MoneyTalksNews, Investopedia, Experian and Credit.com.
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