Printed from at 01:07 PM, Dec 8 2016
Talk » Renovation » Discussing 'renos with or without a GC'

renos with or without a GC


What we plan:
bathroom replace tub with whirlpool (yes, I know some of you don't like them, but I use daily) and new vanity. Some tile work may need to be done (the surround is white/ivory subway tile);
replace range, remove cabs over range and install hood;
refinish floors;
builtin bookcase we will probably have done outside of the gc, but may want to have the crown molding continued through the room.
Who has done renos in NYC with and without a gc? What are your thoughts? Thanks!


I would only recommend you not using a GC if you have done other projects prior to this one. You can go out and hire each trade but it can become overwhelming if you are not experienced. Little things like where to put the access panel for the electrical that is attached to your tub could become problematic. More so if one is not installed

Solid advice
If you plan to have significant mill work you will still need installation and integration.
When you do it the first time it comes out like your first try

For a project like yours I would recommend a GC. I agree with Primer 100%, I personally only did renovations without a GC once I was comfortable enough with experience working along side several projects with a GC. Good luck!

gc without a doubt. i have ordered my own appliances and it was a major discomfort. things just go wrong no matter how much due dillegence you do. next time around i would do NOTHING at all. it is NOT WORTH it. for example to make sure everything goes through the door, to make sure the delivey guys do no shlep you dw down a flight of stairs as if it was a bag of concrete white using service entry.

I had rather thought so. We've done other projects--WITH a GC!

I had no idea. I thought a GC was just a middleman who inflates the prices of his subcontractors. What exactly do they do?

Why can't I just hire a plumber, electrician, and carpenter? I assumed that we're all adults here. They should all know what needs to be done without a GC directing them, right?

Without a GC you are responsible for working out who is responsible for any damage one trade does to thework already completed by another and for resolving conflicts between them. Also, when all trades are scheduled based on an order of things being completed, you need to be the one dealing with all the juggling as one cannot go forward because the prior guy was delayed . This type of dominos falling due to one glitch will make you cry. I was happy to pay for it to be someone else's headache. Try keeping a project on schedule when you have to delay the plumber and he says he doesnt have any time to reschedule. You move heaven and earth to get the plumber rescheduled but then the tile guy gets the flu or the sink and tub delivery is delayed or the faucets come but are the wrong ones. Now the painters need to be resceduled too but that means the floors crew may need to be rescheduled. And those appliances you saved money on by ordering yourself come after you take time off from work to receive them (2 days because delivery just never comes the first day) but the stove is scratched and it takes about 50 phone calls to Gringer and Sons to fix the issue.

If you have time and stamina, you can surely do it. If you can afford tohire a great GC, DO IT, imo.

i'm sort of GCing a project with a GC in place and my friend overseeing the GC. there hasn't been a single sub that did the job correctly. out of 9 subs, only one did what was asked.

you need a GC who will be there in the morning and come back close to the end of each day to ensure that the work is progressing correctly. most GCs come the first day the sub shows up and then when expection is called. obviously, most inspections will fail and the GC will point the finger everywhere except for himself as he's being paid to make a few phone calls for $1K per pop.

My GC signed the excruciatingly detailed construction drawiings and specified materials etc as part of the contract. His fee was fixed. There were no $1000 calls. Payments were made to him in 8 installments during the reno at predetermined points of job completion. I made virtually no changes to contract drawings and reno so there was no debate about upcharges.

kw, you're misunderstanding. my current GC does so little that it seems like he expects to earn $1K per call. as far as my plans, etc, all of it is layed out and his subs bid on the details. an hour after they arrive, they forget that there are detailed plans, etc and start cutting every corner possible.

ab: Ugh! With a crew like that I don't see what good the GC is either. But the situation you describe is more a function of the crew than the general set up. Under my set up, none of them would be getting paid because they're failing to meet the benchmarks. If it got too out of hand I'd hire a new crew and at least be out the time but not the money. Our architect and GC worked fairly closely with me. I was on sight 2x a day to catch any little thing before it went too wrong and to keep a fire under everyone's feet, but the GC did organize everyone very efficiently and not a day went by without people working. Some phases appear to go must faster, but progress was always being made. On the one or two occasions there was conflict between the GC and me for whatever reason, the architect stepped in to earn her construction oversight fee and to resolve everything without me having to play bad cop.


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