Should a NEW Investor use a General Contractor in Chicago?

5 Replies | Chicago, Illinois

Hey everyone, do you guys recommend using General Contractors when working on your first few deals or should you do it yourself and hire each contractor separately? What is the pros and cons between the two options for a beginner? 

@Nathaniel M Cooper I personally have used subs for everything and always GC the project myself at my apartments in the Chicago suburbs. With that being said, you have to have a flexible schedule to pull this off. It also depends what kind of project you are doing. If you are turning an apartment, I think it makes sense to sub it all out. If you are gutting a flip, that is a different story!

What kind of project are you looking at doing?

@John Warren , Sorry if I wasn't specific. I'm currently new and gathering information so there is nothing in the pipe line just yet but i'm looking at single family homes first. Nothing too big, no apartments yet.

The primary reason i'm asking is for pricing. GC versus not using one. Since not using one is cheaper (So they say) should a beginner do that or should they hire a GC until they understand how to do it themselves?

@Nathaniel M Cooper you will need to have a more specific scenario to have an answer. As a new investor, sometimes it could actually be more expensive not to use a GC. A good GC will know how to get construction done right, on time and on budget. If your project is too large it may make sense to go the GC route. The answer is, it all depends! 

I agree with @John Warren , it depends on the SOW and your availability. 

Some investors might tell you it's cheaper to find subs, maybe. What if you hire the cheapest guy who mess up? then you need to hire a legit one to redo it? Contractors KNOW when they're dealing with a newbie. 

Time is also money. 

If you're not experienced and it's a big project, find a reputable GC and learn from him/her. If it's a specific job such as plumbing etc, get several quotes from licensed plumbers. 

Thank you @Chris T. , I guess I am going to have to be in the thick of it first before I can give you specifics. I really don't have any. If I have no other choice but to talk to an experienced GC. Do you guys know any reputable GC's on the South Side that deals with Investors regularly? I just need a starting point.