Building and remodeling a home can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of decisions you’ll need to make along the way, but one of the first and most important steps is simply choosing who will perform the work.
The terms “home builders” and “remodeling contractors” are often used interchangeably, so it can be confusing which one you should choose. But this is one of the largest investments you’ll make in your life, so this relationship is an important one to choose wisely. If you’re trying to decide between an Austin remodeling contractor and a home builder for your home, we’ve got your covered with everything you need to know.
What Is a Home Builder?
A home builder is just what the name implies—the company that completes the work of construction or renovation to your home. This can include laying the foundation, framing and roofing—although a builder doesn’t typically handle mechanical work such as heating and cooling, electrical or plumbing. The builder has a crew that helps complete all types of jobs within the construction, and this team works on the project from start to finish. As opposed to general contractors, a builder only subcontracts work for the jobs that require specific licensing, such as plumbing and electrical work.
What Is a General Contractor?
Think of a general contractor like a foreman or forewoman.These are the people who manage and oversee the team of subcontractors. As the project managers, they organize all the different resources for the construction or renovation of your home. They aren’t always experts in home construction or remodeling—although some home builders also act as general contractors. Instead, they hire the specialists who are expert builders and tradespeople, and these workers complete the project in different stages. The general contractor bills on each subcontracted job, which is how they make their profit.
What Should I Look for in an Austin Remodeling Contractor?
When you hire a builder, you know that you’re hiring a team that consistently works on projects together, but because general contractors choose the subcontractors who work for them, it’s a little different. Here’s what you should look for in your general contractor to ensure that you’re partnering with a trusted expert who can deliver superior workmanship.
General liability and workers’ comp insurance. Should any of the workers receive an injury on your property, these policies will protect you from being held responsible.
Experience. Of course, this is necessary to ensure you’re getting quality workmanship that will last for years. Find out how long your contractor has been in business, how many projects they do each month and if they have references to share.
Project timing. The projected turnaround time is a good way to assess what type of company you’re dealing with. If it’s too short, that means the company could be sacrificing quality workmanship for speed in order to receive more projects. Make sure all the turnaround times from your potential contractors are within the same range, because any vastly different time frame is a red flag.
Pricing. When it comes to such a sizeable investment, cost is often a determining factor in who to choose for a home project. But it’s important to remember that if a price estimate seems too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure that all your estimates from your potential contractors or builders fall within the same range, because any outliers could mean rushed workmanship or inflated charges.
Looking for Builders or Home Remodelers in Austin, Texas?
Whether you’d like to make some big changes to your existing home or you’re ready to start breaking ground on new home construction, we’re here to help. Here at Mangum Builders, we’ve got 30 years of experience in both Austin, Texas, home remodeling and new construction. Regardless of the project style or size, we’re here to help transform your home so that you can love where you live. Contact us today to learn how our team can help you build the space that you’ll be happy to call home for a lifetime.