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Terms You Should Know When Building Your Own Home

When you are interviewing subcontractors and suppliers to work with you on your project, there are some terms and definitions you should be aware of.

  • Subcontractor – A subcontractor is one who works in one or more trades but is not responsible for the entire construction project.  As an example, your plumbing contractor is a subcontractor, reporting either to a General Contractor or to you if you are managing your own project with UBuildIt. 
  • General Contractor – A General Contractor has full responsibility for the construction project.  He/she hires the subcontractors, pays the bills and orders the materials.  Subcontractors report to the General Contractor.  If you hire a General Contractor to build your home, you will be dealing with him on a daily basis, not the subcontractors. 
  • Labor only – A labor only subcontractor is one who comes in to do the work but does not order the materials or supplies.  An example might be a framer who frames your dream home but you have worked with the lumber yard to order the materials and have them delivered when needed. 
  • Labor and materials – This subcontractor both orders the materials and does the work. This might be the electrician who orders all the wiring and electrical fixtures as well as does the work itself on your home.

These are important distinctions to understand.  If you are requesting multiple bids from subcontractors, make sure you are comparing complete information when reviewing the bids.  If you have one bid come in significantly less than one from another subcontractor in the same trade, look at it carefully to ensure the bids are for the same supplies and work.

  • Supplier – A supplier is one who supplies products or materials but does not do the work.  As an example, the lumber yard supplies the wood and associated materials for framing the house but the framer does the actual work.

If you have hired a General Contractor to build your dream home, they will be working with all subcontractors and suppliers, ensuring the correct materials are ordered, delivered on time, that the work is done correctly, and paying these folks directly.

If you are using UBuildIt, your Construction Consultant will work with you every step of the way on materials and subcontractors.  In addition, they will review bids that come in to ensure they reflect what is needed for your dream home to become a reality.  You will pay your subcontractors and suppliers directly.

Whichever way is right for you and your project, it is important to know these terms and how they are used to ensure there are no misunderstandings.

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