Being a successful DIY general contractor can save you thousands in construction costs. Here's how to be your own general contractor in 10 steps.

How To Be Your Own General Contractor? A Comprehensive 10-Step Process

Are you considering taking on the role of general contractor for your next home project? Being a successful DIY general contractor can save you thousands in construction costs, but it’s not without challenges. Planning, coordinating, and successfully completing a construction project requires extensive knowledge and experience.

To help aspiring contractors make an informed decision, this article will outline the ten steps necessary to become a successful DIY general contractor. We’ll discuss everything from researching building codes and regulations to budgeting for materials and labor costs so that you can be confident in your ability to get the job done right!

Why Should You Consider Becoming Your Own General Contractor?

Becoming your own general contractor can save you a lot of money, but it’s also an opportunity to learn and develop new skills. Many people choose to become their own general contractor because they want to be more involved in the construction process or want more control over the outcome of the project. With that said, here are some of the benefits that you can get from becoming your own general contractor:

  • Cost Savings: When you hire a general contractor, they will usually mark up the cost of materials and labor—sometimes significantly. By acting as your general contractor, you can save money by purchasing materials and negotiating directly with subcontractors.
  • Control: You have complete control over the project when you are your own general contractor. You can make important decisions about design, materials, and scheduling and ensure that everything is done to your exact specifications.
  • Flexibility: Acting as your own general contractor allows you to change your plans on the fly. If you decide you want to change the design or materials, you can do so without needing approval from someone else.
  • Experience: Acting as your own general contractor can be a great way to gain experience in the construction industry. You will learn about different building techniques, materials, and regulations, which can be extremely valuable if you decide to work on future projects.
  • Sense of Accomplishment: Seeing a project through from start to finish can be incredibly rewarding. By acting as your own contractor, you will be able to take pride in the fact that you were able to complete a complex and challenging project on your own.

Potential Drawbacks of Becoming Your Own General Contractor

Of course, not all aspects of being a general contractor are enjoyable. While there are many potential benefits to becoming a general contractor, it’s also essential to consider the potential drawbacks. These can include:

  • Increased Responsibility: Acting as your general contractor means you are ultimately responsible for everything that happens on the project. If something goes wrong, you will be directly responsible for addressing the issue and fixing any problems that arise.
  • Time Commitment: Acting as your own general contractor can be a significant time commitment. You will need to find and hire subcontractors, coordinate their schedules, and oversee the work. If you have a full-time job or other time-consuming responsibilities, acting as your own general contractor may not be feasible.
  • Lack of Expertise: While acting as your own general contractor can be a great learning experience, it also means that you may lack the expertise that a professional contractor would have. This could result in mistakes or oversights that could lead to problems down the line.
  • Lack of Connections: Professional contractors often have established relationships with subcontractors, suppliers, and other professionals in the industry. When you act as your own general contractor, you may not have access to these connections, which could make finding qualified workers and getting materials more difficult.
  • Stress: Coordinating all aspects of a construction project can be extremely stressful, especially if you don’t have much industry experience. If you’re not ready to handle the stress and responsibility of being your own contractor, it could be more of a burden than a benefit.

10 Steps To Becoming Your Own General Contractor

Choosing to become your own general contractor can be a daunting but rewarding task. By managing your own construction project, you can save money and ensure the work is done satisfactorily. Here are ten steps to becoming your own general contractor:

  1. Understand the Upsides and Downsides: Before deciding to become your own general contractor, it’s important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of being one. While you can save money and have more control over the project, it requires a lot of time and effort.
  2. Compare Cost Differences: Determine how much money you can save by becoming your own general contractor compared to hiring a professional. Consider the cost of various factors such as labor, materials, and other possible expenses.
  3. Decide on Your Level of Involvement: Determine how involved you want to be in the project. Will you manage every aspect of the construction or just certain parts of it?
  4. Do Extensive Research: Research the type of project you want to undertake and the materials and techniques that will be needed. Check out home improvement websites, blogs, and construction forums to learn more.
  5. Learn About Permit and Code Requirements: Ensure you understand what permits and licenses you must acquire before beginning the project. Know the local building codes and regulations to avoid penalties and complications.
  6. Hire the Right Companies for Your Budget: Research and hire the best contractors within your budget. Check references and confirm your credentials.
  7. Create a Schedule You Can Stick To: Once the contractors are hired and the materials are sourced, create a schedule and stick to it. This will keep the project moving forward and help you avoid unexpected delays or cost overruns.
  8. Create a Solid Plan: Develop a detailed plan that outlines the goals for the project, and follow it throughout the process. Include contingencies for unexpected changes or problems.
  9. Get Insurance: Protect yourself and your project with insurance coverage. Depending on the size and scope of your project, you may need builders risk insurance, liability insurance, or both.
  10. Have a Billing Software: Keep track of all expenses and invoices using billing software. This will help you stay on top of the project’s finances and ensure all payments are made on time.

By following these ten steps, you can become your own general contractor and successfully manage your construction project while saving money and achieving the end result you desire.

Try ReliaBills

Getting paid on time can be a challenge in the construction industry. Even if you’re your general contractor, you still have to ensure all payments are received on time. That’s why we recommend using our ReliaBills to manage invoices, payments, and collections. With this intuitive software, you can track all your documents in one place and ensure you are getting paid for your work.

ReliaBills is a cloud-based invoicing and billing software designed to automate payment processes, reduce administrative overhead, and streamline payment processing duties. ReliaBills’ payment processing features include automated recurring billing, payment tracking, payment reminders, online payment processing, and much more!

It also provides valuable tools that help manage customer information, monitor payment records, and create proper billing and collection reports. As a result, invoice and billing management are simple and convenient. You also get access to active customer support, ready to assist you whenever you need help.

Get started with ReliaBills for free today! And if you want more features, you can upgrade your account to ReliaBills PLUS for only $24.95 monthly! Subscribing to ReliaBills PLUS will give you access to advanced features such as automatic payment recovery, SMS notifications, custom invoice creation, advanced reporting, and more!

With ReliaBills, you have an all-in-one solution to your invoicing and payment processing needs. Our convenient solutions will enable you to focus more on running and growing your business. Get started today! Visit to learn more.

Wrapping Up

 Being your own general contractor is no easy task, but it can be done with the right preparation and knowledge. By following this guide, you’ll better understand what it takes to become an effective and successful general contractor. Additionally, an invoicing and payment processing system like ReliaBills will help you manage your invoices and payments and automate billing processes. Get started today!

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