Home|Contents|Sample Chapter|About the author|What Others Say|FAQ|Links
The following excerpt is the first part of Chapter two:
For a full list of topics covered in the book, click here.

Know who you are looking for
Let’s look at some of the types of contractor you may need at different times:
This individual has basic skills in a number of trades, but usually not licensed in any of them. Useful for a variety of repair and maintenance work, or small jobs like building a fence.
This individual is highly skilled in a particular trade (plumbing, wiring, carpentry, tilesetting, etc.), and does nothing else. Often needs to be licensed. If all you want done is one discrete item, like putting in a new toilet or painting the outside of your house, it is perfectly fine, and usually cheapest, to work directly with a tradesman rather than a general contractor.
Technically, anyone who enters into a contract with you to perform a task for a fee. The term will be used generally throughout this book to designate the main individual or company you have employed to undertake the physical work on your project. This could be a small company installing replacement windows or tub liners, a large general contractor building custom homes, or a specialty contractor doing “green” (environmentally-conscious) building or repairing fire-damaged houses.
General contractor
An individual or company who takes contractual responsibility for projects involving a number of trades, or sub-contractors. They may perform part or all of the labor themselves (personally, or through employees). May or may not need to be licensed, depending on locality, but all required trade licences must be held by the tradespeople working under them.
A flexible term, designating individuals ranging from self-declared decorators to certified interior designers. Designers may perform services ranging from selection of paints, fabrics and finishes, to space planning and drawings for minor alterations. Often all you need for a kitchen or bath project.
An individual qualified to prepare building plans involving structural changes. Architects have competence in a range of design and technical areas, but often will consult with a designer or engineers.
An individual with special expertise in a technical aspect of the work, such as soil and foundations, structure, heating and cooling, or lighting. Often helpful in solving specific design problems, or nailing down cost estimates. Seldom hired directly by the client, but one or more may need to review any substantial plans before a building permit is issued.
Construction manager (or project manager)
Frequently used in commercial projects, and increasingly in larger residential jobs. Acts to hire, coordinate and supervise the contractors doing the physical work, but does none of it personally. When hiring a construction manager, the client may assign him full responsibility for the hiring of necessary contractors (in which case the construction manager would be acting essentially as a general contractor), or may choose to review and approve all bids and contracts (in which case the construction manager would be acting more as a client representative).
A firm that offers a “design-build” service takes responsibility for providing all the professions and trades required. This arrangement gives the client the simplicity of dealing with only one firm from start to finish, and can lead to fewer glitches in a large undertaking. But it also may reduce options and increase prices if not handled alertly.
Building inspector
An individual who checks the kind and quality of construction to ensure its compliance with either code requirements, or an acceptable standard under the conditions of the contract. In the former case, the inspector will probably be employed by the municipality or county; in the latter case the inspector would be employed directly by the client. The official building inspector will insist only on minimum compliance to code, by-law and safety criteria, while the inspector hired by the client can also give a professional judgement about the relative quality of the construction and finishing work. For a discussion of whom to hire first, see the end of this chapter. For further definitions, see the Glossary at the end of this book. Next Page>>
Read More...Download this e-book NOW!
Contact Us|PrivacyPolicy