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Work with General contractor???and project vs item costs???

Posted by chueh (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 16, 11 at 13:50


I would like to know what to work with a general contractor:

1. would he purchase all the major appliances, faucets, tub, and light fixtures himself for a new construction, or give me a list of items with an arrival time that I need to order them myself?

2. would it cost me less if I were to order the above mentioned items according to my preference, if I had the chose? However, wouldn't a general contractors usually have a great discount when he orders items? Would he use the price he pays for and mark up somewhat, or would he charge me whatever he thinks to charge me. However the way it is, I would like to know which way is the least expensive?

3. would a general contractor only work on one site at a time, or he goes to others, as long as there is always somebody working at the site?

4. most whole-sale plant nurseries do not sell plants to individuals but to general contractors and landscape designers. would the general contractor charge me for the plants the same as the retail stores?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Work with General contractor???and project vs item costs???

Some contractors are happy to allow you to supply materials and some will not but if they allow it you would have to pay to remove and replace the equipment if it failed. As far as cost, they generally find a way to charge you what they need to make a living one way or another.

The markup is not usually revealed to the owner in a Fixed Price contract but it is in a Cost of the Work contract.

How many sites a general contractor could run at one time depends on the size of the company.

RE: Work with General contractor???and project vs item costs???

Your questions focusing on the expense of building a home suggest that building new would not be a good fit for you. If you want to focus on the least expensive method, then buying something existing will be the least expensive. You don't build a home because it's the cheaper option. It isn't. You build because you are willing to pay a premium to have something built exactly like you want it to be built.

RE: Work with General contractor???and project vs item costs???

It is not always cheaper to buy yourself, as your contractor will likely pass on his discount to you. One thing to look at is whether the subs will do the same. For example, the plumber my sub uses buys the fixtures at his discount (which it also happens I can receive through my mother as a designer), and then marks them up 10 percent. I bought all the faucets because of this, but he ordered the bathtubs (one was an expensive air tub) so he still got compensated. The tubs were something that were time sensitive so he did this.

I am also purchasing all my appliances, mainly because I want to put them on my AMEX and receive the extra year of warranty. My builder is fine with this too. We are building a more expensive house so these small bits don't amount to a large commission reduction to him.

One tip I can give you is to suggest the landscaping be taken out of the construction contract. My builder actually suggested this because he said there was no reason to pay someone to install it and for him to get his percentage on top of that if there was someone else on the job to manage the installation (we have a landscape architect involved who will manage it).

Like any of us, I know you are just trying to get the best value for your money. As a particularly well heeled friend of mine said, I want the best and I don't mind paying for it, but I just don't want to pay the dumb*** price ;). I felt the same, and wasn't going to pay the plumber over 1000.00 more to order faucets for me that I could get quickly online . . .

RE: Work with General contractor???and project vs item costs???

Thank you all for your responses. All great helps

RE: Work with General contractor???and project vs item costs???

Remember though, if your purchasing material for the GC to install you become responsible for having these items on site for his schedule. If there are delays and men cannot work it becomes your responsibility and you may end up paying subs or the GC for lost time.

RE: Work with General contractor???and project vs item costs???

I think these are great questions to ask potential builders, as they may work differently. Ours is a Cost of Work Plus a Fixed Fee contract. The builder earns a flat fee profit, so he doesn't care whether we go over/under our allowances. He passes along his costs but I also have the option to supply things myself, and take on the liability others mentioned above. We are working with a landscape architect also, so we are paying them for their design and time in addition to cost. I'm all about value within my budget. Cheaper is not always the best option or really the cheapest option. Just ask lots of questions, but not just here. Ask them of the people you may be working with.

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