How to hire a plumber when building or remodeling

How to hire a plumber when building or remodeling

The necessity for plumbing work often drives homeowners to pick up the wrench and do the work by themselves. And while you can probably install your own toilet or put in a new sink, a professional, licensed plumber is invaluable for helping with more difficult projects like creating a new bathroom, plumbing a laundry room, adding a shower or bathroom, or running plumbing to a new or remodeled kitchen.

Understand Emergency vs. Remodel or New Plumbing

Those ads, commercials, and trucks you might see all around town advertising plumbing work on-call are likely advertising for emergency plumbing, rather than scheduled remodel or new plumbing work. Knowing the difference between the two types of plumbing work will save you considerable money.

Emergency Plumbing

Emergency plumbers show up at your door quickly—usually within an hour or two—and take care of burst pipes, overflowing toilets, balky showers, and clogged bathtubs. Emergency plumbing work is valuable because it is a fast solution to a big problem. Emergency plumbers are expensive but usually worth it: The cost of fixing a ceiling, replacing flooring, or repairing the lower half of your walls’ drywall typically far exceeds the cost of even the most expensive emergency plumber.

Remodeling or New-Construction Plumbing

When you need to put in a toilet, shower, or bathtub or need to plumb an entire kitchen or bathroom and time is not of the essence, you will schedule a plumber for remodeling or new-construction plumbing work. What you want is a plumber who will come prepared on an assigned date and perform the work, following a pre-determined estimate. Usually, the cost for scheduled work will differ from on-demand, emergency work. Often, plumbing companies that advertise as emergency plumbers will do scheduled remodel work, as well.

Check the Plumber’s State Licensing

Check your state’s licensing website to see if a plumber is licensed and has any pending or resolved complaints. If a plumber is licensed, that is not a recommendation from the licensing body; it just means that the plumber has satisfied the minimum requirements to become licensed and to remain licensed.

Create a Plumbing Plan

Make a solid plumbing plan before calling the plumber. The plan does not need to be refined down to types and sizes of pipe and fittings since the plumber will do that. But you do need to know what you want the final result to be. If the project is small enough, the plumber will likely arrive ready to work.

Remain Flexible

Having a solid idea of your plumbing project is only a start. Besides the physical labor provided by the plumber, experience and advice are the other advantages of hiring a plumber rather than doing it yourself. Be flexible and listen to the plumber.

Make a Spreadsheet for Your Estimates

When calling plumbing companies, be sure that you are ready to ask the right questions:

  • Hourly rates
  • Rates for non-plumbing tasks such as opening up a wall
  • Is the customer charged while plumber waits for on-site delivery of parts
  • Bonding
  • If the plumber will obtain a permit for you
  • Projected start dates

Obtain a Plumbing Permit

Assuming that the plumber is not obtaining the permit for you, obtain the plumbing permit as early as you can. You can usually complete the entire process online. With a permit started, work can then begin. Inspectors will check the plumber’s work upon completion. If the work is satisfactory, the permit is “finalled” or approved.

Buy Your Own Plumbing Fixtures

Plumbers supply pipes, valves, and other parts responsible for moving water in or out of your house. As for toilets, sinks, fixtures, bathtubs, and showers, you or your general contractor will be responsible for supplying these items.

Prepare the Job Site for the Plumber

Avoid having your expensive plumber wasting valuable time and money by opening up walls, clearing crawlspaces, and lighting dark basements. Even if you think that the plumber should do this, do this for them. The quicker you can get the plumber to the actual plumbing work, the faster the project will go.

Remain Near the Job Site During Work

Remain out of sight but within calling distance for questions from the plumber. Most plumbers will tolerate some hovering from the customer. But too much hovering can distract the plumber, extending project time, and costing more money.

Remodeling a house is a considerable investment, and you want to make sure that everything fits perfectly with each other.

Many people don’t like the way their homes look and decide to renovate them. While it seems like an easy task, renovation is even more complicated than building a house from scratch.

It requires a lot of time and knowledge to understand what would suit your interiors and how you can make everything look better.

How to hire a plumber when building or remodeling Tips for Hiring A Plumber for Home Remodelling Projects

Many people hire experienced interior designers to work on the décor and enhance their home’s overall appearance. There are times when you need to dismantle massive parts of your house during renovation.

Most people who renovate their houses prefer to have newly designed toilets and bathrooms and need a reliable plumbing company to do that for them.

Although it may seem like an easy task if you choose an inexperienced professional to do the job, it can lead to financial losses.

If you are new to this and don’t know how to pick the right company for your requirement, here are a few tips that may help.

1. Know What You Need

Before contacting a plumber, you must be aware of what your requirements are. It is vital to communicate effectively with the plumbing company and letting them know your needs.

You should have a concept in mind beforehand so that the plumber knows what exactly needs to be done to bring your idea to reality.

2. Talk to Your Friends

If you know anyone who has got a remodeling plumbing job done in the past, they can recommend you the best plumbers.

Often, people set unrealistic expectations and feel disappointed when at the end of the project. So, you must talk to a trustworthy person before making the decision.

3. Know About the Company

The best way to know about your prospective company is to go through their history, clients, and reviews online. Most people in the US check a company’s reviews on Yelp to know if the company is good enough or not.

No matter which company you choose, running a background check is a crucial step, and you should never miss it if you want to be on the profitable side.

4. Check Their License

When hiring a plumbing company, you must ensure that the company owns a state license and do not have any complaints that they haven’t taken care of.

Holding a license is proof that a company offers legitimate services and isn’t running a fraudulent business. However, having a license is not enough to determine whether the company is suitable for you not.

You must check their experience, client-base, and expertise before hiring them.

5. Get Everything Written Down

If you’re thinking of hiring a plumbing company, always ensure that you have the deal on papers so that you can claim your concerns if anything takes a downfall in the future.

Many people think it is not an important step to have a contract before commencing work, but you can face financial and mental burdens if anything goes wrong.

Your plumber should be insured and bonded within the state where they’re working. The materials used by them should come with a reasonable guarantee if any issues occur down the line.

A lack of warranty might indicate that they use low-quality materials and don’t have confidence in their work.

Home remodeling is entirely different from emergency plumbing services. It takes a lot of expertise to renovate your bathrooms.

When looking for a plumbing company, you should always make sure that you don’t get confused between an emergency plumbing service and a remodeling service.

You should look for someone who’ll come well prepared to do the work, assist you in your kitchen or bathroom renovation, and adhere to an upfront estimate.

Hiring an experienced professional will make the job easier for you, and you will be satisfied in the end.

Why Choose American Ally Drains & Plumbing?

Our plumbers are knowledgeable and equipped with all the latest equipment and tools needed to achieve optimal results.

We have provided plumbing services in San Diego County for years and have a delighted client base. Our focus is to make sure that you are happy with our services and work efficiently to get the results you want.

So, if you are looking for a plumbing company to enhance your washrooms’ beauty, contact us today, and we will offer you the best assistance.

Even small leaks can lead to big repairs. Here’s what you should know before hiring a plumber.

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How to hire a plumber when building or remodeling

The leak from a pipe fitting that costs less than a dollar can easily cause thousands of dollars in water damage, disrupt your household for weeks, and throw your remodel way off schedule. So hiring an insured master and licensed plumber (or a well-trained apprentice working under his license) is a no-brainer. But not all plumbers handle all types of work. Here’s what you need to know before hiring a plumber.

How Do You Find a Reliable Plumber?

Their duties break out into two categories: Plumbers who handle basic repairs (often in emergency situations), and plumbers who specialize in remodeling projects and additions.

The Family Plumber for Everyday Repairs and Emergencies

For everyday drips and clogs, you can save the cost of a plumber by doing the work yourself. On this site, you’ll find a guide to ending toilet and faucet leaks.

Beyond this kind of repair, you have to know when to call in a pro. Plumbing isn’t difficult, but it requires a lot of knowledge. Code requirements are just a small part; you also need parts knowledge and experience with the materials. For instance, knowing how hard you can crank on PVC before it cracks takes time to master. Not having a feel for this can turn a $10 repair into a flood of problems.

Be prepared for a more urgent situation by establishing a relationship with a plumber before you actually need him. If possible, hire him to do nonemergency repairs or fixture installations during normal hours. It’s easier to get a plumber’s attention if you’re a regular customer and not a panicked stranger calling at 8 p.m. on a Saturday night asking him to fix a gushing waste pipe in your basement.

When making a selection, ask for proof of a license. Most states require plumbers to be licensed, and they typically provide a number you can call to verify that the license is current and that there are no active complaints against it. Any plumber you consider should also hold a current workers’ compensation policy and a minimum of $500,000 liability insurance.

The best way to find a good plumber is to ask friends and neighbors, remodeling contractors, and real estate agents. Nothing holds up a home sale faster than plumbing problems, so realtors often have a list of reliable, fast-response plumbers. Once you find a plumber you’re satisfied with, keep his numbers (office, home, and cell phones, and beeper) handy for emergencies.

How Much Will a Plumber Charge?

The bill for emergency plumbing is almost always a shock. Are plumbers just taking advantage? Occasionally, but the short duration of the work contributes to the high rates. Though the plumber might spend only an hour at your home, you pay for his time (driving to and from the job, picking up parts) and more.

For a plumber specializing in drain-clearing services, expect to pay at least $70 per hour for drain lines and $125 per hour for sewer lines. Most problems can be fixed in an hour. For weekend or night calls, add more to the hourly rate.

For basic plumbing services, such as leak repair or installing new traps, you’ll pay $45 to $65 per hour in addition to parts, which the plumber will mark up from his wholesale price. For weekend or night calls, you’ll pay as much as $100 just for the call and $75 an hour after that. At these rates, you don’t want to spend much time chatting, but do ask what the repair/parts options are and get advice on how to prevent the problem from recurring.

The Remodeling Plumber for Home Improvement Projects

For non-emergency projects—a remodel or remedial work on your plumbing—you need a pro who understands residential-system design and knows the code in your area. He also has to be able to work in a finished environment. That means putting down a piece of scrap carpeting to protect floors and cutting precise, easy-to-repair holes in walls, and, then, only when necessary.

The best source for this type of plumber is a general contractor. The contractor sees the plumber’s work before it’s covered up; you don’t get that opportunity. In addition, your contractor knows the telltale signs of quality work that you might miss, like clean solder joints, crisp 90-degree angles at joints, and clean, properly sized holes in joists, studs, and floors. Finally, a quality contractor will not risk working with a shoddy plumber. A simple error — a joint left unsoldered or a leaky PVC line—can easily devastate $10,000 worth of walls or hardwood floors and complicate the job with insurance claims, lost time, and lawsuits. With so much riding on the plumber, contractors tend to stick with only the best.

As with hiring a plumber for simple repairs, you or your contractor should ask for proof of a license and license number. Also, verify that workers’ compensation and liability insurance policies are active.

How Much Will a Remodeling Plumber Charge?

Remodeling plumbers typically charge at least $45 to $65 per hour for one man and a truck. Again, this doesn’t include the cost of parts. But more and more plumbers are charging “by the fixture,” and their bids are based on the rough-in for drain and supply lines ($300 to $400 in my area) and installation of the fixtures themselves (about $200). Plumbing parts and fixtures for a powder room with a sink and toilet run $1,000 to $1,200, though you can easily spend much more. With this approach, you know the turnkey price going into the job, and any surprises are the plumber’s responsibility, not yours.

Looking for local help with home repairs? Check out our state home warranty reviews.

How to hire a plumber when building or remodeling

Remodeling always sounds like a fun and an adventurous project. Regardless of the room, you can probably already muster up ideas on changes you would like to make or improvements that you can envision. Maybe you are already experienced with renovations, maybe you are not. Regardless, there is a simple way to determine whether you should DIY or hire a remodeling professional. Below, you will find some common renovations that are easy to DIY as well as some things that are better left to a professional.

How to hire a plumber when building or remodeling

Typical DIY Upgrades & Improvements:

Painting Walls/Cabinets

Painting isn’t always fast and easy, but it’s one of the simplest ways to improve a space aesthetically. If there is a particular room that is being held back by wallpaper or aging colors, why not freshen up the space with a new coat of paint? Make sure you use painter’s tape and trending colors, such as neutrals. You can also paint kitchen or bathroom cabinets after they have been removed from the hinges and sanded thoroughly. Sanding ensures the paint will stick to the grain of the wood and not wear off over time through contact.


Some of the easiest improvements that also look the best are adding accessories and changing out fixtures. Sometimes decorating even transforms a space and makes it look better without requiring an expensive remodel. If you have old fixtures such as lights, toilets, faucets or even dated appliances, consider replacing them and watch how the appeal of the room changes. Replacing damaged or outdated mirrors is another way to improve a bathroom or spare bedroom.

Laminate Flooring

Very few flooring types are easy to install but laminate floors fit the bill as a promising DIY project. If you are handy with a saw and have a full day to dedicate to each room that requires new flooring, you may just want to give this one a shot. It can save you a lot of money. Be sure to run the boards vertically with the widest part of the room and always stagger the boards so that they don’t connect at the same spot in each row.

Built-in Space

Building entertainment centers, window seats and built-in cabinetry is one way to dramatically enhance a room without having to spend thousands of dollars on your remodeling project. Built-in space is both aesthetically pleasing and it provides more storage and brings added functionality to your home.

How to hire a plumber when building or remodeling

Upgrades Best Left to a Professional:

Electrical & Plumbing

Some plumbing jobs require just a few minutes of time but you have to know what parts you need and how to turn off the water supply. If you’re an experienced plumber, you know the parts needed for a quick plumbing fix like the back of your hand. It is best to consult with a plumbing professional if you can’t immediately look at the job at hand and know which supplies are needed and how you intend to fix it. The same can be said for electricians except that it is never a good idea to DIY an electrical project. There are codes and regulations that must be followed and working with electricity can be very dangerous.

Cabinets/Countertop/Flooring Installs

Installing new cabinets, countertops or flooring is generally pretty complicated. Of course, there are always certain types of floors or countertops that are easier to do yourself, but consulting with a professional is a smart move if you feel it’s beyond your capabilities. For instance, laying tile, hardwood or carpet is rarely a possibility for DIY projects.

Structural ChangesHow to hire a plumber when building or remodeling

Taking out walls, repairing the foundation or doing other structural changes is not wise when you are not an experienced professional. Homes have load-bearing walls and other concerns that need to be evaluated by a licensed contractor.


Anything that involves a potentially hazardous situation is a major concern that is best left to a professional. Issues such as mold, lead paint, asbestos, polybutylene piping, old wiring or other concerns should never be repaired by someone who is inexperienced.

Sometimes a remodeling project is just beyond your DIY capabilities. It is okay to consult with a professional and for some projects, it is the right thing to do. Knowing when to DIY and when to hire a remodeling professional is important to getting the job done right and in a safe manner. If you have any questions on renovations download our free Remodeling 101 Ebook or contact us.

December 16, 2019

In This Article:

A home’s plumbing system consists of a complex system of pipes and fixtures that—hopefully—work together to provide clean water, safe disposal of wastes, and more. Because a plumbing system involves home and public safety, its design is strictly regulated by building codes, and plumbers are regulated, licensed, and credentialed to ensure proper workmanship.

This doesn’t mean you can’t do you own plumbing. In fact, here at HomeTips, you’ll find step-by-step instruction for many DIY plumbing jobs. But know-how, plumbing skills, and the proper tools are critical to a plumbing project’s success. If you don’t have the right tools for the job or the time, fortitude, and experience to correctly do the job yourself, hire a plumber.

But don’t hire just any plumber—hire the right plumber—a plumber who will do the job safely, correctly, and relatively affordably so the project doesn’t become an expensive disaster. Once you find The Right plumber, keep his number handy—it will be worth it’s weight in gold the next time you encounter an urgent plumbing problem in your home.

When hiring a plumber, your job is to find the right one and oversee the quality of workmanship.

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  • Drain Clog—How to Find Where It Is
  • How to Find a Water Leak Underground
  • How to Solve Water Pressure Problems
  • How to Fix Noisy Pipes

Here’s what you should know:

What Makes a Good Plumber?

A good plumber needs to have several things. When interviewing potential plumbers, find out whether he or she has the following:

License. Most states (44 of them) require working plumbers to be licensed. In addition to a license, a good plumber should have a clean complaint record. Find out whether any formal complaints have been filed against them or their company. You can visit your state’s government website to see whether it offers the ability to check for active licenses and complaints—or discover whether they have a phone number you can call. Angie’s List also offers a License Check tool at this url:

The Better Business Bureau is another source to check regarding complaints.

Insurance. Though you may have homeowner’s insurance that offers some level of protection, your plumber should have workman’s compensation and at least $500,000 of liability insurance to protect both you and the plumber in the event he, she, or a worker is injured on the job at your home.

Experience. Find out how long the plumber’s business has been in operation, and how many years of experience the person who will be doing the work has. It takes several years for most good plumbers to acquire their knowledge and skills. For more about skills, see Types of Plumbers, below.

References. Ask a potential plumber for references of people for whom he or she has done work. Then call those customers to find out if they were happy with the work or had complaints.

Warranty. Only work with a plumber who will guarantee his or her work and the parts for at least a year.

Social Skills. This one is a little tricky, but important to consider. It helps to have a plumber who can communicate clearly with you, is trustworthy, and has good work habits, such as maintaining a clean work environment, protecting your home’s floors, showing up on time, and so forth.

How to Find a Good Plumber

You can find a plumber from personal referrals, online services, the Yellow Pages, or from newspaper ads and the like. Some of these sources are vastly better than others.

Personal Referrals. Nothing beats a personal referral when you’re shopping for a plumber. If you know someone who has had plumbing work done recently and was happy with the plumber who did the work, ask for that plumber’s contact information. Other people to ask include remodeling contractors and real estate agents.

Online Referral Services. Online referrals have become a really big business in recent years. Sites such as Home Advisor, Angie’s List, Networx, and many more provide free access to their network of plumbers, contractors, and other service professionals. These sites either use crowd-sourced reviews or in-house vetting to qualify their listed professionals. You plug in your zip code and a few details about your job, and your phone begins to ring with calls from pros, in most cases. For several years, Home Advisor has been HomeTips’ preferred online service.

Print Ads. Whether in the Yellow Pages or your local newspaper, print ads generally are not a reliable measure of good plumbers or contractors. Though companies with big advertising budgets may be large companies, that isn’t always true, or necessarily a plus. And companies with big ad budgets have to build those costs into their bids. Most really great trades people don’t have to advertise at all—their reputations spread by word-of-mouth, and they stay very busy.

Types of Plumbers

When searching for a plumber, you’ll encounter two main types—plumbing contractors who specialize in installing all of the plumbing for a home-building or remodeling project, and plumbers who focus on repairing existing plumbing systems.

The competency of a plumber is designated by one of three credentials: apprentice, journeyman, or master plumber.

Here is how these trade credentials differ:

An apprentice plumber is training with a union or nonunion contractor organization. Training consists of both classroom instruction and paid hands-on work. The apprentice is typically the “go-for” who works alongside a journeyman or master plumber.

Journeyman plumbers have fulfilled the requirements of apprenticeship and obtained a state journeyman license. A journeyman plumber can do most kinds of plumbing work, but most don’t operate their own business.

A master plumber, the most qualified, must have worked several years as a journeyman, usually has an associate’s degree from a vocational school, and must pass written and hands-on exams. In most states, master plumbers are required to complete several hours of continuing education each year. Master plumbers are qualified to run their own businesses in addition to handling all types of plumbing jobs.

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How to hire a plumber when building or remodeling

Do You Really Need a General Contractor?

If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person, you may not think that a residential general contractor can add any value to your projects. For some types of projects, that’s certainly true, but for others, a good contractor is indispensable.

How do you know when it’s time to hire a general contractor? The answer begins with an understanding of just what it is that contractors do.

The responsibilities of a general contractor

Residential contractors oversee and coordinate nearly every aspect of a home improvement or remodeling project. They hire the other professionals whose skills are needed, from plumbing and electrical subcontractors to painters and flooring installers. Whatever trade or professional services are required, the general contractor will schedule the subcontractors so that work is completed in the most efficient order.

Qualified contractors will also have proper licensing, worker’s compensation and insurance, which means they take on the liability for property damage or injuries that may occur. The less tangible — but still important — value they bring to your job includes expertise in project management, plus knowledge of the best construction methods, local building codes and the industry standards that apply to your particular project.

In addition, should something go wrong, the general contractor will be responsible for having it made right and for the costs to do so.

General contractors also have a role in the validity of certain product or material warranties. Roofs, windows and other features (especially those that are critical to structural integrity and long-term performance) may have warranties that will be voided if the work to install them isn’t performed by a qualified and certified contracting professional.

When should you hire a general contractor?

To determine when it’s time to call in a general contractor, ask yourself these questions:

    • How long will it take to complete the project? If you think a week or more is needed, consider hiring a general contractor. With his or her knowledge of the time any subcontractors will need, the contractor can keep things moving smoothly.
    • How will your local building codes affect your project? Building codes may dictate that certain projects be done by licensed professionals who must obtain a permit that non-professionals can’t get. If you decide to do such a project yourself, you could face substantial fines.
  • How many different subcontractors will be needed? You may be able to oversee the work of one window installer, but if your project (a kitchen remodel, for example) requires the services of several tradespeople, a general contractor can save you time, headaches and possibly even money.

When you need a general contractor, count on Contractor Connection.

Our network of expert general contractors are the best at what they do, and their work is backed by a five-year workmanship warranty. Not only have we vetted every one of our preferred contractors to ensure that they’re qualified to do your project — our network contractors also meet the stringent requirements of the insurance companies we work with across the nation.. Request your free, no-obligation estimate now. Just enter your ZIP code at the top of the page to get started!


Find the right general contractor for your renovation or remodeling project. Select your project type and enter your ZIP code below to get started. Or scroll down to read more about Contractor Connection.

Remodeling a home is a big decision. There are many reasons to remodel, such as improving traffic flow, increasing livable space, and boosting a home’s value.

Remodel projects can be expensive, especially if you can’t do all of the work yourself. Even so, there are plenty of ways to save money on your remodel to make it more financially viable. One option is to act as your own general contractor. Before you do so, though, you’re going to want to carefully consider if you can handle the responsibilities that come with the job.

How to hire a plumber when building or remodeling

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

A general contractor is in charge of sticking to budgets, hiring subcontractors (like electricians and plumbers), and orchestrating the entire project from start to finish. The decision to hire a contractor often depends on factors such as the scope of the project, the budget, and your personal experience.

Here are a few of the most important pros and cons that should be considered when deciding if you should hire a contractor for your home remodel.

  • The quality of the work: As a licensed professional who is bonded and insured, a contractor is going to deliver quality and adhere to codes and regulations.
  • Less time and energy: If you hire a contractor, you won’t have to worry about investing copious amounts of your own time and energy into such a time-consuming project as a remodel.
  • Experience: The adage to “work smarter, not harder” applies here. If you hire a general contractor, they’re going to know the most efficient and cost-effective way to get the job done.
  • Resources: A contractor is going to have access to a much larger network of resources and professional subcontractors to draw on as they plan out your project and react to unexpected setbacks.
  • Cost: The most obvious factor here is the cost that you incur by adding a middle-man to your project.
  • Surrendering control: By hiring a contractor, you surrender a certain degree of control over the specifics of the project.
  • Not completely hands-off: While you may be less involved, you’re still going to need to meet with your contractor and help coordinate various activities at times.
  • You don’t learn: If you don’t do the work yourself, you remain ignorant of how your house is built and operates.

How to Find a Remodeling Contractor

If, after reading the above pros and cons, you’ve decided that you don’t want to take on the responsibility of being your own contractor, here are a few tips to help you choose the right professional candidate:

  • Start by looking for referrals: Ask individuals that you trust for recommendations of contractors to consider.
  • Interview candidates: Once you have a short-list of candidates, create a list of questions and interview each one.
  • Review bids: Always make sure to get multiple bids so that you know you’re getting a good price along with quality service.

Pros and Cons of Doing Your Own Remodel

The other option apart from working with a contractor is to manage the remodel yourself. As with hiring a professional, there are both benefits and drawbacks that come with this course of action. Here are a few of the most significant things to keep in mind.

  • Reducing costs: If you don’t hire a professional, you may be able to reduce the overall cost of the remodel.
  • Retaining control: If you’re in charge of your remodel, you’ll have a unique level of control over every detail of the project.
  • Developing new skills: As your own contractor, you’re going to learn a bevy of new skills that will continue to be available to you in the future.
  • Gaining valuable experience: Along with the specific skills that you learn, by overseeing your own remodeling project, you also gain a helpful level of intimate knowledge regarding your home and how it functions.
  • You don’t always save money: It’s one thing to save money by avoiding contractor fees. However, if you aren’t able to make efficient decisions, you may end up squandering your savings in the long-run.
  • Licensing and legal concerns: It takes time and money to remain licensed and insured in the contracting industry — plus, if you lack things like insurance, you may not have recourse if something goes wrong.
  • A lack of experience: You’re going to naturally lack the deep knowledge and experience of a professional contractor. It’s as simple as that.
  • The time investment: A project can take a long time to complete, and delays don’t make things any faster.

How to Be Your Own Contractor for a Remodel

If you’ve decided that being your own contractor is worth the time, effort, and risk, you’re going to want to go about things the right way. Here are a few tips to help you get your home remodel project started with yourself at the helm.

  • Make sure you have all of the paperwork in order: Check with your local building inspector to see if your region requires any licenses, permits, or insurance to head up your remodel project.
  • Do your homework: A remodeling contractor must have the necessary education to properly address every aspect of a remodel. Conduct thorough research before you start your project.
  • Address financials early: Make sure to set a solid budget first. Then add up the estimated costs and make sure that you can stick to the budget that you’ve set for yourself.
  • Hire subcontractors: Assess what work you can do yourself and what must be done by a third-party contractor. Then conduct similar steps to those outlined above to find, interview, and hire the best candidates.
  • Stay on top of your project: Being your own general contractor isn’t a “set it and forget it” kind of activity. You must be ready and willing to check in on progress and quickly address issues when they arise.

While there are many steps involved, it’s certainly possible to be your own general contractor. The important thing is that you take each step in the process seriously. If you can efficiently do that, you should be able to oversee your remodel and even save some cash while you’re at it.

When you hire engineers, you want to make sure that you find the right one for your construction project.

Engineers are in demand, which may make it difficult to find the best engineer for your project. The outlook for civil engineers is expected to grow by 6% between now and 2028. The situation with software engineers (backend and frontend developers) is even worse and is projected to grow by 22% from 2019 to 2029.

Do you need an engineer for your next construction project? Keep reading to find out the top tips to hire the best engineer for your job.

Narrow Down Your Options

Your first step is to figure out what kind of engineer you need for your job. There are countless types of engineers. There’s a huge difference between hiring a computer engineer and a civil engineer.

A structural engineer analyzes the design of structures. They make sure that the design of the structure, the materials used can work together and withstand the stress of the structure.

How does that differ from an architect or a contractor? An architect focuses on the design of the structure. They make sure that it’s aesthetically pleasing.

An engineer will verify that the physics of the plan work—that it can actually be built without falling apart.

A contractor will then take those plans and build them. They have the team in place to build the design, install plumbing and perform electrical work to create the finished product. Another alternative is to hire a plumber. You can read this post to learn about the important criteria to choose a plumber .

For a brand new project that’s about to break ground, you’ll need a geological engineer. Your project needs a solid foundation. You want to make sure that the land you plan to build on will be able to support your new structure.

There are different reasons why you want to hire engineers for your project. If you’re doing any renovation or remodeling usually requires an engineer to review the plan. The same is true if you’re building an addition or making major structural changes to the home.

You want to make sure that the design will be able to withstand the loads and any movement or settling of the ground underneath the structure.

Write a Project Description

You’ll need to attract the best engineers by writing a killer description of your project. This is serious work, but you can still show off your personality and have fun with it.

You’ll want to get into details about your project. Make a list of your needs for the job. For example, you’ll want to list if they will be working with an architect or contractor on the job. You’ll also want to note the type of project, whether it’s a renovation or home addition.

Where to Find Engineers

The hard part is finding an engineer. Since the demand is so great, where do you find an engineer?

Do you just post your project on Craigslist and hope for the best? Not so fast. You want to make sure that you get someone that’s truly qualified for the job.

If you want to start online, you can try a Google search or you can use a site that’s specifically for pairing engineers with certain projects. You can read more about that here.

You can also ask contractors and architects if they can recommend anyone. They often work with engineers on projects and should be able to give you a few names of firms to work with.

At the end of the process, you should have a handful of names to research and interview for the job.

Questions to Ask When Hiring Engineers

You have a few names of engineers to work with. They may have websites which you can visit to get a better understanding of their background and work.

At this point in the process, you’re ready to interview engineers. Here are the important things you want to know about them.

Licensed & Certified

Engineers have to be licensed and certified in order to practice and open up for business. The requirements to be a licensed engineer will vary by state.

Generally speaking, they’ll need to have a four-year degree in engineering. They may also have to pass an exam. They’ll also need to register with their state board.

Beyond state local licenses, there are professional organizations that offer certifications like the Structural Engineering Certification Board.

You’ll need to ask for their license and certification numbers and check to see if they are active and whether or not complaints have been filed against them.

How Do They Verify Their Work?

Engineers are human beings, and they can make massive mistakes. Yet, they really can’t afford to make mistakes in their work.

Be sure to ask them what they do to verify their work to make sure it’s error-free. This is a critical question to ask, especially if they work on their own.

Ask for a Portfolio and Referrals

Engineers are going to be very proud of their work. They often work behind the scenes and don’t get credit the way architects and contractors do.

This is an important step when you hire engineers. Ask them to show off their work and be sure to ask for referrals. You’ll want to contact the referrals they provide to get a sense of their working style.

Hire Engineers for Your Projects

Your home project is a huge investment. You want to make sure that you have the right team in place to make sure that it goes off without an issue.

That’s why an engineer is so important in your project. When you hire engineers, they ensure that your project doesn’t fall flat because you didn’t verify the designs before they were built.

You’ll want to have a list of questions ready to interview engineers to make sure they’re highly qualified.

Are you ready for more great home and design tips? Check out the blog often for more great articles.