If you decide to hire a general contractor, he or she may have a permanent staff of employees. In this case, you might have few, if any, subcontractors involved in your project. Hiring employees versus subcontractors is an economic decision. The employer -- in this case, the general contractor -- must pay salaries and purchase worker's compensation insurance for employees.
"It's not cost effective to increase the size of my staff because the workload is inconsistent," said Raymond Vigneau, owner of Metal Building Contractors, Inc., in Allen Park, Mich. "I hire subcontractors to do anything beyond what my employees can do."
Since subcontractors are independent business people, general contractors don't have to pay to insure them or pay employment taxes on them. Hiring subcontractors for overflow work or to perform tasks that call for expertise that isn't needed on a regular basis saves expenses for the general contractor and ultimately, for you.
Should you hire a general contractor for your remodeling or renovation project? Or would you be better off to hire subcontractors directly? We'll look at what general contractors bring to your project in the following pages.