Stupid home repair question - act as my own contractor? (Main Board)

by Pepe the Programmer @, Süm Fäggöt and Disloyal Actual Retard, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, 21:19 (14 days ago)

Yes, this is a stupid, misinformed, clueless question. :)

This topic should be near and dear to ITGuy's heart. Also anyone else who's ripped their hair out looking for a decent contractor.

My question: is there any way that it makes sense to act as my own general contractor for a major project? Actually it's for an in-law's house, I can't find anyone who will do the work for less than low $zillions, and that is what provokes the question.

I've been trying to find a decent contractor for specific problems with an in-law's house that involve: demolition, removal and cleanup of an old structure; re-roofing; gutters; etc.

I have a bid from one guy who is heavily into the "looking good" thing with a really nice Facebook page, et al. This guy always seems to quote 2X whatever I'd expect a given piece of work to entail and this in-law won't pay his price. He seems to collect a lot of mid-upper 6 figure income customers.

There simply doesn't seem to be any space in the local construction market for someone who will work with a lowly mortal who isn't rich.

I've also dealt with a couple of jerkoffs who never return calls and can't seem to schedule anything reliably.

I'm thinking:

- I already have an S corp with payroll, etc set up already.

- Hire specialized contractors through Craigslist, et al to do specific tasks.

- Charge the in law for me to act as general contractor.



I vill trransmit this information to Vladimir.


You Can Do It & Sub Out Parts Of It - Depends on Laws Where You Live

by Hillarys Colon, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, 22:57 (14 days ago) @ Pepe the Programmer
edited by Hillarys Colon, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, 23:06

Take this for what its worth - my family was in constructon for 100+ years.

You need to understand the laws where you live. Some states (ie. the Peoples Republic of NJ (PRNJ)) will not allow you to be a general contractor unless you have a contractors license. I dont know if that is true everywhere. Other states will allow to be a general contractor for yourself or your family but you cant be a "business" without a license. In the PRNJ its a no go no matter how you slice it.

As an example in the PRNJ if you wanted to put an addition on your house you would need the following:

-Site survey by a licensed surveyer - submit to town.
-On the survey you must show exactly where the additon would be and the distance from the property lines - submit to town.
-An architectural drawing from a license architect that would need to be approved by the town PRIOR to construction. Whatever the town doesnt like you would need to have changed. Submit and resubmit as neccasary till they are happy.
-Permits to do demolition, excavation, framing, etc...

Just a small sample - when I had my generator (21000 kw) I had to drop almost $500 in inspection fees for the following:

-Property survey inspection showing exactly where the generator is from the property line.
-Fire inspection.
-Gas line inspection (generator is natural gas).
-Electrical inspection.

To give you an idea of how much a dick the town can be - when I got to the last inspection - the electrical, the inspector tells me that he doesnt like the way the electrician grounded the generator. Keep in mind this electrician is a commerical electrician who does primarily data centers - and only did my work because he is pals with my brother in law. He knows a thing or two about generators.

I said to the inspector, is there something wrong with it? He goes no, I just dont like it. I said why, the guy goes I just dont like it. I was like uh-huh. The first thing that popped into my head is he wanted a little $$ on the side. My electrician warned me to play it cool if they fail me. So he failed me. Than the electrician had to come back and change it to the way the guy wanted. Than I had to reschedule the inspection again. Apparently this is normal bullshit with these jerkoffs.

If its not true where you live than go at it and sub out sections of it to other people. Because thats what general contractors do. In other words - you can hire demoltion guys, bulldozer guys, framing guys, plumbers, electricians, etc...

Whats important though is you understand the code where you live and how strict are they. For the demolition there is no code but when you start digging and framing than it becomes important because the way they built houses 50 years ago is not how they build them now (older was built better from a structural standpoint). Electrical work has radically changed though, more so than plumbing.

What goes hand in hand with being the GC is scheduling the guys to come in and making sure the shithead town comes and does their inspections in a timely manner. So in a nutshell its project management.

Do some reading and find out what the deal is where you live. Every state is different.



by Pepe the Programmer @, Süm Fäggöt and Disloyal Actual Retard, Thursday, July 30, 2020, 08:32 (14 days ago) @ Hillarys Colon

Take this for what its worth - my family was in constructon for 100+ years.


(war stories of being f*cked by NJ local inspectors and ordinances)

Some time back I did some contracting remotely with a place in Princeton NJ and I flew out there and worked with one of the guys on the team. He told me about the reaming that he got when he acted as his own general contractor on installing a septic for his new house. Essentially it cost him ~$30K more than if he'd hired someone.

And it came down to stuff like you state - personal preference of the inspector on the site to be a prick.

He also said that all of the lumberyards and home depot type stores freely feed information on who is buying suspiciously large quantities of building supplies, and the content of those orders, to the local code people. So if you buy, say, a large quantity of PVC, a plumbing or water inspector shows up.

Fucking nightmare. Burn your state to the ground. But the voters there seem to LIKE it, because they elected those officials, right?


The act of finding a contractor for my mother in law's project has been incredibly aggravating. I'm not getting paid for it, but I have to keep meeting with these guys (assholes), going back, getting quotes, waiting a LONG time, then hearing some stupid bullshit that throws a fucking wrench in the entire thing.

So it occurred to me. I could hire someone from a Manpower type place for general labor. And manage them on site. And tell my MIL "You pay me $X for all of my services related to keeping these guys working on the project. "

Finding a workable home repair company in this environment is way too hard for the fact that I'm donating my time.

Home repair/remodeling guys act like they're a fucking aristocracy. I hate them. They're entitled undegreed dicks.


I vill trransmit this information to Vladimir.


Even More

by Hillarys Colon, Thursday, July 30, 2020, 10:56 (13 days ago) @ Pepe the Programmer

I was the first generation that didnt do construction. My father wanted his kids to not have to work with their hands. Back in the day that was what people aspired to. Trades people were looked down upon and there were lots of them. They didnt make what they do today.

Even though I didnt do it as a career I have been around it my entire life. I know when contractors are bullshitting me because duh, I have done it.

There are a lot of gotchas. You really need to understand the environment where you live. You can get plowed just because you dont know.

Most of these inspectors are on the take. They are a looking for $$, dont let anybody shit you otherwise. Its well known and documented. It supposedly doenst happen today but thats just a giant lie.

I have never encountered lumberyards or the depot ratting me out to the town though that doesnt mean it doesnt go on. From what I have seen nobody seems to give a flying fuck what you do. Nobody wants the hassle of the town govmt in your shit. Dont ask dont tell ;).

But what I have seen happen is goodie goodie type neighbors will turn you in to the town. The next thing you know an inspector is at your house. That I have seen quite a bit. These fuckers cant mind their business.

The PRNJ sucks but it is what it is. Less than 1/3 of the the population votes here. I suspect because people are lazy and they feel it wont matter anyway.

The problem with the trades today is the law of supply and demand. Starting back in the 70s they encouraged everyone to go to college. They still do. Less trades people have been produced with the end result is they are in high demand.

At one point I wanted to start a handyman service because you would be shocked at the things people CANT DO today. I can do everything from framing, sheetrock to electrical and plumbing. The big gotchat here is the licensing.

License bullshit by state:


There are web sites about being your own GC:





Do a search on Amazon "being your own general contractor as well.

I feel your pain

by IT guy, Thursday, July 30, 2020, 10:47 (13 days ago) @ Pepe the Programmer

This topic should be near and dear to ITGuy's heart.


Stupid home repair question - act as my own contractor?

by JoFrance, Thursday, July 30, 2020, 20:41 (13 days ago) @ Pepe the Programmer

Big red flag, Pepe. Unless you want a lot more grief in your life, its a lot simpler to just hire people to do specific jobs as a regular person.

Hillary has it right.


Ok, so it was a stupid question

by Pepe the Programmer @, Süm Fäggöt and Disloyal Actual Retard, Thursday, July 30, 2020, 21:48 (13 days ago) @ JoFrance

That's exactly why I asked.

I think it would be fairly easily doable to be legally compliant where I live.

The problem would be overseeing the work. A roof would be involved with this project. I don't do heights, so I would not be able to easily check the work. There's probably just enough expertise involved with this type of project that I don't currently possess that I would not be able to keep the workers honest.

But random contractors I've been digging up lately have no honesty, no standards, no ability to run their business, only go for low hanging fruit, and usually are pretty poor at what they do.

It occurred to me that a couple of Manpower or temp agency persons hired for a job might be no worse than hiring a so called "professional" contracting company.


I vill trransmit this information to Vladimir.

Not a stupid question

by JoFrance, Thursday, July 30, 2020, 22:49 (13 days ago) @ Pepe the Programmer

I always look at it in terms of accountability. If someone else is doing the work and I just hire them and it doesn't turn out right, I can hold them accountable. If you were the contractor in charge, you would be accountable for the shoddy work.

Actually, if you are a paying member of Angies List and you hire a contractor from there, they will intervene on your behalf if the work isn't done right.


But I believe you just did say that more or less :)

by Pepe the Programmer @, Süm Fäggöt and Disloyal Actual Retard, Thursday, July 30, 2020, 22:54 (13 days ago) @ JoFrance
edited by Pepe the Programmer, Saturday, August 01, 2020, 00:32

No problem! I get stupid ideas at times. It is kind of a stupidly unwieldy idea that would probably create 100X the aggravation I'm dealing with now.

You called it.

Accountability on home projects is a funny thing. I've gotten total shit work done by well lauded contractors referred personally.

That's why I asked this question to begin with. If the guys who are supposed to take responsibility and provide customer support don't give a crap, then why not dig up hourly workers and put them to work?

I don't like Angies List.

I used to use Angie's List and paid $40/yr for it. It used to be organized like a phone directory. IE: You could search for roof contractors in a certain area code and get a list of obscure small (flexible) companies.

It's now free for consumers, BUT is totally paid-placements driven and smaller contractors can't be located on it at all, unless they pay. Angies List buries businesses that don't pay marketing fees.

A contractor who built his business on it told me that they dunned him for expensive marketing services constantly.


I vill trransmit this information to Vladimir.


Angies List & Home Advisor BLOWS

by Hillarys Colon, Saturday, August 01, 2020, 08:34 (12 days ago) @ Pepe the Programmer

Both Angies List and Home Advisor BLOW. Useless. People pay for ad placement just like Google. I wont use them for anything now.

I needed a molding guy to do crown molding. Crown molding is a huge pain in the ass as you need two people and if you are not careful you can easily screw up the inside vs outside cuts. You also need a pneumatic nailer which at the time I did not have. No way was I doing this a hammer. Year ago it was all done with a hand miter saw and hammers without banging up the wood. Pretty dam amazing if you ask me.

Anyway hired a guy from Angies List. The guy also did window replacement. Anyway went to his office, picked out the molding. I made a point to tell them absolutely NO MDF. I want wood. The guy gave me a price of about $700 for the ENTIRE first floor. Which is a great price for the molding and installation.

Day comes and a different guy shows up. First guy subbed out the work. I was looking at the molding and thinking thats not what I picked. Regardless I let it go because I didnt have the sample in front of me.

2 hours into it I get a phone call from the first shithead. Asked how it was going. I said its fine, the guy and is helper are banging it out. Than the guy finds out the molding that the guy is putting up is more expensive and is real wood (as I wanted). The guy had told the carpenter to swap the real wood for MDF despite me telling him no MDF. The carpenter didnt hear him or ignored him (Most carpenters hate MDF). The carpenter shrugged his shoulders and said I get paid ABC per job and I use whatever they tell me.

It really pissed me off as the first guy was doing the old switcherooo. I guess he figured I would never know.

Next thing you know the first jerk off is telling me that I need to pay an uplift because the carpenter used real wood. I said that shit is not happening. I have a work order with the molding number and it says wood, not MDF. You EAT IT.

The guy starts whining to me that he wont make money on the job. I told him, thats not my problem. I told him you deserve no money - you are not doing the work and subbed it out to someone else. You are making money for being a middle man. What do I need you for? I could have gone straight to the carpenter.

The carpenter was laughing his ass off. I heard him tell the helper that the owner can go fuck himself and is a douche.

Have had nothing but bad experiences with both Angies List and Home Advisor. Its full of so called "contractors" whatever the fuck that means at this point. A lof of the people on there are unethical.

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