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Thread: To be my own general contractor or not?

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    To be my own general contractor or not?

    I received a quote for a pretty nice pool from a pretty well known company. But I seem to be drawn to the idea of being my own GC, and saving some money on the features and size relative to the pool. I am interested in adding a spa, but not interested in paying 11k extra for it. Anyway, I'm looking for success or horror stories. I scanned the first few pages of topics, but I haven't been able to find any besides one quick mention of a guy being his own GC. Advice? Opinions? I'm mechanically inclined, and I'm pretty handy with plumbing/pvc.

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    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Lake Nona, Florida

    Re: To be my own general contractor or not?

    We "kind of" GC'd our own.
    We hired a guy to design, engineer, and permit for us and he gave us itemized quotes for each step. He also gave us over all advice. We also got a friend of a friend to spec out our equipment for us as a favor and have it quoted from his supply house at his cost. We went through the equipment list and cherry picked big ticket items we could get cheaper buying on-line from discounters.

    We ended up using the layout/dig/steel quote from the designer as well as his gunite guy. We hired a friend to do our coping/tile/pavers and used other references to find subs for plumbing, electric, screen and plaster. We already had guys for general masonry (screen footer) and landscape. We got the guy who built our waterfall as a reference from the yard that sold us the stone.

    Over all we ended up about 10% below the best turnkey quote and had more features than the most expensive turnkey proposal. Our build was not fast, but it got done. We had two issues that caused a bit of stress and where I found myself wondering if having a PB would have been better. First... the automation setup was more difficult than I expected and for a while I was thinking it was not going to work - eventually I figured it out. And.... the pool had a leak that took me quite a while to locate - but once I found it the fix was easy.

    The bidding, scheduling, and coordination was a job that my wife spent a lot of effort doing. For sure a key for us was personally knowing a few people in construction and one specifically in pool renovation to give us references. All our subs were wonderful except for one who ended up being difficult and probably more expensive then he should have been (electrician).

    We'd do it again - full story and pics here

    7500 gal gunite/stonescapes, iAqualink RS-8, Jandy 2HP VS-Flopro, Jandy 200 sqft Cartridge filter
    Pentair Intellichlor IC-40, Zodiac MX-8, Fafco solar panels
    DreamMaker X-500 Spa

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    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Southwick, MA

    Re: To be my own general contractor or not?

    I think it depends on your knowledge and skills as well as if you actually have a job. I have a Job, no chance I would take this on myself. I would much rather pay someone that does it for a living. My biggest concerns would be the Subs you hire, they will cut as many corners as they can especially if you go with the lowest bids. To me the Reward does not out-weigh the Risk. I do not see many PB's driving around in Porsches and such, this tells me they earn every penny they make, I am one that has no issue paying more for quality work. I am just starting my research, the second PB comes over Thursday.

    Good luck if you do take it on, at least you have this forum to help guide you.
    24X44 IG Vinyl Custom Shaped Pool, Starite S7M400 Cartridge Filter, Starite Sumpermax VS Pump, built July 2015, TF-100 Test Kit, Pentair Intellichlor IC40 SWG, NG Starite SR400 Heater, Easytouch with Screen Logic, Magicstream Laminars, Bullfrog A7 Spa

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    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Huffman Tx

    Re: To be my own general contractor or not?

    join best research I did

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    Ksnewman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Middle Tennessee

    Re: To be my own general contractor or not?

    I will tell you that being your own GC can work, but you need to have the flexibility to be at home while much of the work is being done. You also need to have an understanding of how to accomplish what you want done in order to explain to subs. Yes, it can save you $$ but it can be very demanding of your time and energy. My experience is one remodeled house, one custom home, and a 125', 12' high retaing wall, pool and extensive yard redo. Also, be prepared to pay up when you make a mistake. There is no one else you can put that on.
    18x36 kidney 20,000 gallons IG vinyl. Pentair Easy Touch 8 w/IntelliChlor IC40. Triton II TR100. Pentair Intellifllo Variable Speed. Waterfall/Jump Rock. 2 Pentair Intellibrite lights. TF-100 Test Kit. And a very happy husband who gets to play in the pool without having to take care of it.

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    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Klein Tejas

    Re: To be my own general contractor or not?

    You should post up your location because it does make a difference.

    My pool build is in my sig.

    I estimate that I saved 50% but we also did quite a bit of work ourselves
    Pool is DONE!
    Pentair Intelliflo VS3050
    Pentair Easy Touch 8 + actuators + swg
    Pentair IntelliPH
    Pentair 400btu HD heater
    3- Jandy WaterColor LED's
    Hayward C5030 525sqft cartridge filter
    Waterway spa blower

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