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Do You Need a Builder or a General Contractor? What is the Difference?
Are you getting ready to grow your business with a building project? Your friends and colleagues have recommended various contractors and builders, but which one should you choose? First, you need to understand what the different types of companies bring to the table. Use the following criteria to help you decide if you need a general contractor or a builder to help make your dreams come true.
A Builder Works within Their Own Capabilities
Whether you are talking about building a house by the lake or developing an abandoned shopping center, a builder will be able to do the job. But they may only handle the actual construction. You may be left to find an electrician, plumber, painter, and landscaper. You will serve as the coordinator that schedules when each trade needs to show up to accomplish the next part of the project. A builder will quote you a lower price, but you will spend that extra money on the various subcontractors needed to finish the job.
- Specializes in construction
- Leaves scheduling and sourcing to you
- Lower cost
- More work required on your end
- Professional results
A General Contractor Sources Everybody that Your Project Needs
While the general contractor will not have a toolbox in their office, they serve as the networking hub for all the tradespeople and equipment required to complete any size construction project. They may have a crew and heavy trucks needed to accomplish most of the actual work, but they also maintain relationships with support businesses to rapidly finish out their jobs. You pay a single check to the general contractor and they pay each of the trades in turn.
- Is the middleman between you and the actual workers
- Hires subcontractors to complete all aspects of the job
- Higher cost
- Professional results
- More free time for you
Spending Time Supervising the Site or Getting a Weekly Update
The real difference between working with a builder and a general contractor is the free time left to you. If you hire the builder, all your time will be spent at the job site directing workers, scheduling, inspecting, and applying for permits. When you hire the general contractor, you may make a weekly visit to the project, sit in on construction meetings, and receive updates while you are out at the golf course.
Building One House or an Entire Neighborhood
Finally, you will want to hire a firm based on the size of your project and its capabilities. Your builder may have done a fabulous job on your custom house, but they may not have the ability to scale up to an entire neighborhood or apartment complex. There may be ecological impact studies, extending gas and electric services, and the creation of roads that are just not part of their skill set. When you are looking at an empty lot surrounded by farmland, the expertise of a general contractor may be what you require.
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Real Estate Developer – We Ensure Success from Start to Finish.
If you’ve got a project coming up, you need to work with the right people. You might come across signs, advertisements, and commercials talking about how developers and builders can help you bring your dreams to fruition. On the other hand, a developer and a builder are not the same. By understanding the differences between them, you can find the perfect person to help you meet your needs. Simply put, a developer develops, and a builder builds. There are several details you need to understand.
A Developer Obtains Permits and Creates Plans
A developer is responsible for putting the guardrails in place for your project. For example, your developer’s job is to help you obtain the permits required to break ground on your project. Your developer will also create the lots you need to hold your project. Then, your developer might also help you coordinate your project with the electric lines, water lines, and sewer system. Your developer can also help you manage the streets and curbs in the area.
A Builder Puts Up the Structure
A builder is responsible for helping you erect the building. For example, he or she will help you pour the foundation. Then, your builder helps you source the raw materials needed for your structure. Your builder can also help you find the right contractors for the various stages of your project. The builder also helps you troubleshoot problems that you might encounter along the way. Your builder also helps you weatherproof your building, lay out the rooms appropriately, and find the right windows and doors.
Find the Right Developer and Builder
Ultimately, there is some overlap between developers and builders. You need to understand the backgrounds of each individual you work with. That way, you can find the right person to help you with the job.
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For those looking to expand their business, Bellevue, WA offers a wealth of opportunity in one of the most prosperous metropolitan areas of the country. Located just to the east of Seattle across Lake Washington, this booming city is home to a number of software and technology companies including Google, Microsoft, and eBay. The downtown area underwent rapid expansion in the early 2000s, resulting in a high-rise neighborhood with easy access to both Interstate 405 and Interstate 90. The edges of the city border expansive parklands such as Cougar Mountain and Lake Sammamish State Park.
The Bellevue North shopping district is overflowing with malls, boutique shops, and art galleries. The desirable Wilburton neighborhood surrounds the Glendale Country Club and Kelsey Creek Park. Families that move into the area can take advantage of some of the best elementary schools in the nation including the Interlake and Newport schools. The commute into Seattle is eased by multiple highway bridges over the lake along with the Sound Transit and King County Metro light rail systems. Plans are in motion to improve the Bel-Red corridor, opening access to Redmond to the north, which is a major employer to the city’s residents.
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