What A General Remodeling Contractor Should Do
We asked some of Dallas' most respected contractors what you should look for in a GC, as well as what to expect from the one you hire.
Roles and Responsibilities of Your GC
Your general contractor must be an experienced project manager that's fully licensed, insured, and knowledgeable about many aspects of home improvement.
A general contractor (GC) is the person responsible for managing the day-to-day tasks of a construction project. A remodeling GC supervises all subcontractors, including plumbers, electricians and HVAC providers.
TLDR: A GC tells you what’s possible, and manages the right subcontractors to make it happen. A good GC ensures your project finishes on time and on budget.
There are 3 primary types of general contractors:
- Standard General Contractor. These GCs have a broad base of knowledge about most jobs on a construction site. Their focus is on the overall function and performance of the remodeling team. A GC is able to lend a hand with most projects and has the connections to schedule subcontractors for specialty work.
Use a standard general contractor for large remodeling projects that include multiple subcontractors — like a kitchen renovation that needs plumbing and electrical work.
- Design-Build GC. A design-build general contractor generally works with architects to design a space around your needs. A design-build GC is best suited for a full gut renovation or a large addition project. Their expertise revolves around the flow and function of larger construction projects.
Use a design-build GC for a new addition to your home, or a complex renovation that requires a new floor plan (going from a closed to open floor plan).
- Specialist GCs. Choose a specialty general contractor if your home renovation is highly specific. For example, if you only need your plumbing re-routed, a plumbing specialist is the person to call — a standard GC doesn't have the same highly-focused skill set.
If your remodeling project is highly specialized — only focused on a specific skill set — that’s a great time to use this kind of GC. For example, a GC with specific electrical experience is great for rewiring your kitchen lighting.
Before You Hire a Dallas Remodeling General Contractor
“Do these 3 things before you contact a general contractor,” Scott Bolin of Repair Resource says, “and your life gets so much easier.”
- Put Ideas on Paper Before Hiring a GC. Scott believes there's no such thing as a bad idea. “If you walk into a meeting with multiple ideas the GC can help you get through the muddy waters and select the best choice for your home.” From there, your remodeler can alter your design around load-bearing walls and other structural concerns.
- Pick Out Colors and Textures. “Don't expect your GC to be your designer,” Scott says. “A lot of them just aren't good at that, but they're very good with a plan. Color and texture are 2 very important aspects of your design. Have an idea of what you want and I'll definitely follow it."
- Don't Believe TV Remodeling Prices. “People see these prices on HGTV and Magnolia Network, and they aren't realistic,” Scott explains. “They're getting a ton of free stuff from sponsors and there aren't any labor costs involved. Then they get shocked when they see what things cost in real life.”
4 Most Popular Dallas Home Renovation Project Types
Dallas homeowners trust HOMR with whole home management because we don’t slouch on our research. Our team looked at the Google search data about Dallas home renovation and remodeling over the last 12 months. We wanted to know what you’re most interested in.
These are the 4 Dallas area renovation projects that you search for and research the most — more than all other remodeling jobs combined!
Dallas homeowners with mid-century houses are clamoring for additions. DFW homes built in the 1950s, 60s and 70s had smaller layouts. As families and budgets have grown, so has the need for bigger Dallas houses.
A custom addition is the best way to retain your home’s charm but increase its footprint. The most crucial step in planning an addition is making sure it blends with your existing home. From the foundation and siding to exterior finishes and interior materials, every step should be completed with your current home in mind.
Find an experienced GC that can match every portion of your addition to the existing style of your home. Brighton Contracting’s ability to handle roofing, exteriors and interiors makes them an ideal choice for new addition projects.
“Dallas homeowners are asking for bathroom renovations,” Scott Bolin says. He's right — 38% of Dallas homeowners are considering bathroom remodeling projects over the next 5 years.
And why not? Bathroom remodel jobs offer great ROI for your home. In 2022, a bathroom remodeling project in Dallas recouped 48.9% of its cost. That's higher than the national and Texas state averages.
Although more DFW homeowners want bathroom remodeling than ever, the scope of individual projects is shrinking. “5 years ago, people were doing full bathroom renovations,” Scott continues. “Now, it's more like, ‘Let’s paint the bathroom this year, and replace the vanity next year. It's definitely an economy-based change.”
It's important to talk about flooring — local real estate professionals say refinishing your floors has a higher ROI than any other remodeling job for Dallas homeowners. Texas homeowners see a 70% return on new floors when re-selling their houses.
Oak, ash and hickory are popular hardwood floor options in Texas homes. Oak is extremely durable and able to withstand heat without warping. Ceramic tile floors are also popular for similar durability reasons. But it's a third flooring type that's making big waves in the Dallas Fort Worth market — “faux hardwood” vinyl floors.
Vinyl floors are on the rise. “I’ve seen a lot of the vinyl that resembles hardwood going in,” Scott Bolin says. “You don't need to glue it down, there are a lot of great waterproof options, and it's about $5 per square foot. We're putting it in a lot of bathrooms and kitchens."
Kitchen renovation is the second most popular Dallas remodeling project, behind only bathrooms. 37% of Dallas homeowners plan to remodel their kitchen within 5 years.
There are more features to consider in a kitchen renovation than any other remodeling job — your project manager must be handy with countertops, appliances, ventilation, plumbing, electrical, and tile.
In terms of cost vs. value, now is the best time in over a decade to do minor kitchen renovations. The average small Dallas kitchen renovation recoups nearly 80% of its cost in home resale value. This applies to any kitchen remodeling project under $30,000 in cost.
The current return on investment for Dallas home remodeling projects is higher than it’s been in a decade. That makes right now the perfect time to hire the best home remodeling contractors Dallas can offer.
HOMR recommends service providers like Brighton Contracting and Repair Resource for their versatility and reliability. You need a renovation expert that can handle any job and maintains an open line of communication.
It’s the same way HOMR approaches home management for you. Our 24/7 home concierge service serves your needs as they arise, any time of day.
And if you like the return that remodeling project gets for your home, you’ll love the ROI that HOMR gives you for just $9/month.