Basement Remodel: To GC, or Not to GC?

You’ve been waiting for just the right time to finish your basement, and finally everything’s in place. You’ve cleared your schedule, hauled off the junk, and planned for budget contingencies. Now what? Are you the type to take on project management yourself, or do you trust turning it all over to someone else? It’s a big decision—one that will likely be influenced by both your personality and your budget.

Is Hiring a GC (General Contractor) the Right Move for Me?

Deciding whether or not to hire a general contractor for your job will ultimately come down to how much time and skill you have. While managing the job doesn’t necessarily require that you do the work yourself, having general knowledge about the work to be done will be helpful in communicating with the trades you’ll be hiring. As the saying goes, \”knowledge is power,\” and in the case of managing construction work in your home, the ability to speak intelligently with plumbers, electricians, framers, trim carpenters, and the like will not only help your project run smoothly, it may also keep you from being taken advantage of by someone who tries to upsell or install more than you need in your basement.

Ask yourself the following questions to help determine if managing your own construction project is a smart choice for you:

  1. Are you familiar with the process of pulling a building permit from your local municipality?
  2. Do you know reputable trades who are licensed and insured that you can trust to hire for framing, plumbing, mechanical (HVAC), electrical, drywall, cabinets, trim carpentry, interior finishes, painting, etc., or are you prepared to take on these tasks yourself?
  3. Do you have time to manage the scheduling of the trades, making sure they aren’t working on top of each other? Are you willing to schedule required inspections, and be on site to wait for the inspector during the specified window of time?
  4. Do you prefer being in charge of the project, having all trades answer only to you? Do you like a hands-on approach?
  5. Do you like managing the receipt of invoices and payment of the trades as the work is completed?

If the answer to the above questions is yes, then you’re a great candidate for project management in a home remodel or basement finish scenario! If you’re not convinced that this is the route for you, read on.

How do I know if hiring a GC is my ideal solution?

  1. Are you the type that would rather sit back and make design choices only, having all other project-related decisions such as scheduling, permitting, and invoicing left to someone else?
  2. Do you prefer to pay for your project in 3 – 4 pre-determined installments/amounts as it progresses, as opposed to paying a slew of invoices every month?
  3. Does it sound less stressful to speak with just one person for job updates—a job superintendent—than to work with many separate trade representatives to obtain the same information?
  4. What about after the job is complete—if anything goes wrong, is it a comfort to you to know that you can simply call the CG (who should warranty their work and/or the work of their trades) to schedule a replacement or repair?
  5. Are you okay not micromanaging the project, trusting the GC to keep you updated?

If hiring a general contractor appeals to you, call Finished Basements and More for a no-obligation, free estimate on your basement finish or home remodel project. With nearly 50 years’ experience in home construction backing the Sheffield name, we’ve got the experience, trade relationships, and project management systems in place to see that your project runs smoothly. Check out our photo gallery for inspiration, and call us at 303-420-0056.


6777 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada, CO 80003
(303) 420-0056