The True Cost of a General Contractor

hand holding tiny wooden house
true cost of hiring a general contractor

Is The Cost of a General Contractor Worth it vs Doing it Yourself?

Deciding if the cost of a general contractor is worth the investment vs doing the remodeling yourself is a question that keeps many up at night. Did you know that in many cases upwards of 50% of the spend on a home renovation or new build is attributed to the cost of labor and tax for a professional contractor? Almost mind-blowing, right? When most people hear that, their natural conclusion is to assume they can save tons of money by renovating or building their home DIY style. The how-to knowledge is out there to discover on the internet, so learning to do it yourself can feel within reach. But even with a blueprint, is it going to save you money for you to subcontract yourself?

Right off the bat, home improvements are huge undertakings. Extensive research and planning are involved, then demoing, framing, electrical and plumbing work, drywall, and finishings (flooring, tiling, painting, and wallpapering). That is a lot to learn and with that comes ample room for mistakes to happen structurally, mechanically, aesthetically and ergonomically. When considering cost savings, there is no return on investment if you have to do everything twice. 

To determine the true cost of DIY home renovations, you have to consider the cost of your TIME, STRESS LEVEL and LEARNING CURVE. Run through the list of common warnings below and then you’ll be closer to understanding the true cost of doing it yourself. 

  • MORE TIME – To learn new skills and then translate what you learned into real-life experience is extremely time-consuming (home renovations are time-consuming even for professionals!).  Add to the mix that it’s your first time practicing these skills and you’re at least doubling your time commitment. 
  • MORE STRESS – Highly specific skills like plumbing and electrical, if done incorrectly, could lead to catastrophic and expensive outcomes like fires or flooding. Plus, if you don’t learn how to build your bathroom renovation in compliance with local building codes, that could cause major bumps in the road when you go to sell your home down the line. Your buyer may qualify for a bank loan to make a purchase, but the bank determines if the home is up to code before they hand over the cash to make the sale happen.
  • HIGHER LEARNING CURVE – Mistakes from room additions gone wrong, even small ones, or unprofessional quality, can cause you to spend more money/time/energy redoing a job. Even worse, it could cause damage down the line that requires expensive repairs. And when we say small mistakes, we mean really small. For example, not slightly slanting your shower ledge downward into the shower causes water to leak out of the shower and onto the floor, leading to a rotted floor that you’ll have to eventually repair. 

Now that we’ve considered the cost of your valuable time, stress level and mistakes – add that to the cost of your tools and materials. That 50% savings cost we told you about is greatly diminished, if not down to zero, at this point. That is the reality of DIY home renovation costs.

The extensive experience that professional contractors (like us over at Broderick Dean) bring to the table is priceless and will make all the difference in the success of your home renovation projects. Not only do we handle your project like it is our own home, but we provide design assistance, architectural plans, and 3d renderings to help our clients see their dreams come to life. Let us go to work for you! Visit to schedule your consultation today.

Note: At Broderick Dean Construction we strive to keep our contractor costs below 40%. Yet, industry standards can go as high as 70%.



At Broderick Dean Construction, we know the importance of blending good design with quality construction. We specialize in all phases of custom residential and commercial design solutions for all project types – from conversions or extensions to new builds and redesigns.