You could pick out your tile, granite, paint, cabinets, sink and faucet, and then hire an installer, fabricator, painter, carpenter and plumber to do the work. Or you could hire a general contractor, who already knows the best tradesmen in your community and can hire them on your behalf—and save you hours of research, interviews, reference-checking and scheduling.
A general contractor is a project manager who learns what you want and then figures out how to give that to you. He might do some of the installation himself, but will hire subcontractors—experts in windows, tile, landscaping, etc., to do the jobs that require specialists. When you hire a general contractor, you should not have to hire any of those subcontractors yourself.
Some general contractors have a great eye for design and can help you choose products like countertops and flooring, but that’s not really their job or their area of expertise. Their focus is on doing the tearing out, building up and installing that needs to be done, based on the plans and choices that architects and interior designers work up with the homeowner.
So it’s a good idea to hire a general contractor who has relationships with architects and interior designers.
When you hire a general contractor, choose one with a license from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors and a listing on the award-winning Rosie on the House Referral Network. Then, call a few of the contractor’s past clients to ask for recommendations. And insist on a free, initial consultation so you can meet the people you’ll be working with. Remodeling takes time; it’s a good idea to hire people you like.