Building Yourself VS Hiring a General Contractor
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Building Yourself VS Hiring a General Contractor

Building Yourself vs Hiring a General Contractor

I’m often asked how hard it is to build a house or do a renovation.  Do you think I can do it by myself is what I’m usually asked.  I always respond with the same answer.  You can most definitely renovate or build yourself but it will be a steep learning curve and a costly one.

I built my first house in 1995 when I was living in Winnipeg.  I actually hired a guy to be the General Contractor.  I was on the site everyday and the General Contractor vary rarely showed up at the site.  I learned a lot through watching that house being built and thought I would have a good handle on the next house I was going to build.  What a mistake that was.

In 1998 I decided I was going to build a house.  I really didn’t know what I was doing but I figured that since I had watched my first house being built I could stumble my way through and hopefully have a place for my family to call home.  As I started building the house I quickly realized that there was a lot more to building than I had expected.  Nevertheless, I was able to complete the house and we moved in.  The problem is it cost me way more money to build the house by myself than it would have to hire someone to build the house for me and my stress level was through the roof.   So that is what you have ask yourself:  Do you want to spend more money to renovate this house or build this house just so you can learn how to do it  while at the same time experiencing excessive amounts of stress.

An average person with average intelligence can build a house or do a renovation if they have the time.   But one thing is for sure, you will have to pay in one form or another.

Next time I will write about how much it should cost for a General Contractor to do your renovation or custom home for you.

The top picture is a picture of an addition and kitchen renovation before the project and the other picture is what the addition and renovation looked like after the project.


Dave Stephens

LIDA Homes Inc. / Mr. Contractor Referral Services

Phone 250-514-7702

Fax 250-590-0268


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Dave Stephens - Is the President of LIDA Homes Inc. / Mr. Contractor Referral Services. He has been building and renovating homes since 1998. He is a licensed residential builder with the B.C. Home Protection Office and provides his clients with a 2-5-10 year home warranty. His business mantra is: "The Pursuit of Complete Customer Satisfaction." He will not leave your home until the job is done right.

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  1. Fleta Schlender
    Aug 05, 2011

    I gotta bookmark this web site it seems handy handy

    • Dave Stephens
      Aug 05, 2011

      Thank you. I believe that contractors and General Contractors can raise there game when it comes to customer satisfaction.




I've been very pleased with the level of service I've received from Mr. Contractor and now use the service on a regular basis for our home and rental properties. Mr. Stephens is very professional and sincere in his desire to provide the best customer service possible.

S. Green

S. Green

We were very pleased with Mr. Contractor Referral Services. We could not find someone to fix our gutters that had been crushed in two places. It was a small job that no gutter contractor wanted to come and do.

D. Jantzen

"Prior to hiring Mr. Contractor, we hired a 'handy man' who bit into something more than what he could handle. It was a nightmare. The previous contractor led us on about the jobs being done, and the time they were going to be done. Needless to say, he never finished the job because he was not capable of doing it. Honestly, it was a 'Holmes on Homes' episode! Once Mr. Contractor came into the picture, the jobs were being done by professionals, on time! It was scary hiring someone to start a job that someone else began, but Mr. Contractor made the transition easy. From day one, Mr. Contractor gave us a quote, the right qualified persons for the right jobs. We will always be thankful for the great job done each time we step foot in the finished area."

Francisco Aviles

“Fabulous. I can't say enough about how amazing each tradesperson was to work with. Every individual that I met was pleasant, listened to what I wanted or though and did their very best to produce my vision. And then there was Dave who oversaw everything. Dave called or dropped by daily to ensure everything was proceeding as planned (and responded with grace and humour when I occasionally changed a plan!). Dave's common sense approach to my renos helped me relax about everything. It's hard to trust someone to take apart and then put back together your home, but Dave inspired absolute trust and confidence. I added in a few things as we proceeded and was expecting that my changes would add quite a bit to the contract price that Dave and Lida Homes had providing to me. I was wrong the 'add ins' that I wanted were less than $1,000 above the original contact price!! . I can't say enough about the work Dave and Lida Homes did for me! Thank you!!!”

Coinna Craig

Corrina Craig