Who's Who

Who Do i hire?


When a homeowner is beginning the process of planning a home improvement project it can be overwhelming. Most homeowners need some assistance in order to bring their project to fruition. The question becomes “who do I hire?" You can use the following information to help determine your needs. 

Contractor- the term contractor typically refers to a single trade craftsman such as a painter, landscaper, electrician, plumber or handyman. A homeowner would typically deal direct with this type of contractor when they need a specific project done. Most homeowners seek these types of contractors through a referral of a friend or family member, an advertisement or social media. This type of transaction is straight forward; you make a call, the contractor visits your home to see the project, they present an estimate, if you agree, typically a deposit is paid, the work is scheduled, the work is completed and the balance is paid. The contractor uses a cost plus overhead and profit specifically formulated for their business and passes that onto his clients. Overhead and profit varies by contractor, on average 20-60% markup is used (low 10% high 100%).

General Contractor- when a homeowner’s project scales larger than a single trade contractor, they may benefit from the expertise of a General Contractor or “GC”. A transaction between a GC and a homeowner is similar to that of a contractor except the GC acts as the management for entire project. The GC has a team of both in house employees and subcontractors that will design, estimate, procure materials and complete a project. Although a GC is never required for a project, it is always a plus to have an experienced GC when there are multiple subcontractors needed to complete a project. A homeowner has every right to act as their own “GC” but without the experience in managing and scheduling contractors it is highly cautioned against. A 4-week project can easily become 4-month project if you don’t have relationships with the right subcontractors. Like a contractor, a GC uses a cost plus overhead and profit specifically formulated for their business and of course varies by GC. On average 30-60% markup is used (low 20% high 100%).

Project Consultant- a Project Consultant or "PC" assists the homeowner with design, estimating, contractor selection and management of a project when hired directly by a homeowner. A PC has relationships with several contractors which can be useful when a homeowner needs guidance on selecting the right contractor. A PC can also be used in-house for a Contractor or General Contractor paying the PC a contracted fee. When hired by a homeowner, a PC is not responsible for the day to day management of the project but does interact with subcontractors and vendors. The homeowner is responsible for the project with the assistance of the PC. The size and scope of a project will best determine if a Project Consultant is the right fit for you. The Project Consultant fee is paid by the homeowner and usually ranges between 10-20% of project cost.

Design Consultant- A Design Consultant is a person who assists a homeowner with layout and product selections. Some work independently for an hourly fee where others are contracted as in-house designers directly for a General Contractor or a home center. They are responsible for design and communication with vendors and GC’s pertaining to the selections made by the homeowner.

GHS is licensed and insured to act as any of the above depending on the homeowners needs!

Call today and let us know how we can help you!