When working on a construction project, farmers and ranchers should consider the time and money needed

Every producer has a construction project of some kind in the works, whether it is still just a dream or idea, or whether it’s halfway done. Every producer also knows that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything…and that money and enough time do not often accompany one another.

If a new barn or house is in the works, should one hire a contractor to save time, or do it themselves to save money?

Hire a Guy

If you are not construction savvy, have enough on your plate already or are not a very organized person by nature, hiring a contractor can eliminate a good deal of stress. According to Building Advisor, an experienced contractor brings a wealth of knowledge to a project that can make the building process go smoothly and efficiently, resulting in lower costs and higher quality work. Based on years of experience, he knows what materials and building details will stand the test of time, and which are prone to failure.

A general contractor can also save you money by negotiating effectively with subs (subcontractors) and suppliers, and managing the work efficiently to avoid extra costs.”

In an article by Kandace Fisher, housing and environmental design specialist, and grad student Lisa Hamilton-Hill, they suggest those considering hiring a contractor should determine what they want done to the letter, acquire at least three detailed estimates, check contractor credentials and set a payment schedule. A lien waiver should also be acquired after the job is completed.


If you are well organized, a quick learner, have good financial and business skills, and have the time and interest to effectively plan and manage a building project, you can save a substantial amount of money, maybe even 15 percent or more if you do everything right and are lucky enough to steer clear of any messy (and costly) mistakes, according to Building Advisor.

On a $200,000 project, that’s as much as $30,000, if everything goes right. Even if you end up saving only $20,000 – a more realistic goal, that’s still real money and may be worth the time and effort.”

Scott McGillivray, licensed contractor, real estate investor and media personality for HGTV, advises anyone considering the DIY route to honestly evaluate their ability to complete tasks safely and efficiently, consider the cost of making potential mistakes and having to pay to fix them, and to determine what their time is worth and how much they want the project done.

“Doing a project yourself will likely take some time and take you away from other things you’d rather be doing. Hiring a professional will likely cost you more but it will also probably get your project completed much faster,” he has said.

Would-be-builders need to gauge the risk factors of every project. If you don’t have the electrical expertise, for example, wiring can be, well, shocking. Plumbing mishaps can lead to broken pipes and costly leaks. Do you know how to secure a permit? If not, you could be subject to fines when you sell. Be realistic about what you can and can’t do. Spending a little extra on a professional now can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in the future.


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