What are the Differences Between Remodeling Contractors and Building Contractors?
In most states, a licensed general building contractor or "general contractor" is allowed to construct the following:
- Residential subdivisions
- Custom homes
- Commercial buildings
- Industrial buildings
- Home remodels
- Commercial building tenant improvements
Even though one license covers all of the tasks we've listed, most general contractors specialize in only one field. In fact, these fields are so different that the industry has developed a list of names that are used to differentiate one type of bathroom or kitchen remodeling contractor from another. Here's how it breaks down:
- General contractors who build residential subdivisions, custom homes, commercial buildings, and industrial buildings are known as building contractors or simply builders.
- General contractors who remodel commercial buildings are known as tenant improvement contractors or commercial remodelers.
- General contractors who remodel homes are known as residential remodeling contractors, remodeling contractors or remodelers.
These codes and ordinances that govern commercial work are quite different from those that control residential construction. Not to mention the fact that both of these sets of rules constantly change. Also, the basic techniques used in new construction vary greatly from those used in remodeling.
For example, new construction begins with new and modern building technology and ends with a real estate agent and a For Sale sign. A remodel involves understanding how to effectively couple new technology with older buildings and building systems. but most importantly, remodeling means working in close quarters with a family who lives at the project.
Hence the old phrase: "A general contractors license does not a remodeler make."