Do it Yourself VS. Contractor

As you prepare to begin a home project and are considering whether you should hire a licensed contractor or complete the work as a do-it-yourself (DIY) project, please note that homeowner permits can only be issued to property owners doing work on the single-family homes in which they live.

Do it Yourself

Permits vary from one project to another.
  • A contractor may be able to obtain all the necessary permits at once while a homeowner less familiar with permitting process may spend more time and effort securing the permits.
It may appear that doing the work yourself is cheaper than hiring a contractor. There are, however, certain risks involved.

Property Damage

If your property or your neighbor's property is damaged over the course of the do it yourself project and you have to replace property, the responsibility for repair and replacement is yours. If you use a licensed and insured contractor, the contractor's insurance would cover any liability.


Most projects requiring permits will also require inspections to insure that the construction meets Gallatin building code. A licensed contractor is responsible for completing the project according to code. As a homeowner completing the project yourself, you could incur additional costs if portions of your project had to be redone in order to meet the build code.


Typically, contractors provide a one year warranty on material and labor.

Hire a Contractor

If you decide to hire a contractor, we require the following documentation:
  • General liability
  • Workers Comp
  • State Contractor License
  • City Permit Bond

Helpful Suggestions

The following may be used as suggestions only:

What to Avoid
  • Never pay cash.
  • Avoid contractors demanding full payment before doing any work.
  • Avoid contractors who will work without a written contract.
  • Avoid contractors who want you to secure permits in your name rather than the contractor's name. The permit holder is legally responsible for the completion of the job to building code standards.
What to Include in the Contract
After selecting your contractor, get a written contract detailing the work to be performed, the costs associated with each task, a time frame with estimated start and end finish dates and protection against liens from subcontractors. In addition the contract should include:
  • Contractor's letterhead
  • The company's name, address, phone numbers and license numbers
  • The consumer's name, phone number, and address where work is to be performed
  • Date the contract is signed
  • Payment schedule
  • Termination clause
  • Whether permits will be obtained and who will be responsible for "pulling" the permit
  • Clear statement of work that is included and excluded as it pertains to your project