It's very tempting to hire a skilled acquaintance, a neighbor or a friend to work on your home. So why should you hire a licensed General Contractor? The simple answer is the difference between Price and Cost!
Sure, you will likely save some money by hiring a "handyman" to help you remodel your home, that will certainly lower the Price! But the Cost may surprise you. A licensed professional (General, Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, etc.) has the expertise and INSURANCE to assure you that you will not be held liable (or uncovered) in case things go wrong.
In many cases the scope of work will require a Building Permit and Inspections by the local building authority. This protects you, the homeowner, and assures you that the project has been completed in compliance with Building Code. (The International Residential Code book is over 900 pages and doesn't include electrical or plumbing, that is a different code!)
Let's imagine an unpleasant scenario. You own a home with an unfinished basement and you and a couple of buddies decide that you can tackle the work. Now, this is perfectly legal as long as you pull a Building Permit and have the work inspected. You can do your own work.
But let's suppose you don't want the hassle and expense of getting a permit so you get started with the framing, and it goes well! Next, plumbing and electrical. Well the plumbing wasn't so bad and the electrical? It's just black for hot, white for neutral and green for ground, right? Not exactly Brain Surgery! Things go well and after drywall, paint and flooring you finish up with lighting, switches and outlets (after watching several youtube videos).
Pretty soon you stand back and admire your handiwork! Not bad for some do-it-yourselfers!
You move in the furniture and begin enjoying your new space. Time passes and you begin to have trouble with a particular light fixture, but it's sporadic and seems to working ok now.
Then, an overloaded circuit or incorrectly wired outlet sparks a fire and torches the basement. You were able to quickly extinguish the flames and no one was hurt but half of your basement work has burned. You file a claim with your insurance company and they send an inspector and speak with the fire department. The agent asks for the permit you used to do the electrical work.
You explain that you did the work yourself without a permit and he denies your claim.
Let that sink in a minute...
Now, imagine a worse scenario where your house burns to the ground or someone is seriously injured.
This type of thing happens more than you would imagine.
You were able to reduce the Price but in the end, the Cost was significantly more.
Please, hire a licensed, insured professional to work on your home.
It's good insurance!