I am trying to find the most cost effective approach to building a web application based in PHP. I want to know if using a PHP Framework such as, Social Engine would be best to avoid having to avoid coding the monotonous Account Settings, Privacy Settings, Account Creation, Log in, Log out, etc.
The reason I am asking is that I have a coder that is currently building a web application for me, but, I think that he wanted to start from scratch and build out the shell of the site (Account Settings, Account Creation, Email Authorization, Privacy Settings) just to bill more. In hindsight, this could have been accomplished by just buying something like Social Engine and then customizing the specs of the project onto it.
It's a social application, dealing with friends and status' and facebook "like" buttons. Is it difficult to grab the raw code, that's already written, and transform it and customize if how I want instead of starting completely from scratch? Is this really the most cost-effective approach?
It seems like he's trying to build a car by hand, and started welding the frame, because I wanted to order a custom car with a different radio, and nicer seats. Just yank out the seats and radio and stick in new ones? Don't build the entire car from scratch. Am I wrong?