General contractors are the people who oversee job sites, manage personnel, and work with architects and property owners to ensure that your construction dreams become a reality. They are responsible for day-to-day decisions at the site in addition to communication with the many people involved with the project. These professionals are licensed and trained to obtain the necessary materials, equipment, and subcontractors required to complete your construction project. Whether you are remodeling a home or need a new set of metal buildings for your business, a general contractor can assist in your construction project.
When do you need a general contractor?
Most general contractors are employed directly by the client who is contracting the building or remodeling project. As the client, you may decide by yourself that you would like some assistance with the details of your project, or you may be given a recommendation by an architect. For example, it may be tempting to hire a concrete contractor, paving contractor, or foundation contractor separately when you begin your building project, but you can save a lot of time and stress by selecting a general contractor to handle the entire process.
What does a general contractor do?
As the title indicates, a general contractor can wear many hats when overseeing a building project. As a generalized leader, this contractor will rarely complete any of the construction projects himself. Instead, the general contractor will act as a facilitator or manager of the job.
Here are several other duties of the general contractor:
1. Permit handler – The general contractor interacts with local and state officials to make sure that all building and remodeling projects meet the established codes. You will not need to concern yourself with the headache of meeting building regulations. Your general contractor will be present at all inspections by city officials, and he will keep the project within the confines of the law. The general contractor is tasked with handling any issues and reporting back to you on a regular basis.
2. Budget-er – You will work with your general contractor to create a project estimate and budget for your construction project, but the contractor will be in charge of maintaining that budget throughout the building process. He will report to you about the status of the project and the state of the budget, making sure to keep you in the loop if there are any unexpected expenses.
3. Subcontractor scheduler – Because the general contractor will either have his own team of subcontractors or know many trades-persons, he will be in charge of hiring, scheduling, and paying the people working on your project. You can trust your general contractor to find quality workers and to deal with these trades-persons effectively and proactively keep your project on your timeline.
4. Supply finder – Your general contractor will work with you to choose the supplies and materials for your construction project. Many lumber yards and building stores will offer discounts to contractors who frequently purchase from them, so you will reap the benefits of that relationship. Once you have made the decisions about materials, the general contractor will handle ordering the supplies and overseeing the delivery and installation.
5. Professional expert – Although you could handle many of these tasks yourself with some organization and planning, a general contractor is licensed to perform these duties. This means that he has been properly trained and has significant experience working in the construction industry. You will spend some money to hire a general contractor, but that could be money that you will save by having someone with construction knowledge to manage your project. This will help you get your project finished on time and with the quality that you want.
Consider hiring a general contractor for your next construction project to save you time and money.