What Is a General Contractor?
A general contractor is a person who oversees the big-picture construction process. Their responsibilities include hiring subcontractors, sourcing materials for the project and finding appropriate equipment and tools.
They also manage safety standards on the site and develop a project timeline.
The job outlook for general contractors is good, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They are projected to grow at an average rate of 5% over the next decade, which is slightly higher than the growth rates of many other occupations.
GCs work for commercial building companies or as independent contractors and often come from a background as carpenters but have business training to oversee larger construction projects. They typically work with an architect or a design firm to create plans for the project.
Their responsibilities vary depending on the delivery method of the project and whether they are responsible for the entire design and construction process or just part of it. They will often submit a bid, which is a project proposal that outlines the scheduling, cost, and labor details of the project. They consider quantities and material takeoffs from the project specifications, along with the costs of home office overhead, general conditions, and materials and equipment to create a detailed cost estimate.
To obtain the permits and licenses required for a construction project, a GC must file under their own name, which makes them accountable for following the local codes. This ensures that any future home inspection will pass and that the work is compliant with all product and material warranties.
Licensing is important for a GC because it shows they are professional and responsible. In addition, it enables them to work with a wide variety of subcontractors and suppliers while keeping their reputation in tact.
Experience is another key factor in the selection of a general contractor. A GC who has extensive experience in the field will have worked on a variety of projects, which means they have more of a working knowledge of what needs to be done on each. This can help you avoid common mistakes like skimping on permits, hiring poor quality subcontractors or taking shortcuts in the construction process that can lead to delays, extra fees or shoddy workmanship.
They should also be able to provide references from previous clients who can tell you about the contractor’s professionalism, work ethic and ability to keep schedules on track. It’s also important for them to be licensed and insured in order to protect you from any damages or injuries while on the job.
Ultimately, a GC’s ability to manage the process of building your dream home will have a huge impact on how smoothly the process runs and how close it comes to your vision. This is why it’s so important to select a GC who you feel comfortable working with, and one who has years of experience in this industry.
A good GC should be able to complete your project in accordance with the specifications set out by the architects or designers. If there are any unforeseen issues, they should be able to solve them quickly and effectively so the project stays on track.