What Does a General Contractor Do?
A general contractor, also known as a main or prime contractor, is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of a construction site, management of vendors and trades, and the communication of information to all involved parties throughout the course of a building project. They oversee the entire operation from start to finish and work closely with the project architect to ensure that the plans are met.
They also manage the financial aspects of a project. This includes establishing a budget and ensuring that the entire process runs smoothly.
To complete the project, they hire a team of contractors and subcontractors to carry out all the required work. These include plumbers, carpenters, electricians, painters, HVAC installers, and other skilled professionals. The GC is responsible for negotiating with each of these companies to ensure that the cost of their services are within the agreed-upon budget.
They must ensure that the materials they buy are of a high quality and that all workers on the jobsite adhere to safety standards. They are also responsible for making sure that all necessary permits have been obtained and that the construction is in accordance with all relevant laws and regulations.
The construction industry is a huge one and can be complicated, so a good general contractor should have extensive experience in the field. This can help them avoid many of the common pitfalls that homebuilders face during the process and save their clients time, money, and stress.
Licensed, Bonded, and Insured
A good general contractor is licensed in the state where they operate. This is important because licensing confirms that they have a good reputation and that they follow the rules of the industry. It’s also a way for the government to protect homeowners and their property.
Licenses are often issued by local governments, so it’s essential that you only hire a licensed contractor. They should be able to provide you with a copy of their license and show that they have passed a background check. In addition, it’s a good idea to ask about any lawsuits filed against them or their clients over the years.
Managing the Supply Chain
The supply of raw materials, tools, and equipment is crucial for a large construction project to run smoothly. To streamline this process, a GC must employ a capable team of professionals with expertise in logistics.
GCs must ensure that the materials and tools they buy are of a high quality and are used by workers who have been properly trained and certified in their use. This will reduce the risk of accidents on the jobsite and make the whole process safer for everyone involved.
They must also manage the supply chain to ensure that all material and tools are delivered on schedule, with proper quality, and for the correct price. This is a crucial responsibility for a general contractor to take on, as it’s the biggest factor in achieving a successful outcome.
A good general contractor will be able to work with you through the process of creating your dream home, offering you realistic estimates and helping you stay on track during the build. He will also be able to guide you through the permitting and coding process, so that you don’t end up with a construction nightmare.