What Is A General Contractor?
General contractors are often considered to be one of the most important links in the chain of command for a construction project. A general contractor, principal contractor or subcontractor is ultimately responsible for the management of trades and vendors, day-to- day oversight of the construction site and coordination of details with all involved parties during the course of a project. The role of these professionals can also include negotiating the scope of work, preparing bids and proposals, as well as developing contract documents and communicating with all parties. In addition, they may also be involved in other significant areas such as legal issues, safety and environmental considerations, cost control and budgeting, and negotiations with subcontractors and vendors.
As you begin your search for experienced contractors for your next building project, it is important to understand the different types of general contractor that exist. There are some contractors who perform only “one set of tasks,” while others provide a full range of services. For this reason, it is essential to do your homework before hiring a general contractor. Some basic questions to ask include: what services have been previously completed by this company; how long have they been in business; what past projects were handled by this company; what licensing and insurance coverage this firm possesses; and how quickly this company will take care of my project. Additionally, you should determine the level of experience that a general contractor has in residential construction. As residential construction represents one of the most lucrative and growing fields in the construction industry, it is crucial that you hire a general contractor that has extensive experience and expertise in this industry.
While there are contractors who are licensed and regulated by every state in the country, not every general contractor is licensed to perform construction work. Before you hire a contractor, it is important to ensure that they are licensed to perform construction work in your state. This is a very simple process that usually requires only a business license and proof of training or experience. Most general contractors that are licensed are bonded and insured. Once a general contractor is licensed to carry out construction work, they are typically also bonded and insured.
There are several benefits to hiring general contractors. One of the most obvious benefits is that they will take the stress and responsibility of managing a complex construction project off of your shoulders. This will allow you to focus on completing the project and eliminating any other household responsibilities you may have. Additionally, general contractors tend to handle everything from the initial concept to the ground floor finishing, so you will not need to worry about finishing details like measuring and cutting materials.
Most general contractors start out working as subcontractors for larger construction companies. After they have established themselves and become known within the construction community, they may be hired by large firms to complete projects on a full-time basis. General contractors can often manage several different jobs simultaneously, which allows them to divide their time appropriately between different projects. Some contractors may choose to start out working as an assistant to a contractor, and eventually work their way up to being the general contractor himself. Regardless, of how they get started, once a general contractor is hired, he or she will be responsible for managing the overall project from start to finish.
While hiring construction workers may be more cost effective in the short term, it can quickly become more expensive in the long run if the worker needs to be paid for numerous sub-contractors. If a general contractor is hired to do a job, he or she will usually hire several subcontractors to help complete the same task. If each subcontractor is paid his or her own salary, the overall price of the construction project will increase. Instead, it is better to pay one big lump sum and make one payment rather than several small payments for each individual subcontractor.