What Is a General Contractor and Does Your Project Need One?

If you’re taking on a full remodeling project, or even if you’re just tackling a number of smaller projects but have no experience or skill in construction or design, it always pays to hire a general contractor. Doing so will ensure that you get the results you want, and while doing things yourself might save you money in the short term, the risks involved with doing things incorrectly and having to replace or repair them, far outweigh the benefits of a DIY job. But who exactly is a general contractor?

What is the role of a general contractor?

General contractors are responsible for overseeing a construction or renovation project in its entirety, and they’re essential for both complex and residential construction projects.

If your project requires input from a variety of different professionals, such as designers, architects, plumbers and electricians for example, a general contractor will coordinate them at each of the projects phases, and will be covered by workers compensation and liability insurance. Should a sub-contractor be injured while working at the construction site, or your property is accidentally damaged, the general contractor will take care of the problem

They will also obtain all the necessary permits that might be required for the entire project.

What are a general contractors responsibilities throughout a project?

Before any construction work begins, a general contractor may be responsible for some or all of the following:

  • Making and keeping track of a building budget
  • Hiring subcontractors to do specific jobs
  • Working with the architect to ensure the design is carried out

Then, once construction work gets underway, the general contractor will probably focus on the following:

  • Using construction specs to supervise all construction work
  • Maintaining the project’s timeline effectively
  • Reacting to delays in the schedule and any other difficulties that may arise

After the construction work has been completed, the general contractor will still have work to do, which typically involves the following:

  • The collecting and tracking of lien waivers
  • Ensuring that all subcontractors are compensated for their work
  • Managing payment-related difficulties further down the payment chain

As the primary contact between subcontractors and the owner of the building, a general contractor is an essential cog in the wheel of any construction project, and without one, most projects fail at the very first hurdle.

If you’re planning any kind of construction project, large or small, you’ll almost certainly benefit from the guidance and support of an experienced general contractor.

 

 

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