Helpful Information For Homeowners Looking to Hire General Contractors Near Me
A lot of the medium and large construction projects are often being handled by the general contractors or GCs. Sometimes, these professionals are called builders, building contractors, remodelers, etc. What makes them become a GC is when they enter into a contract with a client, usually a homeowner, if the project is for a residential building, to work on a project and take full responsibility to get the job done for a certain amount, which the client must agree on before the job is started. Usually, the GCs will purchase the materials needed for the project and will also be responsible to hire tradespeople and bring in subcontractors in order to get the job done.
In order to ensure that the project is done right and completed to the best of your satisfaction, it is important that you choose the contractor very carefully. No other decision will have a much bigger impact on the overall success of your home construction project. Efficient plans, construction documents and contracts may not be possible if you will hire a building professional who is lacking in skills and integrity.
Choose those that you are comfortable working with and if you need to pay a little more to hire the right person for the job, then do it. You definitely will not regret this decision. The savings that you could get by hiring the lowest bidder could evaporate as the job will progress.
Main Responsibilities of the GC
Before you even start with the project, you should assume ahead that there could be problems that you will encounter along the way. Thus, you should choose the company whom you will can work cooperatively and find the best solutions to any problem. Here are some of the main responsibilities of the general contractors near me.
- Troubleshooting any project related issues.
- Estimating and quoting you for the project.
- Hiring and negotiating the contract with potential subcontractors.
- Preparing the necessary permits and schedule the date of inspection and construction.
- Establish a payment scheme based on the current work progress.
- Disburse money to the subcontractors as well as to suppliers to pay for the materials.
- Draft a work schedule for the subcontractors, deliveries and on site workers.
- Interpret the project plans, including the specifications.
While doing all the things stated above, the GC will have to regularly meet with homeowners in order to address all their concerns and will also juggle several other things in order to meet up with the tight schedule. There will usually be problems along the way that could cause possible delays. For instance, a bad weather can slow down the framing crew. As such, the plumbers and electricians will have to reschedule the job.
Moreover, there are also instances when the supplier ships wrong materials and this can also cause further delays. A good GC can anticipate these kinds of issues and will be able to come up with a solution so as not to affect the scheduling of the project.
In a much bigger company, the GC will have a team of foreman, project manager, lead carpenter and superintendent who will oversee day to day jobs. On smaller companies, the GC is expected to be at the job site regularly and can also be seen swinging a hammer, if needed.
Managing the Subcontractors
One of the main tasks of the GC is to manage the subcontractors. In fact, a lot of their energy will go to managing the subcontractors. Typically, smaller companies will rely more on the staff carpenters while bigger companies will rely on subcontractors in order to get the project completed on time. Almost all companies will use the subcontractors for mechanical trades like electrical and plumbing and in some cases, for foundation work and excavation.
A good contractor should be able to establish good relationships with the subcontractors. This means that they will show up if needed and will perform their job with less supervision. Furthermore, they know what level of work the homeowners expect and they will make sure to deliver that promptly.
Although some of the subcontractors such as the insulation installers are not really good at precision in terms of their work, they are aware that if they wanted to be able to continue working with a particular contractor, they must be able to meet with his level of standard. Perhaps they can charge a little more for a much higher quality of service, which makes it worth their time to do things right. In the end, the homeowner will be happy to pay more for a job done well.
There are some companies who will hire their own crews for finish carpentry and for framing, most especially for complicated work like built-in and custom made cabinets as well as other decorative details. In this case, it is best to use the in house crew for some special work, and for unusual wall systems and other unique jobs.
Choosing the Right Contractor
If you are already dealing with an architect, they will most probably refer you to some of the best GCs whom they have worked with in the past. This is already a good place to start when looking for a reliable building professional. But whether you need to start from scratch or you already have a list of GCs, the process is basically the same. You should know that the bigger the job, then the more effort you need to put in it just to find the right contractor for the job. The best strategy is to hire them to do small stuff and then see how it goes.
In general, finding home building experts is pretty much the same as looking for a reliable lawyer, doctor and other professionals whom you can trust to work on certain projects. Just like with a lawyer or doctor, there will be several things that will be at stake if these professionals mess up on their job. In this day and age of the Internet where people can easily spread information, these professionals will be in serious trouble if they will not do things right.
Another great way to look for reliable GCs is to check with your circle of friends and colleagues or perhaps interview some of your neighbors. If you know of anyone who has recently worked with a contractor, then talk to them and see if they can refer such company to you. Gather feedback and get in touch with the GC so you can do a short interview and get to know them more.
Remember that you and the GC that you will hire will be business partners for the entire duration of the project, so you better choose someone who has integrity and honesty. Problems will for sure arise during the duration of the project, especially for bigger jobs, so it is better to choose those who can act fairly and responsible in resolving any issues that could come along the way.
Above all, choose the company that fits with your personality and style. So take time to interview the GC and use your best judgment in deciding whether such company is what you need or not. Do not be in a rush and if possible, interview at least three potential GCs.