If you have a large remodeling projects coming up, chances are you probably need to hire a general contractor, also known as a GC. They have different names that they go under, including building contractors, builders or simply remodelers. So why do you need one?
On this page:
- Main Responsibilities of the General Contractors
- Managing the Subcontractors
- Choosing the Right Residential or Commercial General Contractor
You may think that you are perfectly capable of handling a remodeling project, but are you able to be present all day while they are working on it, and do you have the necessary capabilities to oversee the project? A general contractor will sign a contract whereby they assume all responsibility for the development of the project, for the amount that was agreed upon. When the client and general contractor agree on the terms, they sign a contract.
The way it normally happens is that the licensed general contractor near you will also be in charge of purchasing the required materials for the project, after clearing it with the homeowner or following the terms in the contract. The GC is also responsible for the people working on the project as well as subcontractors to ensure that the project is finished on time and on budget.
As you are choosing the person that will be in charge of the whole project, choosing the right person is not a small decision. The person responsible for all aspects of the job is the most important hire you make, as he will have the largest impact on how the whole project turns out.
Before signing any documents, you need to have meetings with the possible candidates and choose the one you feel the most comfortable with, who shows clear professionalism in the way he goes about conducting business, and it often makes sense to pay a little more if the right person costs that, to make sure your remodel turns out a success.
Once you’ve received quotes from contractors, it’s important that you take the time to carefully review all the fine print. If a contractor does a bad job, the final project will not only end up taking longer but also costing more than you originally thought, and the more you can have in writing, the better protected you will be.
Main Responsibilities of the General Contractors
There are some obvious problems that can easily arise during such a project, and being prepared for those will help you keep your head cold and still progress towards the end goal. Choose the company that seems like they are able to work together with you and who are willing to take the time to sit down and explain the different aspects of the process.
Here are some of the main responsibilities of the local construction general contractors.
- Troubleshooting anything that has gone wrong and rectify it.
- Estimating the scope of the project and providing you with a quote.
- Negotiating and hiring potential subcontractors that will help on the job.
- Ensuring that you get the required permits as well get all inspections done as they’re supposed to be done.
- Determine the conditions for when the company is paid, generally by reaching certain milestones.
- Paying subcontractors what they are owed and paying for the different construction materials.
- Coordinate when subcontractors come to the construction site, so that it fits with the progress of the project, as well as accept and schedule deliveries.
- Turn the project plans into the dream home you envisioned it would end up being.
All these things are the responsibilities of the residential general contractors, which is why you need to make sure you hire the best. As a homeowner, the GC is who you will be meeting with on a regular basis to make sure everything is going according to the plan, and he’s the person you’ll raise your concerns with.
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.
If there is a problem with any of the deliveries, the GC will handle the situation. It may be that the wrong materials were delivered, or that something was not delivered on time. A good general contractor will anticipate a lot of these issues and make sure they have a very small impact on the deadline.
The job of the general contractor is to take stress off of your shoulders and make sure you can sleep well at night knowing everything is going well.
Managing the Subcontractors
As the subcontractors are the ones doing most of the actual labor, managing them efficiently is a major task. However they choose to get the job done with regards to subcontractors, will depend on the structure of their company, but it’s the GC signing off on the quality of the work, making sure it’s completed on time. It is usually always the case that the people doing mechanical trades such as plumbing and electrical will be done by subcontractors.
Since the residential and commercial building contractors will be doing a lot of jobs in the same geographical area, he will often be using the same subcontractors, and it is therefore important that he is able to have a good relationship with them. It is always better to hire a team that has worked together on previous projects with success. It also means that things will be done on time, and that they know the workflow.
The role of the GC is to make you feel safe about the progress of the project.
When you are working with an experienced general contractor, he will know which subcontractors he can rely on, and he will only be inviting those to actually come work on the project, since he knows they are able to deliver work that lives up to the standards that the homeowner is looking for.
Some types of work is often done by a GC’s own crew, which may for example be finish carpentry or framing. When you meet with the general contractor, ask him about these details and how he plans on managing the project. You need to be comfortable with the answers he provides.
Choosing the Right Residential or Commercial General Contractor
When you are in the process of hiring the best residential or commercial general contractors, it is important that you ask to get quotes from different companies. If there are large discrepancies, go ahead and ask. If one company is either significantly cheaper or more expensive, ask them what is behind those numbers.
If you are able to hire them to first prove their ability on a smaller project, you will see how you are able to work with them. It may not be possible, but it is important to make sure you take the time to get everything done the right way when it comes to hiring.
The general contractor will also have a desire to do a good job to avoid getting punitive reviews posted about his company online.
It’s important to remember that the person you are hiring will be your main point of contact once the project starts, and feeling that the person is honest and has integrity will go a long way. Doing these projects is not a simple thing, and problems are bound to arise, but how the pro deals with the situation determines if the outcome is good or not.
Our service makes it easy for you to get quotes from general contractors, and it’s entirely free to use with no obligation. Once you are contacted by the contractors, you will need to sit down and talk over the details.