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What Are The Roles Of A General Contractor?

If you have some minor repairs at home, you may be okay with a regular contractor. Fixing broken windows and pipes can be done by such professionals.

But, when you have a huge construction project, a regular contractor may not be ideal. Your best shot at getting an excellent end result could start at hiring a general contractor.

A general contractor plays different roles that will make the job easier. You also don’t have to worry about monitoring the project yourself. They usually supervise the entirety of the job.

This article talks about the many roles and responsibilities of a general contractor. You will learn about some vital tips to help you choose the right professional for your project. It will also discuss mistakes you should avoid making.

What Are The Roles And Responsibilities Of A General Contractor?

One of the reasons why you should consider hiring a general contractor is the many roles they play while handling a project. Some of the important ones include:

Providing resources:

 The general contractor will provide all the necessary resources. This includes labor and all the equipment needed for the project. They also have to find the best materials and transport them to the project site. The contractor will hire subcontractors as well.

Securing the project:

 The contractor has the responsibility of making the project secure. Managing those working on the site and monitoring project schedules are part of the job. The contractor will also provide security for the tools onsite.

Applying for necessary permits:

 Before you start working on a project, you must have the necessary permits from the government or other relevant entities. A general contractor knows the permits you need and will help you to apply for them. This includes zoning and building permits.

Reviewing plans:

 The contractor also reviews the plan. The goal is to find the best way to handle the project without missing the deadline.

Managing employees: 

The general contractor will manage the employees working on the project. Apart from hiring the best hands for the project, they train employees when necessary. They also ensure that each person on the project works according to their assignment. The general contractor also handles payroll.

Regulation research and law reviews: 

The contractor must research existing regulations. This is to ensure you don’t violate any building rules. They must also review the construction laws as well. Doing this will help you start and complete your project. This should help you avoid any legal issues with local or federal authorities.

Project Management: 

Project management includes creating a project schedule. It also includes notifying both the suppliers and other professionals of the schedule. General contractors manage the workers and the entirety of the project.

Once you hire a general contractor to oversee your project, you can sit back and watch the progress. As long as you hire a proven professional. General contractors manage the workers and the entirety of the project.

A general contractor plays these roles and several others to ensure the project runs smoothly from start to finish.

Reasons Why You Should Consider Hiring A General Contractor

There are several benefits you gain when hiring a general contractor to handle your project. They bring experience, professionalism and a unique strategy to your project. Here are a few reasons why hiring a general contractor may be the best decision for you:

1. It’s cost effective

Hiring a general contractor is cost-effective. If you don’t have a general contractor to supervise the project, you may end up hiring the wrong hands.  You may even end up with a job gone wrong. Worse, it will cost you even more money to fix the situation. This is because you might need to buy new materials and hire someone to fix or redo the original job.

2. It saves time

 Think about the time it will take you to find qualified professionals. Multiply that by the different fields you will need to hire for the project. A general contractor already has connections with other subcontractors. This means they can get the projected started without delay and finish on time.

3. Best hands for the project

 Hiring a contractor helps keep frauds away from your project. A general contractor has a network of professional subcontractors they can choose from for your project. This means that you will have capable hands managing each aspect of your project.

4. Accountability is assured

 People working on a project are fond of pointing fingers when things go wrong. Working with a general contractor prevents such things from happening. This is because, as the manager, they are responsible for what happens during the project. They will provide you with a regular comprehensive report about your project.

5. Experience and Expertise

 A general contractor brings both experience and expertise. They have most likely worked on similar projects in the past. So, they have an idea of what challenges to expect and how such problems can be solved. Hiring a general contractor leaves you with a confident feeling that the project will turn out great.

8 Important Things To Consider When Hiring A General Contractor

When looking for a general contractor, you will have several options to choose from. This may make the selection process a bit challenging. Even so, use the following tips to help you choose the right person for your project:

1. Check the Contractor

If you know the contractor’s previous and current clients, contact them. Ask for their opinion about them and their service. Can they vouch for the contractor? How efficient and credible is the agency?

Ask your friends and family if they know about the contractors on your list. Check with the associations in charge of the contractor’s area of specialization. If the company is registered with the association, you will find reliable information.

Doing this will help you separate frauds and scammers from real professionals.

2. Does the Contractor Carry Insurance?

This is another factor that you shouldn’t overlook. While working, the contractor or the employees may be exposed to occupational hazards. What if there isn’t an insurance policy that covers everyone working on your project? If this is the case, you will be responsible for anything that goes wrong during the project.

But, the company will be responsible for accidents that occur while working, if it has insurance. This spares you the extra expenses that an unfortunate incidence may cost you.

Inquire from the company whether it carries insurance or not. If it does, ask for the type and evidence of insurance it carries.

3. Check the Contractor’s Previous Jobs

One of the best ways to confirm a contractor’s claims is by checking their portfolio. Ask the contractors if they can give you a list of their current and former clients. Visit these clients and inspect the jobs they did for them.

If you are in doubt about anything, feel free to ask the clients. You may want to ask about the credibility of the contractor. Ask other relevant questions that will give you a better idea of what the contractor is capable of doing. Review a contractor’s past jobs to get an idea of competence, credibility, and expertise.

4. Don’t Use Price as Your Yardstick

It is important to consider price when hiring a contractor. But, this shouldn’t be the most important factor of the hiring process. While you may get quotes from different contractors, avoid basing your decision on the price.

If you hire a cheap contractor, you may be in for a big surprise. What if the contractor is just desperate for work? The contractor may even be willing to cut corners to make up for the cheap price.

If a contractor is offering something that sounds too good to be, most of the time, it isn’t a good idea. Take a step back and reassess the situation. 

5. Check the Licensing

Is the general contractor licensed for operation? Getting the right answer to this question will save you from heartbreak later. A licensed contractor will obey the terms and conditions attached to the licensing.

The requirements for eligibility for licensing include credibility, expertise, and competence. Once a contractor meets licensing requirements, you are dealing with a professional.

Check whether the subcontractors have licenses too. This is to ensure that only competent and credible professionals are handling your project.

6. Have a Phone Conversation First

Before you invite contractors to your house for inspection, speak with them on the phone. During the conversation, ask questions that will give you an insight into what the contractor has to offer.

Have handled similar projects? Ask them to give you information about some they claim to have worked with in the past. What are their processes. Pay attention to the contractor’s response.

If you are not satisfied with the conversation or answers, you always have other options. Explore them.

7. Is the Contractor Flexible?

A competent general contractor must be flexible. They should be able to make necessary changes that will make it easier to do the job on schedule. Such a contractor must also have a general idea of the different areas of the project. This includes painting, plumbing, window installation, and roofing.

It is also important that they are willing and ready to handle different parts of the job as required. This is to ensure that they complete the project within the deadline.

Sometimes, they may work on weekends or extra hours to meet the deadline. Otherwise, you may have a problem with the contractor if the one you hired isn’t flexible.

8. Check Local Contractors

Before you look for a general contractor from a different area, take a look at the ones in your neighborhood. Some of these professionals may have been in the business for years. They have the experience and easily verifiable completed projects as proof. They are usually very reliable, making them perfect for such projects.

Remember that if they have a bad reputation, they wouldn’t still be around. Their existence in the neighborhood is proof of their impressive track record. It is also easier to do a background check on local contractors than ones hired from abroad.

More so, if there is a problem you want to fix, your local contractor is accessible.

5 Things You Should Never Say to a General Contractor

Have heart-to-heart discussions with the contractors on your list before you choose one. But, there are things you should avoid saying during your interview. Especially if you want a well executed project.

Here is a list of 5 things you should never say to a general contractor:

1.  “I Have A Budget”

Under no condition should you tell a general contractor your budget. If you do, the contractor may exploit you. For instance, if you inform a contractor that you have a budget of $50,000, that is what you will get. If the project were to cost far below that, they will find a way to hike the cost of the project to that exact figure.

Instead, collect estimates from several contractors. Go through them and settle for any of the estimates that align with your budget.

2.  “I’m Not In A Hurry”

If you want the contractor make your project a priority, don’t tell them you are not in a hurry. If you give the impression that they can handle your job at their convenience, the contractor will take on other jobs in-between. That means they won’t complete the job as fast as you want.

To get your job done fast, give a deadline. Let the contractor know you can’t shift it. They will be interested in getting finishing it before moving to another job.

3.  “You’re the Only One Bidding on this Project”

You are not helping yourself if you let a contractor know they are the only one bidding for your job. This makes them feel secure. It also exposes you to exploitation.

Let each contractor know you have competitor’s bids for your project. That will make them sit up and be reasonable with their estimates.

4.  “I’m comfortable with the ‘Gentlemen Agreement’”

When dealing with a contractor, don’t tell them you are comfortable with a verbal agreement. That might come back to bite you. Make sure that you have a written agreement signed by both of you, before work starts.

This has nothing to do with trust issues. It’s a great way to play a safe game. A written agreement gives you an edge. If the contractor wants to change the terms of the job, you can always refer to the written agreement.

5. “I’ll Make Full Payment Upfront”

Do you think offering full payment upfront will make your job get done faster? If so, you might be in for a rude awakening.  It is very unlikely that this arrangement will work, you will be paying for a project that hasn’t even started. That puts you at a disadvantage.

When you pay according to milestones reached, you have an advantage. If the contractor doesn’t meet up to expectation, don’t pay until your concerns are addressed.

But if you make the full payment upfront, you lose that leverage. If the contractor turns in a substandard job, you may be unable to hold them accountable. 

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