What Does a General Contractor Do?
A general contractor oversees the construction of a project from start to finish. They manage vendors and trades, order materials, write checks, and help solve problems that arise during the construction process.
The job of a general contractor is to turn the dreams and visions of architects, engineers, and interior designers into reality. The job also entails working with a client to determine the scope of work and the cost of the project.
Generally, general contractors are employed by commercial or residential companies. They work on a wide variety of projects, from building new houses and apartment buildings to remodeling old ones. They often have a specialized focus, and may specialize in areas like plumbing or electrical.
In some cases, general contractors are self-employed. They travel and work on a variety of projects for different clients.
When they’re not on the road, general contractors work from an office or other business location. They manage employees, hire subcontractors, and provide a budget and timeline for the project.
They’re also responsible for quality control and scheduling, and are on site daily or multiple times a week to ensure the work is being completed as it should be. They’ll meet with the architect, engineers and other construction experts to coordinate the work that needs to be done.
General contractors have the skills and experience to complete any size project, but some specialize in a specific area of construction. This can make it easier for them to find jobs and increase their reputation as an expert in their field.
The best way to find a general contractor is to ask for references, check their credentials, and talk to others who have worked with them in the past. It’s also a good idea to make sure they’re licensed and have insurance coverage.
In addition to their own licenses, many states require that general contractors have certain levels of insurance and surety bonds for work on construction sites. These insurances cover everything from liability to equipment breakdown, and they’re important for general contractors to have on hand.
Licensing helps protect property owners and the general public by ensuring that a company has proper insurance, safety procedures, and a good track record. It’s also a way for contractors to establish themselves and gain trust in their community, especially when they’re dealing with public works projects.
Typically, a GC has an extensive network of reputable subcontractors and laborers that they can call on when they need to do specialized work or if the project is bigger than they can handle themselves. The GC will build schedules for these workers and assign tasks to them based on their skills and expertise.
They also have a responsibility to keep the worksite clean and safe. This can include keeping the site tidy and avoiding storing flammable materials, as well as protecting against theft of their tools and equipment.
If you’re a construction or renovation professional who wants to build your own general contracting company, it’s a good idea to get started with Thumbtack. The online platform connects people with construction professionals who can complete their jobs quickly and safely.