The Importance of a General Contractor
Whether you’re planning to build your own home, or have a remodeling project that requires an experienced construction professional, a general contractor can help. GCs oversee the entire construction process, hiring subcontractors and ensuring that everything is done to a high standard and within budget.
The Demand for a General Contractor
A good general contractor has experience in a wide range of areas, including masonry, carpentry and framing, according to James Corr, founder and owner of CCH, a Los Angeles-based custom home builder. He says that a good GC can give you a realistic idea of what it will cost to construct your house, and keep you from falling into a “house-building hole.”
When You Should Hire a General Contractor
When you’re planning to build or remodel your own home, it’s always a good idea to hire a contractor as soon as possible to ensure that your plan is feasible. Having a contractor on board before construction begins can also save you money and headaches down the line, because they’ll be familiar with the permitting process in your locality and know which codes to follow.
They may also be able to offer advice on the best ways to save money, such as using low-maintenance materials and energy-efficient appliances, or by avoiding unnecessary fees and costs.
The GC Will Handle All the Paperwork
One of the most important duties that a GC will have is handling the paperwork involved with a construction project. This includes scheduling inspections, acquiring building permits and filing paperwork with the state or city where the property is located.
The GC will also be responsible for ordering materials and coordinating deliveries to the construction site. This requires a thorough understanding of the construction process and an ability to ensure that materials are delivered on schedule.
You should choose a contractor with strong work experience and a good reputation in the industry, especially in your area. Prequalify them by checking their job history and credit history, and reaching out to past subcontractors who have worked with them.
Make sure that they have workers’ compensation insurance and business registration in your jurisdiction. Many states require that a general contractor have this type of coverage for any contractors on the job site.
In most cases, the GC will receive a percentage of the total project’s cost, usually in installments. This payment structure is typically based on a timetable that you and the contractor agree to in advance.
Having a strong team of financial management professionals is another important aspect of general contracting. This includes a team of people that handle accounting, bookkeeping and overall financial management on the job site.
A GC will also be in charge of arranging for communication between various project units. This means making sure that the whole communication infrastructure is robust and glitch-free during construction.
The GC will also have to hire a team of people that can manage the supply chain. This involves sourcing raw materials and building components from several vendors. It’s essential that the GC has a firm understanding of the supply-chain process and can work to ensure that all suppliers get paid on time, and that they can provide quality products at the right price.