A general contractor (GC) plays an extremely important role in a home project. In short, a GC oversees the project from start to finish, ensuring that each portion of the project is done well. Working with a general contractor takes out a lot of the logistical stress of a home project and is highly recommended. Wondering what specifically falls into the parameters of a GC’s job? We’re here to explain what a general contractor does and to offer some tips when hiring a GC.
Hiring & Communications
A general contractor is responsible for hiring manpower and subcontractors—think of all the pieces to a home project puzzle: design, build, cabinetry, flooring, electrical, plumbing, etc. A good GC will have experience working with quality subcontractors who carry good reputations and are known for quality work. In addition to hiring subcontractors, the general contractor will also act as a liaison between the homeowner and the subcontractors in order to keep everything on track before, during, and all the way to completion of the home project.
A design-build GC takes it to the next level and works closely with not only subcontractors and the homeowner, but also the design team, architect, and interior designer.
Organization & Scheduling
One of the most significant roles that a GC performs has to do with organization and scheduling. A home project is comprised of many moving pieces and requires very specific scheduling in order to run smoothly. The general contractor is responsible for all day-to-day operations. This means that he or she will make sure that needed materials arrive on time, subcontractors stay on schedule, and that each necessary stage of the project is done in proper order and on time. A well-organized GC will also be effective at managing costs and communicating budget changes throughout the duration of the home project so that there are no surprises upon completion.
Permitting and Inspections
Lastly, but certainly, crucially, a GC makes sure that all permits are in place and building codes met. The importance of inspections and permitting cannot be emphasized enough—if handled improperly, significant delays or even project termination may take place. Serious legal ramifications can result from incorrect permitting and coding procedures. A general contractor is responsible for taking the necessary steps to obtain all permits and stay within coding requirements so that you don’t have to worry about the legality of your home project. A GC will work directly with the City to schedule all required inspections and make sure the project stays on schedule while also staying to code.
How To Choose A General Contractor
Now that you know how what a general contractor does, let’s talk about what to look for in a GC. First, it is absolutely essential that the general contractor you work with is properly licensed. This information can usually be found on online—if not, be sure to ask. Secondly, a good general contractor should come highly recommended. Check online forums and don’t be afraid to ask prospective GC hires for references so that you have an idea of the reliability and management style of the general contractor. A good GC will make any home project a much more pleasant experience and will guarantee a job well done.
At Marks-Woods, the project manager’s sole task is to manage projects, to see that all steps of the project are performed with excellence, and to oversee the subcontractors along with the in-house craftsmen who will take part in working on the project. Click below to learn more about our process.