A general contractor is an individual who is responsible for the day-to-day operations and oversight of a construction project. In addition to this general role, a general contractor is responsible for acting as the intermediary between the design team, the construction workers and the owner of the underlying project. As the liaison, a general contractor will communicate with all those individuals and organizations involved in the project.
A home improvement contractor is usually tasked with smaller, though no less important items, such as installing new windows, flooring, cabinets, siding, landscaping, etc. A good way to think of a residential general contractor is that he is in charge of home improvement contractors, or what are referred to in the field as “subcontractors”.
The responsibilities of a general contractor will vary depending on the size and complexity of the construction effort. In a general sense, a contractor is responsible for providing or accomplishing the following tasks: filing for building permits, securing the property, managing the workers on site, providing temporary materials and utilities on site, providing engineering functions and surveying for the site, disposing of wastes left over by the construction process, monitoring the schedules of workers, balancing the costs of the project and maintain accurate records regarding the finances and the construction process as a whole.
Many people do not realize that the average kitchen remodel takes 5-6 weeks to complete. Not to mention that to complete the remodel you are likely to need an electrician, a plumber, a countertop contractor, a cabinet contractor, a flooring pro, a painter, and someone to install the appliances. That’s a lot of people.
We find that sometimes people hire a general contractor when they don’t need one, and sometimes they don’t hire them when they should. Here are a few simple rules to follow to determine if you need a residential general contractor:
- If the job is going to take more than a week, hire a GC.
- If the job requires several different pros to complete, hire a GC.
- If the job requires permits, hire a GC.
When selecting a home professional, using a few guidelines can help protect you from fraudulent contractors. Here is a list of some helpful tips on what you should know before you hire a contractor.
If you’ve considered using a general contractor as part of your next construction project, reach out to us for guidance and we will help design a plan to suit your needs.