Whether you’re remodeling a single room or building a whole new home, you may need to hire a general contractor. These professionals can save you time, money and headaches by coordinating the work of multiple subcontractors during construction.
Hiring a General Contractor: Seven Things You Need to Know
A general contractor, or “GC,” oversees all the aspects of a large construction project from the big picture to the small details. Their responsibilities include obtaining all permits, scheduling inspections and managing the work of other contractors.
The role of a GC is to keep the job on schedule and within budget. They do this by identifying the project’s needs and creating a detailed plan for each stage of the project. They also assign tasks to specific subcontractors, such as plumbers, electricians and carpenters.
When hiring a general contractor, you need to be sure that they’re fully licensed and have the experience and expertise to do the job correctly. They’ll also have references from past clients.
You should also ask for a copy of their license and insurance policies. Checking these documents will give you peace of mind that you’re working with a trustworthy company.
Make sure the estimate you receive from a contractor is clear and includes all the items they’re going to be doing, the deadlines for those tasks, how much it’s going to cost and how to pay them. This will make the entire process easier and less stressful.
A GC should always provide you with a detailed, written contract that details what they’ll be doing for you. This document will also include a termination clause and provisions for changes to the scope of work.
The contract should also have a list of materials the GC intends to use and how they will protect your possessions during the construction process. If you find that the GC doesn’t have a game plan for protecting your belongings, it’s a good idea to look for another contractor.
When selecting a GC, make sure that they have experience in the type of work you need done and can meet your deadlines. A reputable GC will be able to manage the construction of your project from start to finish, and you should feel comfortable working with them.
You should also be able to communicate with your GC effectively and easily during the project. A good GC will be available to answer your questions and resolve any issues that arise during the construction process.
Be wary of a lowball bid, especially if the contractor is inexperienced or has been out of business for a long time. This is usually a sign of a contractor cutting corners or desperate for work.
If you’re unsure whether to hire a general contractor, contact your local building department or zoning board. They’ll be able to help you determine which license is best for the job and may be able to recommend someone to you.
The GC will likely be involved in a number of meetings with other professionals on your project, including architects, designers and painters. They’ll need to schedule these appointments and ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding your project.