A Simple Plan: Experts
What Does a General Contractor Do?
Just to let you know, most medium and large construction jobs are handled by a general contractor. Builder, Building contractor or remodeling contractor are some of the other names we can call a general contractor. But what differentiate him from other contractors is that he enters into a contract with the owner to complete a project and takes full responsibility to get the job done for the bid price. The general contractor being in charge of the whole project makes sure that all the materials as purchased, hires the trades people, and brings in subcontractors so that the job will be completed in time. Subcontractors are directly under the general contractor and are answerable to him and not to the owner of the property.
You should choose a reliable general contractor if you want your project to be successful. If someone lacks in skill or integrity you cannot get good work from him despite having great plans, contracts, and construction documents. Find someone whom you can trust and feel comfortable working with. If you have to pay a little extra to hire the right person, you will not regret it. The savings from hiring the low bidder often evaporate as the job progresses.
Estimating and bidding the project, negotiating a contract with the owner, hiring and negotiating permits and scheduling inspections, disbursing money to subs and material suppliers, creating a schedule for workers, subs, and deliveries, negotiating material prices and ordering them, interpreting the plans and specifications, supervising and coordinating the work of employees and subs, troubleshooting jobsite problems, are just some of the areas where problems may occur in a construction cycle.
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On top of these, the general contractor often meets with the owner in order to discuss the concerns, while juggling the many other things that can turn his tightly schedule work into chaos.
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Architects usually can provide names of contractors with whom they have worked successfully. Although this list is useful, you will still need to follow the same process in choosing a good and reliable general contractor. The bigger the job, the more effort you should spend in finding the contractor that is best for the project. You can find a reliable contractor if you first hire them to do a small job and observe how the work is conducted.
It is in managing the subcontractors that most of the energy of the general contractor goes. Staff carpenters usually do the work for small contractors but for the large companies, they rely more on subcontractors to get the work done. For plumbing and electrical work, all general contractors use subs for these jobs, but with excavation and foundation work, roofing, drywall, and painting, they sometimes use subs and sometimes they don’t. If the jobs are small they may do some or all of the work with their own crew members.