What Does a General Contractor Do?
A general contractor is a professional who oversees the construction of homes, apartment buildings, retail stores, schools and other commercial structures. He or she plans, budgets and coordinates the work of tradespeople such as carpenters, plumbers, electricians, roofers and HVAC contractors.
They provide a contract for the construction of your home and make sure everything goes according to plan. They also pay subcontractors, check that their work is up to standards and report progress on your schedule.
This career is a good fit for people who have experience in construction and who want to take their knowledge to the next level. They can advance to become a construction manager, a position that’s projected to increase by about 8% between now and 2029.
Job duties for a general contractor vary by industry and delivery method but generally include the following:
Planning/Bidding, Pre-construction Activities, Design, Construction and Post-Construction Services
Before you begin the hiring process, it’s important to know how much a general contractor’s services cost. Some charge as much as 25% of the project’s total costs.
When you’re comparing bids, look for a general contractor who provides competitive prices and a detailed scope of work. This is a sign that they have the skills and experience to complete your project on time and within budget.
GCs also need to understand their local building codes, permits and inspection requirements, and they must be willing to meet with the zoning board or other government officials when needed.
They also need to ensure the safety of everyone on site and that all equipment is properly maintained. During construction, they’re also responsible for managing workers’ compensation insurance and ensuring that all subcontractors are properly insured and have the necessary licenses to operate their trucks and equipment.
In addition to managing the construction of your home, a general contractor can also help with interior decorating and renovations. He or she can coordinate with architects and designers to turn your visions into reality.
Licensing Requirements & Qualifications
If you’re thinking of becoming a general contractor, you should know that most states require licensing by law. This means that you’ll need to pass a state exam and obtain a license from the state in which you’ll be working. This license can be difficult to obtain, but it’s worth the effort if you want to build a strong career in this field.
You should also be able to provide references from previous clients. Be sure to ask how easy the contractor was to work with and whether they completed the project on time.
A general contractor is an essential part of any construction project. They manage the big-picture aspects of a construction project, including sourcing materials, hiring subcontractors and keeping the project on budget and on schedule. This is a crucial role in the construction process and requires a lot of attention and patience.