A general contractor is a construction company responsible for the day-to-day management of a construction project. The role of a general contractor includes overseeing the daily operations of a construction site, coordinating trades and vendors, and communicating with various stakeholders. These companies are the best choice if you want your building to be completed within a set amount of time and on budget. However, there are many important factors to consider before hiring a general contractor.
When selecting a GC, make sure you read the fine print. Generally speaking, GCs outline a payment schedule based on the duration of the project and the scope of work. Some GCs may require a down payment before they start the project, with the balance due on delivery. Payment delays can be avoided by increasing visibility of subcontractors and keeping the lines of communication open. Paying upfront may seem like a good idea, but it has significant risks.
Before hiring a general contractor, check their credentials and reputation. The contractor should have experience in your area, possess all the necessary licenses and permits, and have no complaints filed against them. They should also have a professional attitude. Discuss the cost and payment methods with your contractor, since each contractor will have different prices. The best option is the one who is most comfortable with your project and can answer all of your questions. The more experience they have, the better.
If you’re hiring a general contractor, you’ll need to submit a project proposal that outlines all the details of the project. General contractors often take significant effort to write these proposals, since they must take material and quantity takeoffs from the project specs. These proposals also cover a variety of additional expenses, such as worker’s compensation, insurance, and materials. They must also charge for their time and materials. Lastly, you should know whether the general contractor’s fee is sufficient to cover the costs of the project.
A general contractor is also responsible for pre-opening tasks. Before a building can be fully open, the general contractor completes all pre-opening tasks. An ideal general contractor has extensive knowledge about building materials and methods, access to skilled craftspeople, and insight into efficient systems. The general contractor also handles site improvements, such as building a parking lot or developing a commercial space. Architects, landscape architects, and engineers create plans for these projects, but a general contractor will make them. Sometimes, a general contractor can perform some design work itself.
In addition to a general contractor’s expertise, the company’s relationships with subcontractors are key to the success of a construction project. These relationships can last for years, even decades, and often involve dozens of projects. The experience and relationships gained through these relationships ensure that the contractor knows which subcontractors are efficient and reliable. Furthermore, the general contractor is responsible for overseeing the quality, efficiency, and behavior of subcontractors.