How to Choose a General Contractor
A general contractor, also called a prime contractor or main contract, is the person who manages a construction site on a day-to-day basis. This role requires them to manage the various trades and vendors working on a project, as well as communicate with stakeholders and the general public. Here are some tips to help you choose a general contractor. Read on to learn more about their job. This position is vital to the success of a construction project.
A design-build general contractor works closely with the client to conceptualize the project and oversee its completion. These contractors usually have in-house designers, which can make changes to the original design easier and quicker. Before hiring a general contractor, check their licensing. All contractors are required to be licensed, but some require proof of business address and tax ID number. Check with your local Better Business Bureau to make sure they are registered and have a good reputation.
Generally, a general contractor needs to have a degree in construction management. This means they have an understanding of different types of construction methods, how to prepare a building site, and how to read architectural plans. General contractors also need to understand when permits are required. But perhaps the most important qualification is practical experience. General contractors who specialize in certain trades often advance to supervisory positions after gaining sufficient experience. Experience prepares a general contractor to control costs and recognize qualified subcontractors.
Some states require general contractors to have insurance, although this is not always mandatory. In addition, many clients will require a general contractor to be insured. Insurance protects the contractor from legal claims and pays for legal costs. A state-by-state listing of general contractor licensing requirements is provided below, with links to additional resources for the construction industry. This article is not exhaustive and should not be considered comprehensive. You should contact the licensing authority in your state for more information on the licensing requirements for general contractors.
Most GCs will outline a payment schedule based on the work schedule. In some cases, a down payment is required to begin the work, with the balance of money due upon delivery. On the other hand, large projects may require multiple payments before final payment. Moreover, the ideal general contractor will be experienced in identifying efficient systems and materials, which will ensure a smooth project delivery. However, beware of any GC who asks for payment up front, as this comes with significant risks.
A general contractor is an essential part of a construction project, since they are in charge of overseeing the day-to-day operations. They coordinate between different tradespeople and are the liaison between the owner and design team. They also manage the day-to-day construction operations, such as hiring subcontractors. A general contractor is also an excellent choice for homeowners when planning a home build or a remodeling project. And in any case, he’s your best bet for a successful project.