A general contractor is the person who oversees all aspects of a construction or renovation project, from the initial design stage through completion. They provide clients with a turn-key service that ensures the property owner gets exactly what they want out of a project.
GCs usually have extensive experience in all types of projects, from building homes to renovating and expanding existing structures. They can also offer guidance about materials, building codes and permitting issues, thereby saving a client time and money.
When hiring a general contractor, consider their qualifications, job history and references. Make sure they have insurance and have a clear understanding of the work you need them to do. They should be able to explain the process of how your project will progress and give you a realistic cost estimate.
It is a good idea to meet with candidates in person before making a decision. This will give you a better picture of their personality and how they will interact with you during the construction process.
In addition to a strong reputation, a good general contractor should have several years of experience and references. This will give you an idea of how they handle clients, and whether or not they are willing to take a personal interest in your project.
They should also be able to communicate with all the other people involved in the project, including clients and employees of the company they work for. They should be able to relay important information about the project to all parties, such as schedule changes or if anyone needs to be notified about an emergency.
Another key element of this job is problem-solving skills. They will need to be able to solve issues like delays with deliveries or accidents that occur on the jobsite.
GCs also need to be able to deal with the financial side of a project, as they will write checks to workers and for materials that need to be purchased during construction. This can be a stressful job, so GCs must be able to manage their time effectively while still getting the job done on schedule and within budget.
A good general contractor will also be able to help clients save time by working on small packages rather than the entire project at once. By pricing each package individually, they can get a more competitive price, and can move the project along quicker without compromising quality or safety.
They can even help you save money by bidding a foundation package or equipment package to specialized subcontractors and then negotiating pricing with them. This can save the client a great deal of money and allow them to focus on other aspects of the project.
General contractors typically charge a percentage of the total project price, but this can vary depending on the size of the project. They can be a lot more expensive than smaller companies, so it is important to shop around and compare pricing.