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When Should You Hire a General Contractor?

If you are thinking of renovating or remodelling a building, you will need general contractors. 

But, wait, what is a general contractor?

To put it in simple words, a general contractor is someone who manages construction projects. Whether individual general contracting or a company, a GC looks after everything from sourcing materials, hiring other subcontractors, furnishing equipment, tools, and so forth. They are also responsible for the project timeline and safety. 

What Does a General Contractor Do? 

Residential general contractors are masters of home improvements. These people work with you closely from conceptualizing your project to design and project timeline. Moreover, they also hire a few subcontractors to finish their tasks for specific areas of construction. 

Similarly, commercial general contractors deal with your commercial projects. 

Ensuring safety, quality, and compliance throughout the project timeline is an important function of a GC. Upon pulling a building permit, it is the GC who files documents under his business name. Consequently, they are responsible for building code obligations. So, any violation is theirs to resolve. 

Aside from this, general contractors also protect you from liability. You need a GC who is properly licensed, bonded, and insured. Now, the licensing requirements vary by state and some states do not need a licensed contractor. However, you still need to look for two things; bonded and insured. 

How Subcontractors are Different from General Contractors? 

Subcontractors are hired to perform specific tasks including electrical work or plumbing. It is the responsibility of a general contractor to hire subcontractors and coordinate their work according to the project timeline. 

A lot of people think that general contractors are similar to general laborers; someone who can perform all work for a construction project. Secondly, people also believe that general contractors employ tradespeople in construction. However, in reality, GCs are equivalent to project managers. 

Of course, these may employ tradespeople and staff but their main job is to look after the project, site, and its schedule. 

When Do I Need a General Contractor?

A general contractor is the first thing that should come to your mind while thinking about home remodeling or new construction projects. To put it in simpler words, a building project involves a lot of manpower and legal documentation. Hiring a GC takes away the burden from your shoulders as your project gets managed and completed- timely, legally, and safely. 

How Do I Hire a General Contractor? 

You need to consider the following points before hiring a general contractor,

  • Word of mouth recommendations or online reviews.
  • Thoroughly review their past work and their adherence to project timelines.
  • Make sure they are licensed and insured. As licensing varies by state, ensure that they adhere to your state policies.
  • Ask them for pricing. Request the entire breakup of costs and compare.

How Much Does Hiring a General Contractor Cost?

The cost of the general contractor relies on a lot of factors including the type of project, company, location, and so forth. Moreover, the pricing also depends on whether they will be pulling permits or collaborating with an architect on your behalf. Mostly, when you ask for a quotation you will receive a breakdown of labor costs, materials, project management, and profit margins.

Do I Need a General Contractors?

If you are more of a do it yourself person, you may think that a general contractor would be of no use. However, the minor detailing of projects, legal matters, and ensuring safety is something you cannot do alone. You will require help from an experienced individual for concluding your project in a stipulated timeline. So, instead of hiring a bunch of people, hire a general contractor to handle everything at your end.

When is The Right Time to Hire a General Contractor?

The right time can be determined by these simple questions,

  • How long do you think your project will take to complete? If you think it will need more than a week, go for a GC. A general contractor will further hire subcontractors that will keep moving things smoothly at your end.
  • Does your local building codes affect your project? Building codes are meant to dictate that specific projects must be done by licensed professionals. These are the projects which a non-licensed professional can’t take. So, if you decide to do it yourself, you may face legal fines.
  • How many subcontractors will you need? You may look after kitchen remodeling or a plumber but a construction project requires a bunch of tradespeople to work in collaboration. Thus, a GC can save you precious time, money, and headache by handling everything. Just let them know your project details, and they’ll help you to complete your project. 

To simplify project management, it is always wise to hire an efficient general contracting team – they ensure quality, safety, and compliance. Their extensive network of subcontractors also ensures to complete and deliver your project at a given time. 

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