Hiring a General Contractor
A general contractor is the person responsible for overseeing a construction project. They coordinate with vendors to make sure that materials are on hand when they’re needed at different stages of the job and manage the work of subcontractors.
A good general contractor is the link between a homeowner’s vision and the reality of the finished project. They work with architects, engineers and interior designers to turn the design ideas into a blueprint that’s executed in real life.
The best way to find a good general contractor is to ask for referrals from friends, family and coworkers who have recently done a home remodel. Then, take a look at online resources such as Angie’s List, Yelp, Better Business Bureau and Thumbtack to whittle down your choices.
You also can ask the contractors you interview for references from their past clients, as well as from customers who haven’t used them yet. A reputable general contractor should be happy to provide you with references from past clients and customers who have been happy with their work.
Once you have a shortlist of three to four general contractors, set up appointments to discuss your project. They’ll need to see the plans and inspect the house or apartment.
They will then come up with an estimate, which is a proposal that lays out how much they’ll charge for their time and labor. This is called a bid, and they must submit it to potential clients in order to secure work.
After the bid is received, the GC will then start to do the actual work of the project. On larger jobs, they will often hire other tradespeople to complete the project, such as carpenters or electricians.
The GC will then coordinate the work of these subcontractors and may be present at the construction site to check on progress. They also will oversee workers, ensure they’re performing their duties correctly and communicate with them to keep the job moving along smoothly.
A GC can be an excellent partner to have on a construction project because they can ensure everything is completed on time and within budget. They are the link between the client and the contractors and have extensive knowledge of the industry.
Depending on your project, a good general contractor should be able to handle all of the tasks involved in constructing or remodeling your home or apartment. They can even help you choose the right tradespeople for your needs and budget.
Some contractors also have an insurance policy in place, which will protect you in the event that they don’t finish the work on time or deliver it in a quality way. This coverage is typically available for a percentage of the total project costs, which can save you money in the long run.
In addition, they can offer a mediation clause in the contract that lets you settle disputes with your contractor and subcontractors through arbitration or litigation. Having this option can save you from costly court battles in the future.