Understanding the roles and duties of a general contractor is essential for a construction project to run smoothly. GCs have licensing requirements and perform many essential tasks that affect everyone involved in the building process. These include ensuring the project follows contract specifications, tracking progress, and keeping up with schedules. They also take responsibility for acquiring permits and satisfying inspection processes.
A general contractor is a key part of the construction process. They work to coordinate and oversee a project from start to finish. This includes filing for permits and ensuring that the project meets coding requirements.
They also handle all the planning for completing your construction project, including scheduling tasks and assigning workers. They are also responsible for ensuring that communication channels remain open throughout the process. In addition, a general contractor is in charge of the payment chain, which involves moving funds from the property owner to different tiers of subcontractors and vendors. This can be complicated, and a GC often has to resolve issues related to delayed payments. They will typically work to speed up the process by increasing visibility and streamlining paperwork.
For instance, if you’re redoing a roof or installing new flooring, your home project might be small enough to bypass a general contractor and hire a subcontractor to do the work. However, a GC might oversee sourcing materials and building components from various vendors if your project is much larger. This involves negotiating contracts, establishing estimates and capacities, ensuring quality work, coordinating communication among the various vendors, and ensuring that any required permits are filed and inspections scheduled. This is a leadership role and requires a clear understanding of construction practices as well as an ability to listen deeply and communicate. It also means staying abreast of trends and technology in the construction industry.
A general contractor has to be able to work well with all of the various people that bring a construction project to life. These include the estimators, project teams, subcontractors, and property owners.
GCs also have to see the bigger picture regarding how each part of the project will play out. This means evaluating the risks involved, what markup to charge, and deciding what profit level is appropriate for their business.
It is also vital for a general contractor to be passionate about the work they do. This way, they can motivate others and keep the project progressing. It also helps that they can communicate clearly. This includes construction laborers who must understand that the GC is there to meet their needs and goals.
A general contractor has the responsibility for managing the overall project budget. They create a bid and assess estimates by subcontractors, project teams, suppliers, and contractors to keep the entire process on track.
GCs must consider the costs of materials, equipment, laborers, and building permits. They must also ensure that the right people get paid on time. To meet these responsibilities, general contractors must be equal parts, construction experts and savvy businesspeople. They often work with a team of professionals, including financial management and accounting specialists, to handle the details.
The quality of the work performed by a general contractor directly affects a construction project’s profitability. Hence, supervision must be provided on-site. This could be carried out by a foreman, superintendent, project manager, or management staff member. Before any construction can begin, a general contractor has to secure the job by responding to requests for proposals (RFPs) with what’s known as a bid. This involves discussing pricing and specifications with prospective clients. It is also a general contractor’s responsibility to follow local laws and regulations. That includes securing permits and staying updated with the latest building codes. The GC must also ensure that everyone on the construction site is safe and follows proper safety procedures.