Choosing a General Contractor
A general contractor oversees the construction of a building. They manage the project on a day-to-day basis, and ensure that all parties are adhering to the schedule. A general contractor will also be responsible for the project’s cash flow and write checks to subcontractors and laborers. Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing a general contractor for your project. In addition, they are your primary contact on the construction site.
The job outlook for a general contractor is moderate. It’s not stellar, like the job outlook of a solar photovoltaic installer or wind turbine technician, but it’s better than most. Overall, the construction industry is expected to grow by 5% over the next decade, making the profession more stable than most other careers. There are even several benefits to becoming a general contractor, including low-start costs and the chance to earn a large sum.
Before beginning a project, determine how you’re going to pay for it. Most GCs outline a payment schedule based on the scope of the work. You may be required to make a down payment to start the work. Once the work is completed, the balance of the funds is due. If the project is large, multiple payments are required. However, don’t hire a GC who asks for money upfront. These are typically independent contractors and come with significant risks.
When hiring a general contractor, make sure the contractor has a proven track record of delivering quality construction work. A general contractor will maintain relationships with subcontractors over the course of years. This will help you find the right contractor for your project. Also, general contractors have relationships with subcontractors and know which ones perform the best. When choosing a general contractor, make sure they are a licensed contractor and check their payment profiles with the Better Business Bureau before hiring them.
Another benefit of hiring a general contractor is that you won’t have to manage the minutia of the project. Your contractor will coordinate the project, schedule subcontractors and manage them, and make sure everything is completed as planned. Additionally, a general contractor will have a vast network of trusted partners, and they’ll work directly with them. Additionally, a general contractor will be familiar with the construction industry and how to work efficiently.
A general contractor must have a minimum of two years of experience. While experience is a necessary qualification for getting a license, some states require college education in construction. In addition to experience, a general contractor must have liability insurance and pass proficiency exams. The Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA) offers training programs to help contractors become licensed. There are some advantages to working with a licensed general contractor, and many people will be happy to hire someone with this background.
If you need to hire a general contractor, you must understand the scope of the project. A major renovation can take weeks to complete, and it often involves multiple skilled professionals. For example, a major kitchen remodel might involve knocking down a wall between the kitchen and dining area, replacing the existing range with an island, adding a prep sink, a warming drawer, and a built-in wine refrigerator. Another important consideration is how the project will fit into the surrounding physical spaces.