A general contractor is a person within the construction industry, who is responsible for overseeing the construction project. In general, property owners approach general contractors in order to ensure that the project is completed within time, and in a safe manner.
General contractors can be referred to as GCs as well. They can find work in commercial as well as residential construction projects. For tasks that are very specific, such as laying brand new flooring, the presence of a GC might not be required. But if there’s a need for coordination at several levels, then a GC is needed. Similarly, if multiple tradesmen are needed for the work to be done, then a GC is required as well.
What Is The Role Of A General Contractor
A general contractor oversees construction projects from start to finish. They play the role of the go-between, who keeps the construction team in touch with the property owner. The exact responsibilities that you’ll have as a GC are dependent on the project’s delivery method. For design-build projects, the GC is responsible for managing the entire project.
Design-bid-build projects, on the other hand, work differently. Under such a project, the GC, as well as the design team, will both need to report to the person in charge. This is usually the owner. The GC also has several responsibilities during the course of the project. Let’s look at what these are.
Before The Construction Project
Before the project starts the GC may need to develop a construction budget. They could also have to hire subcontractors, or they might find themselves collaborating with architects as well. This helps ensure that the design.is properly realized.
During The Construction Phase
Once construction work has started, the GC might need to oversee the work, to ensure it meets the contract specifications. They will need to ensure that the work proceeds according to schedule, and might also need to inspect the quality of the construction. They might also need to ensure that payments reach vendors as well as specialty contractors on time. They might also need to collect and track lien waivers.
After The Construction Work Ends
During this phase, the GC will need to ensure that lien waivers are collected. They will have to check whether specialty contractors have received payment for their work. They might also need to manage issues related to payments when it comes to the payment chain.
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What Are The Licensing Requirements For General Contractors?
According to state laws, general contractors usually need to have a license. When you get yourself licensed, then this can benefit all the stakeholders in the construction project. Licensing is important for GCs. Many states as well as municipalities make use of licenses to regulate contractors. Property owners can benefit from licensing as well. This is as a licensed GC is more likely to be credible and trustworthy.
A lot of property owners prefer to hire licensed GCs to work on their construction projects. This helps them ensure that all the construction workers get properly paid.
The Payment Process And The General Contractor
A general contractor is usually directly paid by the property owner. GCs end up becoming a core part of the construction project’s payment chain. They ensure that the money goes from the property owner to the various contractors as well as suppliers. The GC needs to be a good communicator, to ensure that the payment process goes smoothly.
There are some issues that GCs can face in this regard. The GC may not know who the suppliers or the subcontractors are. There are requirements that a GC needs to meet in order to receive their payment. The good news is that there are several things that a GC can do to speed up the payment process. This includes streamlining paperwork, being aware of who the suppliers and sub-subcontractors are, as well as maintaining open communication channels.
If you want to work as a general contractor, then you’ll need to actively monitor the contractors during the construction process. You’ll be the link between the property owner and the subcontractors, and will play an important role in ensuring that the construction work goes smoothly. You’ll also need to ensure that all subcontractors and suppliers get paid on time.
Although a GC might not be needed if only a single kind of contractor is hired to do a particular job, for larger construction projects they are necessary. This guide explains why.