A general contractor is a contractor who handles the overall construction process of a project. A general contractor, also known as a prime contractor or main contractor, is responsible for day-to-day site management and communication between the project team, vendors and other trades. He or she manages the entire construction process, from project scheduling to communication with clients and tradesmen. This contractor may not be a licensed general contractor. Below are some benefits of hiring a general contractor.
Cost: Most general contractors charge 15% to 20% of the total cost of materials and labor for each job. Others charge a flat fee for the entire project. A cost-plus-percentage bid is more flexible, but it can be difficult to predict the final cost, especially for small projects. If you’re working with a specific budget, you might want to seek a flat-fee bid. Regardless of which option you choose, be sure to ask about the general contractor’s profit percentage and whether or not he’s charging any hidden fees or additional fees.
When you hire a general contractor, he or she becomes the day-to-day project manager, ensuring that all construction teams adhere to deadlines and quality control. In addition, the general contractor often handles cash flow for the project, writing checks to laborers and material suppliers. This means that the contractor is the main point of contact between the project team and the client. Getting the job done without the proper communication and organization can be a challenge.
Payment Plan: A general contractor should clearly outline a payment plan based on the timetable of the job. Typically, the GC requests a down payment to start the job, with the balance due upon completion. If a project is large, multiple payments may be required. Finally, you should only pay the final payment once the project is complete. However, a GC who requests payment in advance usually works with independent contractors, and this approach carries significant risks.
Lastly, experience matters. General contractors have a vast knowledge of the construction industry and can provide you with expert advice and connections. Often, their relationships with other building trades and subcontractors are long-standing, which allows them to access the best materials and prices. This is important when planning for a large-scale project. It will save you time and money and allow you to concentrate on other things. So, choose a general contractor who possesses the knowledge and experience in the specific field.
Licensure: There are several requirements that you need to meet in order to become a general contractor. You must be licensed in the state you’re working in and possess liability insurance. In addition to licensing, most states require that you have a certain amount of experience. This experience can be combined with certification and proficiency exams, which you can take if necessary. If you’re not able to complete the licensing process, you can always look for additional resources.