Three Things to Consider When Hiring a General Contractor
As the head of a construction project, a general contractor is responsible for day-to-day oversight of the project. Their role is to coordinate all trades and vendors and communicate with all stakeholders. Here are some tips to choose a good contractor. You may be surprised at how many facets of a construction project a general contractor can handle. Here are three things to consider when hiring a general contractor. Read on to learn more.
When hiring a general contractor, it is important to understand their role in the construction process. They oversee the project from start to finish, coordinating the work of the subcontractors and employees, buying materials and securing inspections. They will coordinate with the client, zoning boards, project engineers, and heavy equipment vendors. The general contractor also has responsibility for the cash flow and must write checks to materials and laborers to make sure the project is on schedule.
Experienced general contractors have connections in the industry. They are also a treasure trove of knowledge about the industry. Throughout their career, they have developed relationships with many subcontractors and builders. They know how to get quality materials for reasonable prices. Experienced general contractors can also handle experimental builds. If you’re unsure about hiring a general contractor, be sure to read reviews about the contractor’s experience and qualifications before hiring him or her.
Payment terms. Most GCs will outline a payment plan based on the project’s timeline. They may request a down payment to begin work and the remaining balance after completion of the project. Large projects can take several payments. Generally, payment is due upon completion of the project. If a GC requests payment upfront, it’s a sign of a less than reliable company. As with any other business, paying a general contractor upfront carries a high risk of failure, so be sure to check the company’s payment profile before making a decision.
A general contractor should have a solid education. They must have several years of experience in construction before applying for licensure. The requirements for this vary from state to state, but generally speaking, an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in construction management will serve as an excellent foundation for entry-level employment. The Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA) offers training for general contractors. The GC will be the primary point of contact between the client and the project. A general contractor should be able to explain the risks and positives of a project and be able to communicate well with his clients.
A general contractor must be able to create an accurate estimate. Accurate estimates will ensure customer satisfaction and a sense of transparency with the client. The contractor will likely encounter obstacles during the construction process, but an accurate estimate will minimize these issues and make the project run smoothly. A general contractor should keep a general contractor pricing guide updated regularly to stay on top of pricing trends. The general contractor fee should also be based on the markup of the project’s overall cost.