What is a General Contractor?

Anyone who has ever entered the world of remodeling and construction has been introduced to the concept of a “general contractor”. But what exactly is a general contractor and what are their duties?

Simply put, the GC is the company or the person that manages the project as a whole. This would include a variety of tasks including, but not limited to:
Scheduling
Health and Safety on site
Sourcing materials
Appointing subcontractors
Supply equipment

Responsibilities of a General Contractor

In the realm of home improvements, you will be dealing with a residential general contractor. The GC is hired directly by the homeowner and works alongside the owner to bring their vision to life.

The GC will be tasked with establishing and facilitating a timeline for the project. Subcontractors will also be hired by the GC during various stages of completion. They will delegate construction and design tasks to the subcontractors and ensure the highest quality services are delivered.

The average homeowner will rely heavily on guidance and expertise from their GV. It is therefore important to have a high level of trust and open communication between the two parties. The GC will be held liable for quality control as well as safety compliance.

Building permits will also be filed under the GC’s business name. This will hold them accountable for the building codes and overseeing that everything is up to standard. There are substantial fines and fees to be paid if everything is not up to code, making a reliable GC a non-negotiable asset to your project.

Many states require a GC to be licensed. It is important to know the rules and regulations regarding construction in your region before hiring your GC. They should also carry the necessary worker’s compensation and insurances as you might be held liable for injury incurred on your property.

In Harrisburg, PA, the state requires home improvement contractors to be registered at the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. There are several consumer protection requirements that are specified by law. These requirements must be upheld through any subcontracting and the contractor must also uphold a minimum insurance coverage.

Is a General Contractor and a Subcontractor the Same person?

General contractors are in charge of keeping the big picture of the project on track. They will in turn hire a subcontractor to fulfill specific tasks. Sub-contractors are usually experts in one field and could include:
Electrical
Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning
Roofing, Siding, Sheet metal work
Painting
Masonry, Stonework, Tile Setting, and Plastering
Carpentry and Floorwork
Concrete
Special Trade Contractors

The term “general contractor” might be misleading as many people assume the GC is also a general skilled laborer. This misconception leads people to think that their GC will be performing all the tasks himself or with his team.

The truth is that your GC should be viewed as a project manager. They might employ a few tradesmen but offering those services is not their main role. They plan and delegate the process of the construction from start to finish.

Process of Hiring the Right GC

Getting a GC onboard, whether you are building from the ground up or remodeling, should be the first task at hand. There are multiple skill sets needed to complete construction projects and you will need someone from the get-go to vet the subcontractors and keep your schedule on track.

Create a shortlist of contractors by getting word of mouth references and looking at reviews of contractors in your area online. Once you have compiled a list, you should check if they have completed similar jobs with positive outcomes.

Double-check the licensing requirements for your state and cross-reference that with the paperwork the contractors have in place. Lastly, request detailed breakdowns of cost and time estimations from all the shortlisted candidates.

Construction is a costly endeavor and you want the right team on your side that will ensure timely deliverance, quality outcomes, and efficient communication. Contact DadsHS today to get a free competitive estimate and rest assured that you will receive the highest rated service.

Click here to learn more about DadsHS and why you should choose us for your next construction project.

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