A general contractor is tasked with day-to-day oversight of a construction site, communication to all parties regarding the building project, and management of trades and vendors. The general contractor works hard to ensure that the project is done according to the client’s satisfaction. Although some homeowners would love to be their own general contractors, this work requires lots of skills, time, and expert knowledge. If you are looking to manage your own project instead of hiring a general contractor, then you probably need to understand what a general contractor really does. This article will look at top 5 responsibilities of a general contractor.
Formulating the Price Estimate
Before the construction project has started, a general contractor visits the site, evaluates the property, and comes up with a price estimate for the whole project. After estimating the price of the project, the general contractor then determines the cost of equipment, materials, and labor. Later on, the general contractor provides the owner with an estimate for the whole process.
After delivering the estimate to the owner, the general contractor then formulates contracts for the sub-contractors, owners, and employees. These contracts explain the relationship between the different parties in regards to how the project will be conducted. The general contractor will make use of a professional, like an architect, to examine the needs of the project according to the recommended structure and design of the building. The general contractor simply acts as the project manager in most constructions.
Gathering and Evaluating Bids
A general contractor knows many sub-contractors that might be willing to work with him on the specific construction project. Through this great network, the general contractor is able to collect bids quite fast. If you decide to be your own general contractor, this is something that will require you a lot of time and effort to find. Thus, you will end up wasting a lot of resources in the process.
This is because; you will have different contractors for every specialty such as plumbing, electrical, furniture, and many more. Coordinating these sub-contractors while getting bids from them is quite tough. You will have to talk to all potential contractors, and explain to them about the project so that they can provide you with a good bid.
When the sub-contractors agree to work with you on the project, you will have to update every involved party in case one contractor alters a few things. Furthermore, you will need to evaluate the techniques and equipment used by every contractor to evaluate whether they are of high quality.
If you think about it, this is a lot of work to do when you do not have the needed experience.
Coordinating Specialty Contractors
A general contractor usually has many responsibilities and one of them is to coordinate and manage all aspects of the construction. If there is an architect or any other team working on the project, the general contractor works with them to ensure everything is done according to plan and in a timely manner.
Coordinating the many different things that need to be done at a construction site requires different multitasking skills. When an experienced general contractor is doing his job, the sub-contractors and employees are usually on their toes, trying to commit to the provided tight schedule. However, if an inexperienced homeowner tries to run the project, the specialists will be more reluctant, and will end up wasting a lot of time and resources in the end. It requires a professional to coordinate a construction project and ensure everything goes on smoothly.
Arranging for Inspections and Permits
To ensure the construction is been done according to the required laws, one has to get a city permit before building or improving a property. A general contractor understands the activities that require permits. He will also know the procedure to follow to access permits easily without wasting a lot of time.
When it comes to inspections, the general contractor will coordinate everything. He will meet with the required authorities, and will advise the sub-contractors on feedback provided by the inspectors. In case there are changes that need to be made, the general contractor will ensure they are done.
Legal Responsibility of a General Contractor
Apart from coming up with the price estimate, gathering and evaluating bids, arranging for inspections and permits, and coordinating all construction activities, the general contractor also has some legal responsibilities to fulfill.
The general contractor enters into a contract with his client, which generally determines his legal responsibilities. This contract is what stipulates the contractor’s obligations about the performance, and work methodology. As long as the general contractor adheres to the terms, then he will not be liable if anything goes wrong.
It is the legal responsibility of a general contractor to make sure that the work is done according to the stated specifications. These plans can include engineering, architectural, government building codes, and development specifications. The contract then goes ahead to mention what each party is responsible for doing.
Since the general contractor is the one that signed the contract with the client, he is required to hire suppliers and sub-contractors that are going to help with the project. The general contractor has to create new contracts with the sub-contractors, suppliers, and workers. Such contracts are very essential as they help protect the general contractor against dissatisfied workers and clients. This goes a long way in helping to protect the business against liability issues.
A general contractor is an individual given the mandate to take a set of property plans and convert them into a building. He evaluates the number of workers, the amount of time they work, and inspects the final work done. A general contractor also orders materials, coordinates the working schedule, and handles a lot of paperwork, including preparing the payroll, issuing invoices, and calculating material bills. With all the aforementioned roles, it is clear that the work of a general contractor is quite complicated. Therefore, it is a good idea for homeowners to hire a professional general contractor to help manage their project.