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Key things you should consider before you decide to hire a general contractor

A general contractor in the construction industry is considered to be a person who oversees a construction project. In most cases, homeowners can hire a general contractor to ensure that a construction project is done on-time, safely, and according to specifications. A general contractor can handle complex commercial construction projects and more straightforward residential projects. 


You should note that they can deal with specific tasks, such as laying a new roof, replacing a roof, and many more. In other words, a general contractor is required for any type of project that needs coordinating several tradespeople and multiple stages to complete the project. This page discusses the key things you should consider before you decide to hire a general contractor.


A general contractor 

It’s worth mentioning that a general contractor tends to oversee a construction job from beginning to end. In most cases, a general contractor can be a go-between between the homeowner and everyone who is interested in the property, such as vendors, suppliers, and tradespeople.


You should remember that the responsibilities of a general contractor can sometimes depend on the method the project is being delivered. For instance, when it comes to a design-build project, a general contractor can manage both the construction and design of a project. a general contractor can only manage the project after the design and specification made by the architect in a traditional design-bid-build project. Also, a general contractor can have crucial responsibilities throughout the construction process. If you are looking for a general contractor, then you should visit 5Estimates.com.


Before construction starts, a general contractor can be responsible for creating and managing a budget for the construction project. They can also hire subcontractors to do some specific tasks and collaborate with the architect to make sure that the design is realized. These tasks can start before construction begins, but a general contractor can continue to manage the construction budget, collaborate with the architect, and work with subcontractors during the remainder of the project. 


While construction is taking place, a general contractor can also handle several tasks. This includes overseeing construction jobs by referring to construction specifications, responding to schedule delays, and keeping the work on schedule. Overall, the role of a general contractor during construction is to make sure that all people are working well together and responding to challenges that can affect the budget or schedule. 


Once construction is done, a general contractor can still have some responsibilities. These include, gathering and tracking lien waivers, managing issues associated with payments, and making sure that subcontractors receive payment for their work. 


Because a general contractor happens to be the key point of contact between the property owner and subcontractors, they can make sure that the project is done to specification and payment is done. Simply put, a general contractor can manage most of the things that help a project to be completed. The general contractor takes a managerial role on most job sites while subcontractors provide the required labor. On the other hand, a general contractor can do some of the tasks themselves, especially on smaller-scale projects.  


Factors you should consider before you hire a general contractor

When searching for a general contractor, it’s crucial to find one that has a license. This means that the general contractor should meet the required qualifications. This is also important when you intend to sell your home in the future. This is because work that is completed by an unlicensed general contractor may not be recognized in the home industry. 


Insurance is another key factor you should consider before you decide to choose a potential general contractor. The insurance policy of your general contractor can protect you as a property owner from incurring responsibilities for injuries sustained on your property. 


You should also hire a general contractor with enough experience because you want to ensure that they can offer quality workmanship. Therefore, you need to know how long the potential general contractor has been in business, the number of projects they have completed, and the references for their work. 


Positive online reputation and references can be a good indication that the general contractor may have done a lot of work and that their clients are pleased with their services. But you should be careful of too perfect looking reputation. Sometimes, a 100 percent satisfaction rate can be a red flag showing that the posted reviews are not from real customers.


You should also ask the potential general contractor how long they have been in business. Lengthy period can be a sign that the general contractor has a good reputation with the customers and within the company. Training is also crucial, so you need to find out what training or licenses the general contractor has.  


When you speak with a general contractor, turnaround time can also be a great indicator of what type of person you are speaking with. Ideally, if the turnaround time tends to be too short, then it can mean that the general contractor sacrifices quality for speed. On the other hand, if the estimated period of completion differs significantly from other subcontractors, there can be a problem. In most cases, during busy seasons, turnaround time can be between three and four weeks for standard asphalt roof replacements or even longer when there is severe weather.


Pricing is another factor worth considering. When looking for a general contractor, you should not get one that has the lowest or highest pricing. A general contractor should be competitive with their prices, but the price should not be too low. Besides, you also need to ensure that you compare general contractors who have previously handled the same type of project to yours. 


Above all, you need to check with the suppliers of materials. If the general contractor has a good reputation with those they work closely with, such as suppliers, this can be a good sign that the general contractors can be good to work with. Remember that such general contractors can get materials that are competitively priced on the market. 


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