What Does a General Contractor Do?
General contractors are responsible for overseeing larger construction projects, sourcing materials and equipment, and hiring subcontractors. They are also accountable for ensuring that construction meets safety standards on site.
The GC must be licensed in the state that they work in, and they must comply with laws concerning the payment of laborers. Licenses vary by jurisdiction, but most require a background in construction or the ability to pass a professional licensing exam.
In addition, they must have the skills to communicate with clients and manage different team members. This is important for ensuring that all employees are on the same page and avoiding any problems during the construction process.
They must be able to make decisions and solve problems on the spot, as well as manage a project’s finances and deadlines. They must also be able to keep the construction site clean and safe, ensuring that all necessary permits are obtained and a proper timeline is set for each step in the construction process.
Typically, a GC will submit a bid or proposal for the construction project, which outlines scheduling, cost, and labor details. These proposals often require a significant amount of time and effort, including taking measurements from the project specifications and creating detailed cost estimates.
The GC must be able to manage all of these costs, balancing the budget with the client’s wishes and preferences. They must also be able to communicate with the client and understand what they are looking for in the finished product.
In many cases, a GC will hire subcontractors to do specific tasks for a mutually agreed price. These may include excavation contractors, plumbers, electricians, dry-wallers, tilers, roofers, and foundation crews.
A GC must be able to take care of these subcontractors, as well as manage the schedules and payments for them, so that everything runs smoothly during construction.
As a result, the GC can concentrate on making sure that the construction is completed in a timely manner and at a budgeted cost. They can also work with the subcontractors to ensure that their work is in compliance with the plans.
Whether the GC is hired by a private owner or a large construction company, he must be able to deliver quality workmanship at the right price. This is why he must have a strong understanding of the construction industry, which includes the knowledge of construction trends and best practices.
He must be able to read blueprints and planning documents, so that he can translate the vision of architects, engineers, and other design professionals into the building’s reality. He must also have experience with a variety of types of property, as well as the ability to determine what features will enhance a property’s value and appeal.
The job outlook for general contractors is strong, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimating that the industry’s overall job growth will be 5% over the next decade. While the BLS says that jobs for general contractors won’t be as high-paying as some other careers, such as wind turbine technicians and solar photovoltaic installers, they still offer good long-term prospects.