General Contractors are responsible for a wide variety of tasks that are necessary for any construction project. The basic job description for a general contractor includes supervising construction personnel, managing materials and labor, designing and planning structures and layouts, making repairs and other changes, preparing reports for management, and communicating details about the project to all parties involved. In essence, a general contractor is responsible for all the “nuts and bolts” of construction. However, a general contractor is also responsible for scheduling people, materials, tools, and other equipment daily to keep a construction project on schedule. A general contractor is also responsible for managing the construction budget and keeping track of expenses.
Because there are so many different construction projects, many general contractors choose to work as independent contractors to avoid becoming too tightly integrated with any one company. Generally, a contractor works on a contract basis with a single client but can sometimes work as an outsourced general contractor when necessary. General contractors also find work through a franchise system, which allows them to be more localized and have access to a larger range of possible clients. However, most franchises have strict guidelines regarding employee training and licensing requirements.
One of the most common jobs for general contractors in designing and constructing residential buildings. A typical architect will hire a general contractor to oversee the entire layout and construction process. While an architect may not specifically oversee the actual construction process, he/she does make suggestions throughout the overall strategy to ensure that the architect’s vision is carried out as planned. An architect will generally hire a general contractor to oversee all phases of design and construction. These include building plans, floor plans, sketches, and any other specifications that the architect has requested.
When a new construction project is started, an architect usually hires a general contractor to oversee all of the construction-related tasks. The general contractor then submits a bid to the builder to ensure that the bid is the lowest price possible. In some cases, these contractors are called upon by the construction manager to complete specific tasks instead of just bidding on a bid. Contractors also play a role in approving materials and methods of construction. Once the general contractor has approved the project, the construction manager reassigns the task to a sub-contractor.
Carpenters and other workers within the construction company also commonly hire general contractors. A carpenter-builder typically begins work by providing blueprints for the structure of the building and determining the best way to complete each task. He/She will then create the interior as well as exterior designs for the walls and floors. This work is often very detailed and often requires months to complete. Once completed, these workers to submit their bids to the general contractors that they have worked with to see if they have received an agreed upon quotation. From there, the bidding process begins.
Not all general contractors are created equal, however. The primary difference between a good general contractor and one that are not as experienced or talented is experience. A general contractor should have a significant amount of experience in the field. This will ensure that he/she will know the many details that go into completing a successful building, such as specific types of materials needed, which products are best, and how long it will take to construct a particular building or piece of land.
When delegating the tasks to other workers or owners, it is important to remember who is responsible for what. Many owners and general contractors work off of a master project manager or supervisor. Because these individuals report directly to the owner, it is important to ensure that they are following the same processes as the owner in order to receive their bonuses. The master project manager or supervisor will often have their own team of subcontractors in place in order to complete their construction management tasks.
Other areas of responsibility necessary for construction managers and owners to ensure their employees are well-protected are lien waivers and insurance coverage. Insurance is one of the most important aspects of getting paid when working on someone else’s property. The insurance protects the contractor and the company from any unforeseen problems that may arise while on the job. Having an insurance policy in place can help prevent problems beyond your control from becoming a problem. Lien waivers should be researched thoroughly before signing any contracts. You may need to get in touch with your state insurance agency to determine the minimum requirements in your state.