Hiring a General Contractor
A general contractor, principal contractor or developmental contractor is in charge of the day-to- day oversight of a commercial construction site, coordination of trades and vendors, and the dissemination of information among all involved parties during the course of a construction project. A general contractor may have various professional associations or credentials, depending on what state they reside, but more often than not, they are the one responsible to provide you with a list of references and recommendations should an individual or group to give you an unsatisfactory or otherwise negative review. The responsibility of a general contractor extends to their subcontractors and sub-contractors as well.
A general contractor’s main obligation is to provide you with a finished building that has been approved for occupancy. The contract that the general contractor signs on behalf of you is the only legally binding agreement that you will have with them. It is important that you have a written, binding contract before you proceed with any construction project. Your original agreement should be retained for your records. In the event of any conflict with a subcontractor that was hired for the construction project, the general contractor or his or her representative should be able to provide you with documentation of the disputed work performed.
Another duty of the general contractor is to supervise the work of their sub-contractors. Sub-contractors are the individuals or businesses that brought the estimate and price down to you; they were the “cut” to fit your budget. If at any point during the construction project, the general contractor discovers that the amount that was originally agreed upon is more than what was brought to you, the prime contractor should make adjustments to the original agreement to account for the difference.
General contractors must also follow specific rules and regulations that are set forth by every state in America. In order to operate a business in any state, a general contractor must have the proper licensing required by that state. This licensing varies from state to state and at times can even differ from county to county. To ensure that your construction project is completed in a timely manner and in compliance with all regulations, you will want to hire the services of a licensed general contractor who has been licensed in every state where your construction project will take place.
One of the most difficult things that you will face as the owner/manager of a business is hiring a sub-contractor. The reason it is so difficult is because you want to hire someone who you are very familiar with and comfortable working with. You do not want to hire someone who is better suited for doing the same job, only different in the sense that they are working for a company rather than you. However, if you use the services of a general contractor who is licensed in every state that your construction project may take place in, you will be able to rest assured that your sub-contractor will be fully aware of the laws and restrictions that apply to him or her.
It is important for you to understand that when you work with a general contractor he or she is not going to be handling the architectural aspect of the construction project alone. You will need to hire an engineer and a draftsman in addition to a designer. There are many aspects of the project that the general contractor needs to take care of and they are typically only concerned with those specific areas. This gives the general contractor a unique advantage because they can focus on their expertise rather than on the small details that are not relevant to their expertise.