Hiring a general contractor is a great way to ensure that your project is completed properly and on time. They handle the big-picture aspects of construction, including sourcing materials, hiring subcontractors and overseeing the overall construction process.
During the hiring process, it is important to find out about their experience and qualifications. A reputable contractor will have a good track record of projects and be fully licensed to perform the work. They should also be able to provide references and insurance information.
The first step in the process is to meet with a potential general contractor and decide what you want your project to look like and what kind of budget you have. The more details you can provide, the more accurate your estimate will be.
Another important part of the hiring process is to ask for references from previous clients. A general contractor should be able to provide you with contact information for at least three or four of their previous clients, and you should make a point of calling those people during the hiring process.
In addition to their client references, a general contractor should be able to provide you a list of their past projects and a description of the quality of the work they did. If they don’t have a list, or don’t tell you about their work, it may be a sign that they are not trustworthy and you should move on to other candidates.
GCs often have a list of recommended subcontractors that they can call on to perform certain tasks during your project. These may include plumbers, electricians, painters and HVAC installers.
The GC will manage the subcontractors’ budgets and reconcile these estimates with the overall project budget. They will also be responsible for obtaining all necessary building permits and overseeing the construction work.
A good general contractor should be able to explain how your local building codes will affect your project and be familiar with the permitting process. If you are working with a contractor who doesn’t understand the local codes or is unaware of them, it can lead to major problems later on and costly fines.
It is also a good idea to have a written contract drawn up and signed before you begin your project. The document should contain specifics about the job, the timeline, payment schedule and the subcontractors, as well as a termination clause.
If you have a dispute with your contractor, you should try to resolve it in a reasonable manner and be honest about the situation. This is particularly important if the disagreement involves a major product, such as a roof or windows, which can have warranties that void if they are not installed by a qualified contractor.
You should also discuss the possibility of using a third party, such as a project manager, to manage your construction. This will eliminate some of the complexities that come with hiring a general contractor and will be beneficial to your project in the long run.