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Who Are General Contractors and What Are Their Responsibilities?

>> Sep 1, 2017

People who have been involved in construction projects, be it a major or minor one, know of the role of a general contractor. However, not everyone knows what a general contractor really is and what he really does in a construction project.
What is a General Contractor?
A general contractor can be any individual, company, or a business entity who can take charge of the full process and implementation of a construction project. They oversee projects, which can be commercial or residential projects.

Technically, no specific education is required to become a general contractor. However, someone with a degree related to construction is oftentimes preferred. In the U.S., general contractors are required to take and pass a written examination on construction practices and laws before they are given a license to operate.

What are the Responsibilities of a General Contractor?
A general contractor’s job can vary from company to company. Below are some “general” responsibilities that are common among general contractors.

     Visit and assess the project site.
Before the start of any project, the general contractor must assess and evaluate the condition of the construction site. The evaluation can greatly affect the construction plan and the estimated budget for the project. It will determine the prior preparation needed for the site before the actual construction.

     Create estimates for projects that match his or his company’s qualifications.
Before a proposal is submitted, the general contractor must estimate the cost of materials needed, labor costs, and subcontractor costs, if needed.

     Draw up the contracts for the owner, the employees, and the construction team.
It is the general contractor’s duty to write up a written contract for the project. The contract must include the budget, the plan, and specifications of the project.

     He must make sure that everything needed for the project is at hand: labor, equipment, and other services necessary for the construction and completion of the project.

Construction companies usually do not have the complete necessary manpower for a construction project. This is where subcontractors come in. He may need to hire subcontractors for specialized skills, such as plumbing, electrical, roofing, painting, or mechanical jobs. He may also need to source out necessary equipment, such as on-site generators. He can also source out services, such as janitorial services.

     Secure the necessary permits for the construction.
It is the responsibility of the general contractor to secure the needed government permits for the construction to commence.

     Typically, the general contractor is the overall project manager of the project.
Aside from the duties mentioned above, the following also fall under the general contractor’s jurisdiction:

    Security of the construction perimeter
    Managing the workers onsite
    Ensure proper waste disposal
    Ensure compliance with the law
    Monitor the shift and schedules of the workers
    Keep financial records of the project

Choose a Reliable General Contractor for your Construction Project
The general contractor plays a major role in your construction project, and so it is important that you choose a reliable one. Look for a general contractor with an established presence in your area and one whose experience is in line with your project.

Written by Hubert Builders, a full service commercial construction company in Columbia, MO

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