What is a General Contractor, and why get one?
Planning on remodeling your home? Before you start, it’s a smart idea to look into hiring a general contractor. Below is some advice on why and how to hire a general contractor. A “general” contractor (also known as a builder, building contractor, remodeling contractor, etc.) enters a contract with an owner to complete a project and by doing so they are taking full responsibility to get the job done for the agreed upon price and amount of time. Generally, the General Contractor purchases materials, hires the tradesmen, and brings in subcontractors to get the work done. When selecting the General Contractor for your project, it’s important that you choose carefully, as often, there is a lot at risk.
It is important to find somebody trustworthy and that you feel comfortable working with. Big projects like a bathroom or kitchen remodel can greatly impact your life. Be prepared for things to go wrong on any construction project, and make sure you select the person who will work diligently and cooperatively with you to resolve any issues.
Here is just a brief list of some of the tasks they can take on during a project:
- Estimating and bidding the project
- Negotiating a contract with the owner
- Hiring and negotiating contracts with subcontractors
- Obtaining any and all necessary permits and scheduling inspections
- Disbursing money to subs and material suppliers
- Creating a schedule for workers, subs, and deliveries
- Negotiating material prices and ordering materials
- Translate the plans and specifications
- Supervising and coordinating the work of subs and crew
- Troubleshooting job-site problems
While doing all of the above, the contractor is keeping in constant contact with the owners, explaining the process, answering questions or concerns and working within the budget to ensure the results are to the owner's expectations.
Before You Hire, Make Sure to Inquire!
Before you sign the dotted line, are you sure you asked your general contractor all the questions you wanted? Committing to one is a large financial commitment and it is important to get the necessary information from them prior to handing them over your credit card number and house keys. Here is a list of important questions you should ask from a licensed General Contractor:
What to ask former clients:
- How did your job with this contractor go? How did it compare to others you have worked with?
- Did they communicate clearly and throughout the project?
- Were they on the job spot often? If not, was the work on site supervised?
- Did you experience any problems or surprises? If so, how did the contractor handle them?
- How was the quality of work?
- Did they stay within budget? If not, how come?
- Would you recommend them for a similar type of job?
What to ask the General Contractor:
- How many similar jobs like this have you completed?
- On average, what is the sq. ft. cost of this type of job?
- Who will supervise the construction site? Who will I be working with directly once the project begins?
- What work will your own employees versus the subcontractors perform?
- What is the greatest strength for your company?
- What efforts do you take to ensure a clean and safe job site?
Remember, hiring a general contractor is a recommendation. Construction, renovation, and remodeling are risky and difficult tasks and can turn south quickly. Hiring a general contractor can not only ease your stress from dealing with issues hands on, it can also be the simplest way to get a large job done and it may even be less expensive than DIY due to competitive bidding. So weigh your pros and cons, ask all the important questions, and get started on your dream renovation with the help of a General Contractor!
Feel free to give us a call at (414) 745-6319 to start your remodel process today! Or fill out our project questionnaire for a customized quote.